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Welcome to CZ-Mail, the monthly electronic newsletter from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). Each issue provides information on major CZM initiatives, available tools and publications, upcoming workshops and events, grants, contracting opportunities, job openings, coastal legislation, and other news of interest to people working on coastal issues. Additional information about CZM's programs, publications, and other coastal topics can be found on the CZM website. To subscribe to CZ-Mail, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please feel free to share CZ-Mail with colleagues and friends—and if you have any suggestions for future editions, or would like make a change to your CZ-Mail subscription, please email your request to CZ-Mail@state.ma.us.
All links on this web page were current and working on the date of publication.
No Discharge Area Applications Submitted for the North Shore and Pleasant Bay
The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), through CZM, has recommended that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approve vessel No Discharge Areas (NDAs) for coastal waters on the upper North Shore and in Pleasant Bay on Cape Cod. On the North Shore, the ban on discharge of all boat sewage (whether treated or not) would apply to the state waters from Gloucester to Salisbury and up the Merrimack River to Lawrence. In Pleasant Bay, the discharge ban would apply to the Bay's waters in Chatham, Harwich, and Eastham. These NDAs will be the Commonwealth's 14th and 15th, with an ultimate goal of all state waters designated as an NDA. Efforts are currently under way to authorize NDAs in the Commonwealth's remaining coastal waters including, Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds, the Outer Cape, and Mt. Hope Bay.
Storm Team Aided by New Damage Reporting Tool
In March, the state's Rapid Response Coastal Storm Damage Assessment Team (Storm Team) was active during three events and put StormReporter—an innovative new web tool—to the test. StormReporter enables rapid delivery and archiving of storm damage information to inform emergency response activities, weather predictions, and project planning. CZM partnered with the National Weather Service and the national StormSmart Coasts Network to standardize data collection and make StormReporter operational for the Storm Team, as well as local beach teams and citizens interested in reporting coastal storm damages in their communities. Comprehensive training for state and local teams is planned for later this spring. For more information, contact Julia Knisel at email@example.com.
Oak Bluffs Addresses Storm Risk with Proposed Zoning Amendments
As a CZM StormSmart Coasts pilot community, Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard has focused on changes to local bylaws and codes to minimize the town's storm risk. After numerous meetings and deliberations, a team of local officials and citizens identified several zoning changes as the most effective tools to address the town's concerns. Specifically, proposed amendments to the town's floodplain overlay district will prohibit new residential development and expansion of existing development in the most hazardous flood zones—those designated as V, VE, or AO zones by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In the less hazardous flood zones, designated as A zones by FEMA, the town will require a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The amendments were presented to and approved by the town's selectmen and will be voted on at the Spring Town Meeting to be held later this month. To read more about the town's initiative, see this February 5 Vineyard Gazette article.
§319 Grants - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is seeking proposals for the §319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Competitive Grants Program to fund comprehensive projects that address nonpoint sources of pollution affecting water quality. For details, see the Request for Responses (RFR) on the Comm-PASS website. Search for document number "BRP 2010-03." For more information about past §319 projects, see MassDEP's website. On April 14 from 10:00 a.m. to noon, MassDEP will hold a public information session at the MassDEP offices in Worcester. Potential applicants can ask questions about any aspect of proposal development, competitive strategy, or program requirements. Proposals are due by June 2.
Community Wind Grants - The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's Community-Scale Wind Initiative is seeking applications for grants to fund feasibility studies, design, and construction. Applications will be accepted for the development of eligible wind energy projects with a capacity of 100 kilowatts or greater that are located at commercial, industrial, institutional, and public facilities where 50 percent or more of the energy produced will be used onsite or net metered per the Green Communities Act. The applicant and project site must either be a customer of a Massachusetts investor-owned electric distribution utility or be a customer of a Municipal Light Plant Department that has elected to pay into the Renewable Energy Trust Fund. Applications are due May 4.
