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.
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Mount Hope Bay No Discharge Area Approved
On June 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the state's proposal to designate the Massachusetts portion of Mount Hope Bay as a vessel No Discharge Area (NDA). This latest NDA designation prohibits the discharge of any treated or untreated waste in a nine-square-mile portion of Mount Hope Bay that includes the Taunton River up to the Center/Elm St. Bridge on the border of Dighton and Berkley, as well as the Lee and Cole Rivers up to their respective Route 6 bridges. The Rhode Island portion of Mt. Hope Bay is currently designated as an NDA. Implementation of the Mt. Hope Bay NDA will help to ensure that the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) standard for bacteria established by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Projection (MassDEP) can be met. The TMDL standard calls for zero sewage discharge from boats, and the designation of the NDA would satisfy this requirement. Banning the release of boat sewage also supports other local efforts to remove bacteria from these waters, including efforts by the city of Fall River to control the bacteria, nutrients, and other pollutants associated with combined sewer overflows. Three boat sewage pumpout facilities in accessible locations will make compliance with the no discharge requirements convenient for boaters. Both Fall River and Somerset have received assistance to offset the cost of purchasing and operating their pumpout facilities via the Commonwealth's Clean Vessel Act Program, administered by the Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries). For details, see the EEA Press Release. For more on NDA activities along the coast, see CZM's NDA website.
Massachusetts Local Officials and Nonprofit Leaders Receive Environmental Awards
On June 6, the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment (GOMC) presented its annual recognition awards, including two Visionary Awards and one Sustainably Community Award to people working in Massachusetts to improve the environmental quality of the Gulf of Maine. Visionary Awards recognize dedication and commitment to marine environmental quality and sustainable resource use. Joseph Grady and Maureen Thomas, Conservation Agents for the towns of Duxbury and Kingston, respectively, received a Visionary Award for their efforts and innovative approach to address local stormwater issues and eliminate nonpoint source pollution to Duxbury and Kingston Bays. Their close collaboration exemplifies how communities can work together successfully to achieve common goals to protect and improve the marine environment. Kerry Mackin, long-time Director of the Ipswich River Watershed Association (IRWA), received the second Massachusetts Visionary Award for her tireless work on low-flow threats to rivers. Her efforts raised nationwide awareness and drove regulators and watershed communities to adopt conservation strategies to restore healthy streamflows. In 2011, under Kerry's direction, IRWA launched the Parker-Ipswich-Essex Rivers Restoration Partnership, which focuses on habitat restoration and streamflow protection for neighboring watersheds and the Great Marsh. The Sustainable Community Award is a new award created this year by the Gulf of Maine Council to recognize cities and towns for exemplary work in achieving sustainability outcomes related to the environment and economy. The town of Scituate's water division was recognized for its efforts to restore streamflow to an ecologically and economically important watershed without compromising the town's drinking water needs. The successful restoration of First Herring Brook culminated in the return of herring to the brook for the first time in many years. GOMC is a U.S.-Canadian partnership of government and non-government organizations working to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf of Maine. CZM Director Bruce Carlisle is currently serving as Council Chair. For details on all the awardees throughout the Gulf of Maine region, see the awards press release and the GOMC website.
CZM Kicks Off the 2012 Season of Marine Invasive Species Monitoring
Citizen scientists from CZM's Marine Invasive Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC) will be out in full force again this summer, searching for 16 established invaders and seven species threatening to invade the region. Since 2006, MIMIC has served as a marine invasive species early detection and monitoring network for the New England Region, providing critical data to managers through participation with the Massachusetts Aquatic Invasive Species Working Group, the Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel, and the National Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. All data are collected by trained citizen scientists following protocols detailed in Monitoring for Marine Invasive Species: Guidance and Protocols for Volunteer Monitoring Groups. Several trainings were held this spring to prepare citizen scientists to identify the 23 marine invaders and monitor safely and according to protocol. This year, volunteers will be keeping a close watch on two invading shrimp species: the European shrimp Palaemon elegans (PDF, 219 KB) and the Asian shrimp Palaemon macrodactylus (which looks similar to the European shrimp). The European shrimp was first discovered on the North Shore in 2010 and has since spread to southern Maine, while the Asian shrimp was last spotted in the Providence River in Rhode Island in 2010. Both shrimp species can grow to a large size (more than 2.5 inches long), and may compete with native species. All data collected by MIMIC citizen scientists are available to the public through CZM's Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System (MORIS). For more information on MIMIC, and to view monitoring protocols, identification resources, and links, see the Aquatic Invasive Species Program website.
