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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.
COASTSWEEP 2010 Kicks Off at Lynn Shore & Nahant Beach
On September 25, CZM Director Deerin Babb-Brott welcomed more than 90 dedicated volunteers to kick off the 2010 COASTSWEEP at the Department of Conservation and Recreation's (DCR) Lynn Shore & Nahant Beach Reservation. COASTSWEEP, the annual statewide beach cleanup organized by CZM and the UMass Boston Urban Harbors Institute, is part of the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup. This year's kickoff location was selected to recognize the efforts of Salem Sound Coastwatch (SSCW) and their new Adopt a Beach program—through which more than 100 community volunteers have signed up to serve as year-round "beachkeepers." SSCW trains these beachkeepers to identify and monitor sources of contamination, identify invasive species, observe conditions such as erosion, and clean up trash at their adopted beaches. In addition to Adopt a Beach participants, many other volunteers were on hand to launch the 2010 cleanups, including members of the Friends of Lynn & Nahant Beach and Nahant SWIM. For details, see the EEA press release. More than 100 sites will be cleaned at COASTSWEEP cleanups scheduled along the Commonwealth's coast throughout September and October. To participate or organize a cleanup, go to the COASTSWEEP website. Also, check out COASTSWEEP photos on Facebook and Flickr.
StormSmart Coasts Regulations Adopted in Oak Bluffs
On September 16, the Oak Bluffs Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously to adopt special permit regulations (PDF, 53 KB) associated with the town's recently adopted floodplain overlay district bylaw. Oak Bluffs is one of CZM's StormSmart Coasts pilot communities, and CZM provided assistance to a team of local officials to develop these special permit regulations. The new regulations: provide fair and equitable submission requirements and design criteria/performance standards to minimize potential loss of life, destruction of property, and environmental damage; enable safe access for homeowners and emergency response personnel; and diminish monetary loss and public health threats. When the pilot project began, CZM staff provided assistance in drafting amendments to the town's existing floodplain overlay district bylaw, which were then adopted by town meeting in May by a near unanimous vote. The bylaw allows specific land uses by special permit, so CZM and Oak Bluffs officials then focused on preparing special permit regulations that clarify the process and parameters for development within the floodplain district. The new regulations also incorporate recommendations from CZM's coastal landscaping website. Landscapes 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 congratulates the town of Oak Bluffs for it progressive work to protect its residents, businesses, and natural resources.
CZM Assists in the Incorporation of International Building Code into State Standards
CZM, in collaboration with DCR and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), recently assisted the Department of Public Safety's (DPS) Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) in writing the section of the 8th Edition of the State Building Code pertaining to floodplains and coastal dunes. For the Massachusetts code, DPS wrote "front end amendments" to modify the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) to be specific to the Commonwealth. For example, the 2009 IBC did not have prescriptive requirements that all new buildings in coastal dunes be constructed on open pilings—but this specific provision was included in the front end amendments. Builders now need to read both the International Code and the Massachusetts specific amendments. The new code for commercial buildings (larger than two-family residences) went into effect on August 6. Until February 6, 2011, builders can choose to build under either code, without mixing provisions. After that time, the new code must be used. Copies of the front end amendments and the 2009 IBC are available from the State Bookstore. The BBRS, with the help of CZM, DEP, and DCR, is now working on amendments for the International Residential Code (one- and two-family homes). For more information, see the BBRS website.
CZ-Tip: Explore the Shore this Fall
Summer may be officially over, but that doesn't mean that beach season has to come to a close. Crystal clear fall days and the lingering (relative) warmth of the ocean water—along with open parking spaces—can make fall one of the best times to explore the shore in Massachusetts. With hundreds of places to access sandy beaches, rocky coastline, pristine salt marshes, and bustling ports and harbors—there is something for everyone. For more information on coastal access in the Commonwealth, including details on public rights and responsibilities, public access sites, and environmental protection issues, see the CZ-Tip: Get to the Shore.
Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration Grants - The Gulf of Maine Council is seeking proposals for coastal habitat restoration projects within the Gulf of Maine watershed. In partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service's Community-Based Restoration Program, the Gulf of Maine Council provides grants to further the goal of habitat restoration and to support a strategic approach to marine, coastal, and riverine habitat restoration. For details, see the Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration web portal. Optional letters of intent are due by November 29. Full applications must be submitted online from February 2 to March 15, 2011.
Regional Ocean Partnership Funding - NOAA is soliciting proposals to advance effective coastal and ocean management through regional ocean governance that includes the national ocean policy goals set out in the July 2010 Final Recommendations (PDF, 3.6 MB) of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force. See the Federal Register Notice for details on the funding priorities, eligibility, deadlines, and review process, along with information on how to apply. Proposals are due by December 10.