Parks and Conservation Land Grants - EEA's Division of Conservation Services (DCS) is seeking applications for the fiscal year 2011 Parkland Acquisition and Renovation for Communities (PARC) and the Local Acquisition for Natural Diversity (LAND) programs. PARC grants assist communities with the acquisition of parkland, as well as construction of new parks and renovation of existing parks. LAND grants provide funds to municipal conservation commissions for the purchase of conservation land. A grant workshop will be held on May 18 at 10:00 a.m.at 100 Cambridge Street, Boston. Please RSVP to Melissa Cryan at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in a PARC grant or Celia Riechel at email@example.com if interested in a LAND grant. To view the PARC grants RFR, see the Comm-PASS website and search for document number "EEA 11 DCS 02." For the LAND grants RFR, search for document number "EEA 11 DCS 01." Applications are due by July 15.
FishAmerica Grants - FishAmerica, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Restoration Center, is seeking proposals for grants to local communities and government agencies to restore habitat for marine and anadromous fish species. For details, see the FishAmerica website. Proposals are due May 17.
Reminder - This opportunity listed in the last CZ-Mail is still available:
Pocket Guide to Pumpout Facilities - The 2010 Boaters Pocket Guide to Pumpout Facilities and Tides is now available. This wallet-sized pamphlet, produced by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and printed on waterproof paper, contains information on the locations of Clean Vessel Act supported pumpout facilities along the Massachusetts coastline, along with a June-September tide chart. For a free copy, email your request and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information about pumpouts, including an online list of pumpout facilities, is also available on CZM's website.
Living Oceans Report - NOAA has released Our Living Oceans: Report on the Status of U.S. Living Marine Resources, a report card on the biological health of U.S. living marine resources. This new report shows that the last decade has been a period of progress in rebuilding depleted fish stocks, sustaining many fisheries populations, and gaining a better understanding of the complex relationships between marine species and their habitats.
Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard - Coastal planners and resource managers routinely face the challenge of obtaining habitat data of high quality and consistency. In response to this need, NOAA's Coastal Services Center in partnership with NatureServe and others have developed the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard, a standard ecological classification system that is universally applicable for coastal and marine systems.
Ecology of Marine Wind Farms - In November 2009, the Science Symposium on the Ecology of Marine Wind Farms was held in Newport, Rhode Island. Presentations are now available on the Rhode Island Sea Grant website.
Sustainable Coastal Tourism - The United Nations Environment Programme has developed the handbook entitled Sustainable Coastal Tourism: An Integrated Planning and Management Approach (PDF, 2.6 MB) to explain how the tourism sector can coordinate effectively in the overall development of coastal zones and contribute to the long-term sustainability of these areas.
Pipeline - The Winter 2010 issue of Pipeline, the quarterly newsletter produced by National Small Flows Clearinghouse, focuses on residential stormwater issues and solutions.
Watershed Science Bulletin—Call for Articles - The Watershed Science Bulletin (WSB) is the peer-reviewed journal of the Association of Watershed and Stormwater Professionals (AWSPS) that features practical, science-based solutions to important watershed and stormwater management issues. AWSPS is currently soliciting short (five published pages or less) articles for the first issue (October 2010) of the WSB, which will feature new and unique approaches, applications, tools, and methods for development and implementation of Total Maximum Daily Loads. For details, see the full article solicitation. Articles are due by April 9.
Gulf of Maine Times - The March 2010 edition of the Gulf of Maine Times features articles on how extreme weather events affect the Gulf of Maine, the new Great Waters initiative that could provide resources to protect the Gulf, ocean acidification, and other Gulf of Maine news.
Atlantic CoastWatch Newsletter - The January/February 2010 issue of Atlantic CoastWatch, the bimonthly newsletter from the Sustainable Development Institute that provides news and information about the Atlantic coasts of Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean, includes articles on PCBs in the Hudson River, cruise ship pollution, greener golf, and other Atlantic coast news.
Coastal Services Magazine - The March/April 2010 issue of Coastal Services, a NOAA Coastal Services Center magazine, features articles about a marine spatial planning in Massachusetts, stormwater improvements in New Jersey, seagrass protection in Texas, and other news and notes.
Sound Waves - The January/February 2010 issue of Sound Waves, the monthly newsletter from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), features articles on science at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, deep ocean effects on climate change, and other coastal and marine research news.
Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The March/April 2010 issue of MPA News features articles on the enforcement of marine protected areas (MPAs), establishing MPAs, and other MPA news and notes.
Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports - The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has released the 2009 Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports. Check them out on the NMFS website.