Storm Team Activated to Assess Coastal Damage from Late-Spring Nor'easter
On June 4 and 5, CZM activated the Rapid Response Coastal Storm Damage Assessment Team (Storm Team) after a strong northeaster storm hit the coast. Using StormReporter—an innovative web tool that allows for rapid delivery and archiving of storm damage observations to inform emergency response activities, weather predictions, and project planning—24 members of the Storm Team submitted more than 130 reports on the level of damage observed in 28 coastal communities. These damage reports are provided to Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service, and other agencies. The damage included beach and dune erosion; overwash of sediment and debris on roadways and properties; flooding of low-lying neighborhoods in many communities including Hull, Marshfield, Quincy, Salisbury, Scituate, and South Boston; damage to beach access structures; and flooding of homes. The damage reports provided valuable information that is used by the National Weather Service to refine their forecasts of coastal storm impacts. In addition, the observations and photographs collected by the Storm Team have been added to a database of information used to inform floodplain management.
COASTSWEEP, the state-wide beach cleanup sponsored by CZM and the Urban Harbors Institute at UMass Boston, will celebrate its 25th anniversary in September and October. Volunteers throughout Massachusetts turn out in large numbers each year for this event, which is part of an international campaign organized by The Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC. Participants all over the world collect trash and other marine debris and record what they find, and this information is used to help reduce future marine debris problems. For the 25th anniversary, the goal is to clean up every coastal beach in Massachusetts! Interested in organizing a cleanup? It's easy! All the cleanup supplies (bags, gloves, data cards, pencils, etc.) are provided free of charge, and cleanups can be scheduled at your convenience throughout September and October. To get involved, see the COASTSWEEP website or check out COASTSWEEP on Facebook or Twitter.
MORIS Mapping Tip: Where in the World Is ?
Find just about any place with the Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System, or MORIS, thanks to its use of the powerful Bing Geocode Service. MORIS's "search for a location" tool (located right in the center of the MORIS top tool bar) uses this flexible service to zoom in to just about any place you type in this box. It accepts addresses in a variety of formats, so there's no fumbling over abbreviations. If you don't have an address to search by, try an interesting landmark or place name (e.g., "Fenway Park" or "Battery Wharf"), name of a waterbody (e.g., "Fort Point Channel" or "Salem Harbor"), or maybe a well known neighborhood (e.g., "North End"). You can even use geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude, such as "42 22 01, -71 03 02") from your GPS unit. Try it! You'll never lose your way again. Visit the MORIS website to explore the endless opportunities to find your way.
CZ-Tip: Summer Is for Sea Turtles in Massachusetts
On your ocean explorations this summer and fall, keep a vigilant watch for sea turtles right here in Massachusetts. Though these air breathing, ocean dwelling reptiles nest in more southern climes, four species of sea turtles are found off our shores when the waters are warmer: the Green, Kemp's ridley, Loggerhead, and Leatherback. And even though sea turtles have been around since the age of the dinosaurs, they are vulnerable to modern-day dangers, such as being struck by boats, entangled in fishing gear, or stranded onshore. To learn how to safeguard these spectacular sea creatures, see CZ-Tip - Sharing Coastal Waters with Sea Turtles.