Reminders - These opportunities listed in the last CZ-Mail are still available:
Climate Change Planning Guide - NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management has developed a new online guide to help coastal managers reduce the risks associated with climate change impacts affecting their coasts. Adapting to Climate Change: A Planning Guide for State Coastal Managers provides science-based information on climate change and includes steps for setting up a planning process, assessing vulnerability, devising a strategy, and implementing the plan. It compiles information from a number of sources and includes techniques currently being used successfully by coastal managers to address other coastal management issues such as coastal hazards, habitat loss, and secondary and cumulative impacts.
Coastal Barrier Resources Act Fact Sheet - FEMA has developed a fact sheet on the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA). CBRA serves to protect coastal areas that act as barriers against wind and tidal forces caused by coastal storms and provide habitat for aquatic species. The fact sheet outlines the responsibilities and restrictions that various programs within FEMA have under CBRA.
Hypoxia in U. S. Coastal Waters Report - An interagency working group of the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Environmental and Natural Resources has produced a new report entitled Scientific Assessment of Hypoxia in U.S. Coastal Waters (PDF, 2.7 MB), which describes: the prevalence, causes, and impacts of hypoxia, or low oxygen, in the United States; the progress made through federal investment in understanding this problem; and future research priorities.
StormSmart Coasts National Newsletter - The September issue of the national StormSmart Coasts Network's monthly newsletter features new training opportunities, events, discussions, and resources for coastal decision makers looking for information on how to protect communities from weather and climate hazards.
Coastal Services Magazine - The September/October 2010 issue of Coastal Services, a NOAA Coastal Services Center magazine, features articles about planning for coastal hazards, climate change adaptation planning in Florida, merging blue and green infrastructure in Maryland, and other news and notes.
Coastal Connections - The October/November 2010 issue of NOAA's Coastal Connections is now available online. This edition focuses on how to advance community dialogue on climate change adaptation without alienating audiences.
The Sandbar - The August 2010 issue of The Sandbar, a quarterly publication reporting on legal issues affecting the U.S. oceans and coasts by the National Sea Grant College Program, features articles on the new National Ocean Policy, BP oil spill litigation, oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, and other ocean and coastal legal issues.
Atlantic CoastWatch Newsletter - The July/August 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 the National Ocean Policy, the Everglades, and other Atlantic coast news.
Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The September-October 2010 issue of MPA News features articles on marine protected areas (MPAs) and indigenous peoples, MPAs and behavior change, and other MPA news and notes.
Natural Hazards Observer - The September 2010 issue of the Natural Hazards Observer, the bimonthly periodical of the Natural Hazards Center in Boulder, Colorado, features articles on climate change, disaster recovery, and other hazards news.
Dartmouth Flood Observatory - The Dartmouth Flood Observatory at the University of Colorado provides a view of worldwide flooding and includes maps of current and historical floods, information on drought, and details on the space-based imaging and remote sensing that supports the site.
Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Risk Analysis Protocol - NOAA is seeking public comment on the draft revised Federal Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Risk Analysis Protocol (PDF, 97 KB) developed by the Research Protocol Committee, a committee of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. For more information, contact Peg Brady at Peg.Brady@noaa.gov. Comments are due by October 15.
Draft NOAA Climate Service Strategic Vision and Framework - In February, NOAA announced the establishment of a new NOAA Climate Service (NCS). As part of the process to establish NCS, NOAA completed a strategic vision and framework document that describes how NOAA proposes to respond to society's growing need for climate services. NOAA is now seeking comments on the draft NOAA Climate Service Vision and Strategic Framework (PDF, 1.5 MB), which describes the vision and outlines how NCS can achieve its new strategic goals. Submit comments to email@example.com by October 18.
Reminder - The following comment opportunities posted in the last CZ-Mail are still open:
Underwater Archaeology in Massachusetts - October is Massachusetts Archaeology Month. In celebration, the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR) will participate in the Archaeological Institute of America's Archaeology Fair at the Boston Museum of Science. On October 14, the fair will be directed to school groups and on October 16 to families and the general public. BUAR activities will include a mock "dig" of a shipwreck and other exhibits. On October 30, Graham McKay, local maritime archaeologist and historian, and BUAR Director Victor Mastone will be at Lowell's Boat Shop in Amesbury for an intertidal dig. The floors of the shop have been swept into the river for more than two hundred years. Participants will dig test trenches in the intertidal zone under the old debris chutes to see what has been deposited over the past two hundred years. For details, including information on other events, see the Massachusetts Archaeology Month web page.