CZM's New Coastal Landscaping Website - Landscaping with native plants can help coastal property owners prevent storm damage and erosion, provide wildlife habitat, and reduce coastal water pollution—all while improving a property's visual appeal and natural character. CZM's new Coastal Landscaping website presents: detailed information on the benefits of these landscaping techniques; step-by-step instructions on landscaping a bank, beach, or dune; tips for planting, installation, and maintenance; plant lists and photos; sample landscape plans; information on permitting; suggestions on where to purchase native plants; and links to additional information.
State of the Coast - NOAA has developed a State of the Coast website to communicate the importance of a healthy coastal ecosystem to a robust U.S. economy, a safe population, and a sustainable quality of life for coastal residents. The website describes connections between ecosystem, economy, communities, and climate, and the consequent need to better understand, manage, and protect our nation's coastal resources.
Dock Eelgrass Calculator - Fred Short from the University of New Hampshire, with the support of NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, has developed a new dock eelgrass calculator to help coastal managers assess the impacts of dock shading on eelgrass. The new calculator, done is Excel, improves upon an older model and it is applicable to more docks and areas of greater tidal range. The model also allows the user to easily try different dock configurations and get immediate feedback on how well the eelgrass underneath each layout would do. The model has only been verified for eelgrass in New England, but it is generally applicable to other areas, particularly those with similar tidal ranges.
Climate Change Website for State and Local Governments - EPA has launched an updated State and Local Climate and Energy Program website to help state and local governments understand, plan, and implement strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The new website provides resources on energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste management, workforce development, health, adaptation, and more.
Guide to Whales and Dolphins - The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society has launched a comprehensive online guide to whales and dolphins in three languages (English, German, and Spanish) that provides interesting insights into whale and dolphin habitats and behavior. The guide also includes maps showing where the different species are found, some great images, and a threat index that highlights the level of danger facing each species.
Vessel Water Discharges Report - EPA is seeking public comments on a draft report Study of Discharges Incidental to Normal Operation of Commercial Fishing Vessels and Other Non-Recreational Vessels Less than 79 Feet, which summarizes the primary pollutant concentrations in the discharges sampled and evaluates the potential environmental impact of these discharges on large water bodies. When made final, the report will provide Congress with information it may use for the regulation of incidental discharges from certain vessels, including fishing vessels, tugboats, water taxis, tour boats, towing and salvage vessels, small research vessels, fire boats, and supply boats. Submit comments, identified by Docket ID No. OW-2009-0208, to email@example.com.
National Policy for Sustainable Marine Aquaculture - On April 14, NOAA will hold a listening session in Narragansett, Rhode Island, to hear recommendations from the public to help develop a new national policy for sustainable marine aquaculture. Marine aquaculture is the cultivation of marine organisms, such as shellfish and finfish, for food and other products. Aquaculture techniques are also widely used in the United States to help restore valuable wild fisheries and habitat, including oysters. For details, or to comment online, see the NOAA website.
EPA Web Forum to Protect America's Waters - EPA is seeking public input on how the agency can better protect and improve the health of the nation's waters. EPA is holding a web discussion forum on how to better manage some of the most significant water pollution problems facing this country. The feedback received on the online forum will help shape the discussion at EPA's April 15 conference, Coming Together for Clean Water, where EPA will engage approximately 100 executives and local level water leads in a discussion on the agency's clean water agenda. EPA wants to receive input from water professionals, advocates, and anyone interested in water quality issues. See the Coming Together for Clean Water Discussion Forum for details.
Climate Change Adaptation Task Force Interim Progress Report - On March 16, the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) Climate Change Adaptation Task Force released an Interim Progress Report that outlines the Task Force's progress to date and recommends key components to include in a national strategy on climate change adaptation. The Interim Progress Report (PDF, 227 KB) is available for 60 days of public comment, which can be submitted online.
Ocean Acidification - EPA is seeking public comment on the effects of ocean acidification on the listing of impaired waters under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. Under Section 303(d), states, territories, and authorized tribes are required to develop lists of impaired waters and develop total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for the pollutant(s) causing the impairment. EPA is soliciting input from the public on what considerations EPA should take into account when deciding how to address listing of waters as threatened or impaired for ocean acidification under the 303(d) program. Submit comments identified with Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2010-0175 by May 21. For more information, see the Federal Register Notice.