CZM Staff and People
Jay Baker, Mass Bays Executive Director, Moves On - In June, the Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP) Executive Director and long-time CZMer, Jay Baker, departed for wetter pastures. For the last three years, Jay served as the MBP Executive Director, where he led MBP efforts on everything from water quality and habitat restoration to invasive species management and climate change adaptation. Jay started at CZM in 1999, working on the state's coastal nonpoint source program and on wetlands and marine monitoring. He later became lead for that program, as well as CZM's aquatic invasive species program, before taking the Executive Director position at MBP. Although Jay is leaving the CZM/MBP family, he will remain close to the coast as he pursues his aquaculture interests in New Hampshire. CZM and MBP bid a fond farewell to Jay and thank him for his leadership, guidance, and hard work.
Reminders - These opportunities listed in the last CZ-Mail are still available:
- Conservation Grants - EEA's Division of Conservation Services is seeking applications for the fiscal year 2013 Parkland Acquisition and Renovations for Communities (PARC) Program, Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND) Program, and Conservation Partnership Grants. 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. Conservation Partnership Grants provide funds to nonprofit organizations for land acquisitions. Applications for PARC and LAND grants are due by July 12. Conservation Partnership applications are due by July 16.
- NOAA Special Project and Program Funding - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking proposals for its annual Broad Agency Announcement to fund special projects and programs associated with the NOAA's strategic plan and mission goals. This announcement is a mechanism to encourage research, technical projects, or sponsorships (conferences, newsletters) that are not normally funded through competitive discretionary programs. For more information, see the Grants.gov website. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until September 30.
Ocean Policy Report Card - On June 6, the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Leadership Council—a bipartisan collaboration of senior leaders representing a diversity of viewpoints and interests in oceans, including former members of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and Pew Oceans Commission—released the 2012 U.S. Ocean Policy Report Card (PDF, 2.8 MB). This assessment of the nation's progress toward implementing the National Ocean Policy praises state and regional implementation efforts, like the development of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan and the collaborative work done by the Northeast Regional Council, but suggests that overall implementation has fallen short of expectations, calling especially on national leaders to fully implement the National Ocean Policy and for the Senate to act on the Law of the Sea Convention. The report card also identifies 15 specific action steps necessary to ensure the health of ocean resources now and into the future.
Economic Benefits of Healthy Watersheds Fact Sheet - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Healthy Watersheds Initiative has released The Economic Benefits of Protecting Healthy Watersheds, a fact sheet that describes the economic benefits of protecting healthy watersheds by highlighting examples from existing peer-reviewed literature and studies. The fact sheet describes studies that demonstrate that protecting healthy watersheds can reduce capital costs for water treatment plants and reduce damages to property and infrastructure due to flooding, thereby avoiding future costs. The Healthy Watersheds Initiative is intended to protect the nation's remaining healthy watersheds, prevent them from becoming impaired, and accelerate restoration successes.
Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool Report - EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative and Climate Ready Estuaries programs have released Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool Exercise with North Hudson Sewerage Authority and New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program (PDF, 1 MB). This report documents the methodology and outcomes of this exercise to serve as a model for other drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities and National Estuary Programs. The exercise used the Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT), a software tool developed to assist water and wastewater utility owners and operators in understanding potential climate change threats and assessing the related risks at individual utilities. CREAT provides users with access to the most recent national assessment of climate change impacts for use in considering how these changes will impact utility operations and missions.
Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Framework - EPA released the Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework (PDF, 396 KB), which outlines new flexibility to pursue innovative, cost-saving solutions for stormwater and wastewater planning. The framework also highlights the importance of controlling and managing releases of storm and wastewater into the nation's waters. For more information, see the EPA website.
World Bank Environmental Data Report - The World Bank has released The Little Green Data Book 2012, a compilation of environmental data, including data from more than 200 countries on agriculture, forests, climate, energy, water, sanitation, and ocean health.