Fall Film Series - This fall, the Hamilton-Wenham Library will hold a Fall Film Series with a focus on sustainable waters. On November 6 from 1:30-3:00 p.m., the feature is the award-winning A Sea Change, which explores the impact of climate change on the world's oceans. Both screenings will be followed by discussions of the films.
Submerged Lands Management Webinar Series - The 29th Annual International Submerged Lands Management Conference Webinar Series will run biweekly through mid-December. Webinar sessions are designed to increase awareness of the management issues surrounding submerged lands within the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, and to provide a forum for discussion about submerged lands issues.
Planning and Zoning Workshops - This fall, the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative (CPTC) at UMass Amherst will offer more than 20 training workshops for members of Massachusetts Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeal. Topics include introduction to the zoning act, planning locally for affordable housing strategies, special permits and variances, and many more. For details and to register, see the program flyer (PDF, 149 KB).
Aquaculture Lecture - On October 19 at 7:00 p.m., the Northeastern University Marine Science Center in Nahant will host the lecture, Environmental Benefits and Impacts of Aquaculture and Relevance to the North Shore, by Dr. Joe Buttner, Associate Professor of Biology at Salem State University. The lecture is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m.
Time of Year Restrictions - On October 21, the Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section will hold an evening technical session on time of year (TOY) restrictions for in-water work, such as dredging, pipeline construction, and beach fill. Dr. Kathryn Ford from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries) will provide owners, engineers, planners, scientists, consultants, and others involved in water-based projects an insight into the time periods when various resources might be more vulnerable to anthropogenic activities. She will describe specific seasonal or TOY restrictions that MarineFisheries recommends be implemented to minimize risk to those resources. This session will be held in Norwood at 7:00 p.m. To register, see the event web page.
River Restoration Tour - On October 21, the Ecological Landscaping Association in conjunction with the Department of Fish and Game's Division of Ecological Restoration and the Society for Ecological Restoration will host a full-day tour of two river restoration projects in Plymouth. Join project managers for this behind-the-scenes tour of successful restoration that included dam removals, wetlands reconstruction, river channel restoration, culvert installations, habitat creation, and more. For details, see the event flyer.
National Flood Workshop - On October 24-26, the National Flood Workshop will be held in Houston, Texas. This workshop will encourage dialogue on meteorological and hydrological conditions before, during, and after flood events, as well as discussion of technological advancements, flood mitigation regulations, and floodplain management.
Renewable Ocean Energy Conference - On November 3-5, the Renewable Ocean Energy & the Marine Environment Conference will be held in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. This conference will bring together researchers, developers, federal and state agencies, industry, and scientists to explore cutting-edge science and technology to identify gaps in the current knowledge of the environmental impacts of renewable ocean energy.
Marine Law Symposium - On November 4-5, the Roger Williams School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island, will hold the two-day marine law symposium, Taking Stock: The Magnuson-Stevens Act Revisited. The symposium will examine the current and future state of this body of law as a resource management scheme, including the complex integration of scientific, economic, and social information.
Marine Animal Stranding Field School - On November 5-7, the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary will hold a Cape Cod Field School weekend on Marine Animal Strandings. The weekend will focus on the natural history, biology, and rescue of sea turtles and marine animals.
Natural Resource Damages Conference - On November 15-16, the sixth annual Natural Resource Damages Conference will be held in Newark, New Jersey. This conference will address complex strategic, tactical, and substantive issues for both natural resource trustees and potentially responsible parties.
Reminders - The following calendar items posted in the last CZ-Mail are still to come:
National Ocean Sciences Bowl - The National Ocean Sciences Bowl is a nationally recognized and highly acclaimed high school academic competition that provides a forum for talented students to test their knowledge of the marine sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, and geology. Over 300 schools and more than 2,000 students participate each year. The 2011 regional competition for Massachusetts will be held in Boston on February 5, 2011.
Marine Science Kits For Massachusetts Teachers - The Ocean Carbon & Biogeochemistry Program has science kits from the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research & Education (C-MORE) for use by regional teachers at no cost. C-MORE science kits offer lesson plans and materials for hands-on science activities in a self-contained format. They are designed for use with a range of grade levels. Each kit provides the information and supplies necessary for educators to teach their students about a particular topic in oceanography. To request a kit, see the C-MORE website.
Stellwagen Advisory Council - The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is seeking applicants for several seats on its Sanctuary Advisory Council. To receive an application kit, contact Elizabeth.Stokes@noaa.gov. Applications are due by October 11.