Reminder - The following comment opportunity posted in the last CZ-Mail is still available:
Massachusetts Bays Program Coordinator - The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program will soon accept applications for a Program Coordinator to manage program operations, assist with the implementation of select estuarine protection and restoration projects, and lead the development of outreach initiatives. For details, stay tuned to CZM's Jobs and Grants page.
Coastal Researcher - Salem Sound Coastwatch (SSCW) is seeking applicants for a Coastal Researcher to assist the Executive Director with ongoing activities related to water quality, marine and coastal habitats, stormwater, nonpoint source pollution, invasive species, and climate change. This is a one-year position that may be extended with additional funding. For details, see the SSCW website. Applications are due by April 15.
Spring Walks in Harwich - The Harwich Conservation Trust has posted its schedule of spring walks. All walks are free and open to the public. See the Trust's website.
NOAA Climate Service Webinars - In April, NOAA is hosting three informational webinars for individuals and organizations to learn about the proposed NOAA Climate Service and to provide an opportunity to answer questions, and obtain feedback. Each webinar is targeted to a specific sector and will be followed by a question and answer session. For details, see the NOAA website.
Adopt-a-Beach Training - On April 11, Salem Sound Coastwatch will hold a training session in Marblehead for the new Adopt-a-Beach program. To RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ponds in Peril Workshop - On April 14, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) will hold a Ponds in Peril Workshop at the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors' Conference Center in West Yarmouth. Speakers will discuss the status of endangered mussels in Mystic Lake in Marstons Mills, the use of autonomous underwater vehicles for pond assessments, and local water quality data. Register on the APCC website.
World Ocean Conference—Call for Presentations - On September 7-10, the California and the World Ocean 2010 Conference (CWO '10) will be held in San Francisco, California. Presentations at CWO '10 will address ocean and coastal subjects that can be applied to resource management and policy. Emerging topics such as climate change impacts, marine spatial planning, marine protected areas, regional ocean governance, and renewable offshore energy will be featured. Presentations should focus on actions that can be taken at the local, state, regional, national, and international levels. Abstracts are due by April 15.
International Marina and Boatyard Conference—Call for Presenters - On January 26-29, the International Marina and Boatyard Conference will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This conference, geared specifically toward marina owners, operators, and personnel, as well as boat builders and repairers, features more than 125 exhibits, educational seminars, product demos, and numerous professional networking opportunities. Presentation proposals are due by April 16. For details, see the conference website.
Horseshoe Crab Conference - On April 17, Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary will host a free Horseshoe Crab Conference that will feature presentations by local experts and researchers discussing the biology of horseshoe crabs and their role in the environment, the crab population status on Cape Cod, and the human issues surrounding crab harvest and conservation.
Watershed and Stormwater Management Webcasts - On April 21, the Center for Watershed Protection (CWP) will hold a bioretention design, installation, and maintenance webcast that will discuss practical design, installation, and maintenance issues with bioretention, as well as provide updated and essential design tools. For more information about this webcast and the entire 2010 webcast series, see the CWP website.
Sea Squirt Conference - On April 26-28, the third International Sea Squirt Conference will be held in Woods Hole. Invasive ascidians are impacting ecosystems, creating a nuisance for the aquaculture industry, and are a major component of fouling communities. The aim of the third conference is to further address the continuing problems associated with invasive species of tunicates.
Mapping Massachusetts Communities Workshop - On both April 28 and 29, New Urban Research is holding a one-day GIS workshop in Medford. Mapping Massachusetts Communities Workshop: An Introduction to GIS and Community Analysis is a beginner-level class for anyone interested in mapping their community.
Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference - On April 26, the 66th Annual Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference will be held in Newton. The theme of the 2010 conference is Climate Change and Wildlife Conservation—Adaptation and Mitigation. This full-day conference will focus on advancing the understanding of global climate change impacts to Northeast ecosystems, developing adaptation strategies for fisheries and wildlife conservation, and responding to the challenges and opportunities offered by mitigation measures.
Teachers on the Estuary - This summer, the region's National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) will offer Teachers on the Estuary. This research and field-based teacher training is designed to improve teachers' and students' understanding of the environment using local research examples, and to provide resources and experience to support the incorporation of estuary and watershed topics into classroom teaching. The Waquoit Bay NERR's program is on July 12-15, plus a half day November 20, and the Narragansett Bay NERR's program is on June 28-July 1, plus a half day November 6. Applications are due by April 30.