Massachusetts Bays Window - The latest issue of the Massachusetts Bays Window, the eNewsletter of the Massachusetts Bays Program, highlights projects and activities occurring throughout the five Mass Bays regions, including rainbow smelt in Salem Sound, the history of the Great Marsh, stormwater planning in Salisbury, and other news.
Coastal Management Newsletter - The May 2012 edition of the NOAA Coastal Program Division's Coastal Management News features articles about a waterfront planning in New York, public access and habitat protection in California, sea level rise planning in Delaware, and more.
Sound Waves - The May/June 2012 issue of Sound Waves, the monthly newsletter from U.S. Geological Survey, features articles on methane and climate warming, coastal and marine geosciences data, and other coastal and marine research news.
The Sandbar - The May 2012 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 Endangered Species Act, pesticide limits for fisheries, and other ocean- and coastal-related legal issues.
Marine Ecosystems and Management Information Service - The June/July 2012 edition of Marine Ecosystems and Management, the bimonthly information service on marine ecosystem-based management (EBM) from the University of Washington School of Marine Affairs, features articles on using games to advance coastal and marine management, a new online forum for ocean planning, and other notes and news.
EPA Climate Change Website - EPA's has launched a new look and feel for its Climate Change website, which contains information on the basics and the science of climate change, provides examples of what you can do, and describes EPA climate change efforts. The site also includes sections on: impacts of climate change (organized by region), climate change indicators, adaptation, federal and EPA programs, tools for public officials, news, and more.
Ocean Community - The National Ocean Council's new web portal, Ocean Community, provides support to people engaged in planning for the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. The portal offers the ability to discover and access relevant data as well as tools to view and interpret the data.
EPA Beach Kids - EPA's Beach Kids is an interactive website for kids, which features games, information about beaches, pollution, and safety, along with links to other fun sites for kids.
Locating Offshore Wind Energy Sites Webinar - On July 10, the NOAA Coastal Services Center will host Locating Offshore Wind Energy Sites Using the Habitat Priority Planner, a webinar that will show how to use spatial analysis and the Habitat Priority Planner for offshore energy site planning. The Habitat Priority Planner is a conservation, restoration, and planning decision support tool that provides a means of obtaining critical habitat analyses that are consistent, repeatable, and transparent.
Spill Prevention and Stormwater Compliance Workshop - From July 11-13, a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) and Stormwater Compliance Workshop will be held in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This workshop will discuss SPCC regulations for oil and associated stormwater compliance considerations. Workshop topics will include facility inspections, stormwater pollution prevention plan development, SPCC inspections, the Clean Water Act, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, contingency planning, minimum control measures, and best management practices.
National Coastal Conference—Call for Award Nominations - From October 9-12, the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) will hold its National Coastal Conference in San Diego, California. The theme of the 2012 conference is "Rising to the Challenge," recognizing the increase in challenges to protect and maintain coastal areas. ASBPA is accepting nominations for the 2012 National Coastal Conference Awards. See the Call for Awards (PDF, 52 KB), which are due by August 10.
Swim & Fin Race for Salem Sound - On August 18, Salem Sound Coastwatch will hold the 7th Annual Swim & Fin Race for Salem Sound at Forest River Park in Salem. The event will feature open water swim races for all levels. There will be food, music, and giveaways.
StormCon Conference - The 2012 StormCon, the world's largest conference on stormwater pollution prevention, will be held from August 20-22 in Denver, Colorado. For details, see the StormCon website.
Antique & Classic Boat Festival - From August 25-26, Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem will host the 30th Annual Antique and Classic Boat Festival, which will include exhibits, artists, crafts, and entertainment.
Mudflat Mania - Through August, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold a series of Mudflat Mania walks. Bring a pail, a notebook, and water shoes for a beachside exploration where visitors learn about the fascinating world of animals that live in and on the tidal flats.