Massachusetts Marine Educators Conference - On May 1, the Massachusetts Marine Educators will hold its 34th Conference and Annual Meeting in the Redfield Auditorium at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The 2010 conference will focus on marine invasive species. For more information, contact Bill Andrake at email@example.com.
Water: Systems, Science, and Society Symposium - On May 1, Tufts University will host a science symposium at its Medford campus to highlight interdisciplinary water-related research in the New England area. The Water: Systems, Science, and Society program at Tufts University is a certificate program that augments graduate students' degree programs by providing them with interdisciplinary perspectives and tools to manage water-related problems around the world.
Aquatic Nuisance Species Meetings - On May 3-4 in Portland, Maine, the Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species (NEANS) Panel will meet and on May 5-7 the National Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force will hold its spring meeting, which will include a one-day workshop (May 7) on risk assessment for invasive species. For details, see the NEANS Panel website.
Massachusetts Envirothon - On May 13, the 2010 Massachusetts Envirothon, the leading natural resource education program for Massachusetts high school students, will kick off at Otter River State Forest in Baldwinville. Teams comprised of five students will represent their school or organization in a statewide competition testing their knowledge of aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and current environmental issues. Registration is due by April 29.
New England Estuarine Research Society - On May 13-16, the New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS), in partnership with the Atlantic Canada Coastal Estuarine Science Society, will hold a joint spring meeting in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. The theme of this meeting is transboundary topics and presentations will include coastal and estuarine related topics of interest to scientists and managers in New England and Atlantic Canada.
Coastal Resilience Symposium - On May 26, the 2010 Coastal Resilience Symposium will be held at Rice University in Houston, Texas. This symposium gathers regional, national, and international experts to hold an important dialogue on how to build more resilient coasts.
Coastal Society Conference - The Coastal Society's 22nd Biennial International Conference, Shifting Shorelines: Adapting to the Future, will be held on June 13-16, in Wilmington, North Carolina. For information, see the Coastal Society Conference website.
Great Marsh Symposium - On June 26, the Great Marsh Symposium, Discover a Coastal Treasure in Our Backyard, will offer a unique opportunity to view the Great Marsh by boat. Participants will tour the marsh on a comfortable, shaded pontoon boat and head out the winding Rowley River into Plum Island Sound. The boat's shallow-draft enables exploration of seldom-travelled creeks and rivers and the viewing of birds and other wildlife. On board tour leaders include a Great Marsh historian, natural history experts, and scientists who will share knowledge of the region and current conservation activities.
Reminders - The following calendar items posted in the last CZ-Mail are still to come:
FEMA Map Information eXchange - In March, the FEMA Map Assistance Contact Center and the Map Service Center (MSC) were consolidated into the FEMA Map Information eXchange, or FMIX. FMIX will allow for increased efficiency by providing a one-stop shop for a variety of information, products, services, and tools that support the National Flood Insurance Program. Users of either center should stop using the old MSC number (800-358-9616), which will be discontinued at the end of April. To contact FMIX, call 877-FEMA MAP (877-336-2627) or e-mail FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com.
Cigarette Litter at Marinas - The BoatU.S. Foundation, in coordination with Keep America Beautiful, is seeking marinas to participate in a cigarette litter prevention program. Cigarette butts are perennially the most common item found along the world's shorelines at the International Coastal Cleanup. In 2009, the Foundation worked with more than 30 marinas to tackle cigarette litter. Marinas were provided grants to install cigarette ash receptacles, distribute portable ashtrays, and educate their customers about the importance of properly disposing of cigarette butts. As a result of the program, the amount of cigarette litter was reduced by 70 percent. If interested, marinas should fill out this short application by April 16.
Marine Art Contest - Massachusetts Marine Educators and Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary is seeking entries from students in grades K-12 for the 2010 Marine Art Contest. For details, see the Stellwagen website (PDF, 228 KB). Entries are due by April 25.
Rachel Carson Contest - EPA is calling for submissions to the fourth annual Rachel Carson Intergenerational Sense of Wonder Contest. Carson is considered to be the founder of the contemporary environmental movement through her landmark book, Silent Spring. Entries will be accepted in four categories-poetry, essay, dance, and photography. Submissions are due by June 16.