Summer Walks in Harwich - The Harwich Conservation Trust has posted its schedule of summer walks. All walks are free and open to the public. See the Trust's website.
Reminders - The following calendar items posted in the last CZ-Mail are still to come:
- The Social Coast Webinar - On July 11, the NOAA Coastal Services Center will host The Social Coast—Social Science, Simply Explained and Applied, a webinar that will present the Social Coast website and provide a guided tour of this new resource and real-world success stories on using demographic and economic data in coastal management. To register, see the Digital Coast Webinar Series website.
- Climate Change Conference - On July 12-13, the 4thInternational Conference on Climate Change, Impacts and Responses, will be held in Seattle, Washington. Topics include climate change and disaster management, impacts of climate change on water resources, climate change education for children, climate change vulnerability related to racial and income disparities, and national mitigation strategies.
- Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop - From July 14-17, the Natural Hazards Center will host the annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop in Bloomfield, Colorado. The three-day workshop is divided into plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, poster sessions, and extracurricular activities.
- First Stewards Symposium - From July 17-20, the First Stewards Symposium: Coastal Peoples Address Climate Change will be held in Washington, DC. Join coastal indigenous elders, leaders, cultural practitioners, scientists and witnesses, as well as non-tribal participants, for the first national symposium addressing the impacts of climate change on coastal indigenous peoples. The symposium dialogue will identify ways indigenous cultures may be able to increase their resilience and adaptability to predicted climate change impacts.
- Summer Cinema by the Sea - On July 24, the Northeastern University's Marine Science Center in Nahant will present Ocean Frontiers. This screening is open to the public and will be held in the Murphy Bunker at the Marine Science Center, 430 Nahant Road, Nahant. Light refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 7:00 p.m.
Other Items of Interest
CZM Website to Join Mass.Gov Portal - The CZM website is undergoing some major renovations so it can be re-launched in the Mass.Gov portal format. In addition to a dramatically different look, the new site will feature improved navigation/organization and stronger links to other state agencies and departments, particularly those within EEA. When the new site goes live, many of the current navigation pathways will be reworked and all URLs will change. Please be patient as we work through any challenges with the transfer. Also, please let us know if there are any links from your website to CZM so that we can help prevent broken links. If you have any questions, can't find something, or wish to report a broken link, please contact CZM's webmaster, Robin Lacey, at email@example.com.
Stellwagen Advisory Council - The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is seeking applicants for 11 seats on its Sanctuary Advisory Council. For more information and to receive an application kit, see the Sanctuary website or contact Elizabeth.Stokes@noaa.gov. Applications are due by July 16.
Salem Sound Photo Contest - Salem Sound Coastwatch is seeking entries for the Salem Sound - A Sense of Place photo contest. Entries to this year-long contest should capture the beauty, essence, nature, and uses of the Salem Sound and its watershed communities of Beverly, Danvers, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Peabody, and Salem in each of the four seasons. The contest runs until March 1, 2013.
Northeast Recreational Boater Survey - SeaPlan has partnered with CZM, the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC), boating industry, UMass, and other state coastal management programs to conduct a 2012 Northeast Recreational Boater Survey as part of its efforts to advance ocean planning throughout the region. The survey will document saltwater recreational boating routes and define boaters' contribution to state and regional economies. In May, 68,000 randomly selected boat owners from New England and New York were invited to participate in the survey. Each month, researchers will ask participants to enter boat trip information onto a mapping website. Data gathered will include details about fishing, wildlife viewing, other activities, and money spent from each trip. Results will directly support coastal and ocean management by bringing more comprehensive and spatially accurate information into planning and decision making. Sponsors, such as the Massachusetts Marine Trade Association and boat manufacturer Grady White, have provided incentive prizes for participants, including a grand prize of $5,000. Boaters that did not receive an invitation in the mail are encouraged to participate in a separate volunteer survey. The full survey and volunteer version are available on the SeaPlan website.