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 email@example.com. 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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Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Body Holds Second Meeting
On April 12 and 13, the second meeting of the Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Body was held in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Under the National Ocean Policy, the Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Body is charged with leading a cooperative effort to build partnerships and improve management, siting, and regulatory decisions affecting coastal and ocean resources and uses. The main focus of meeting was the development of draft goals for regional ocean planning, affirming a strong commitment to stakeholder engagement and public input, discussions regarding mechanisms for such participation, and the review of a draft charter and timeline. At the meeting, the Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Body—comprised of representatives of the six New England states, 10 federal agencies, and 10 tribes—received updates on ongoing efforts underway to engage with marine industry representatives from energy, aquaculture, and maritime commerce sectors, as well as on work to characterize patterns of activities like commercial fishing and recreational boating. Throughout the two-day meeting, there were several opportunities for public input, and the Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Body heard from a number of stakeholders and interested parties. Public meetings are being planned for May and June to review the draft goals and action and present maps and industry engagement summaries for feedback and discussion. Meetings will be held in each state, with four in Massachusetts, which will combine both the Northeast regional effort and Massachusetts-specific ocean plan review and revisions, as described below. Dates, venues, and other information for these meetings is available on the Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Body website.
Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan: Review and Revisions
In January, on behalf of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), CZM initiated a process to review the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan according to the requirements of the 2008 Oceans Act. A draft review document that reports on progress made to date and opportunities for enhancement has been developed and reviewed by the Ocean Advisory Commission and Ocean Science Advisory Council. As an important part of the review, SeaPlan (formerly the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership) recently completed an independent, third party effort that sought input and views from the state's two ocean plan advisory bodies and synthesized this feedback in a report that will be included in the plan review document. The last phase of the review process will be to seek input from stakeholders through public comment on the draft plan review document and through dialogue at four public meetings in June to be held in conjunction with the Northeast regional ocean planning initiative (described above). The public meetings will also serve as an initial venue to present the scope of proposed revisions to the plan. Notices of the meetings will be provided on CZM's website, in local newspapers, the Environmental Monitor, and on the Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Body website. The Massachusetts meeting schedule is:
- Boston - Thursday, June 6, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the US Environmental Protection Agency Region 1 Building, Memorial Hall (First Floor), 5 Post Office Square, Boston.
- New Bedford - Monday, June 17, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the New Bedford Library, Main Meeting Room, 613 Pleasant Street, New Bedford.
- Gloucester - Tuesday, June 18, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Endicott College's Gloucester Campus, Main Meeting Room, 33 Commercial Street, Gloucester.
- Barnstable - Wednesday, June 19, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Barnstable County Complex, Harborview Conference Room, 3195 Main Street, Barnstable.
Final National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan Released
In April, the National Ocean Council realized a key benchmark with the release of the final National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan, which describes specific actions that federal agencies will take to address key ocean challenges. Developed collaboratively by the agencies of the National Ocean Council and based on the work initiated by the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force in 2009, the Implementation Plan provides clear direction to federal agencies and increased specificity to partners and stakeholders. The Implementation Plan incorporates suggestions from public input received on the draft, including support for state and regional involvement and input, and the development of more and better information related to ocean conditions. The plan and accompanying press release and fact sheet are available on the National Ocean council website.
Report on the 2010 Rapid Assessment Survey
From July 24-August 1, 2010, an expert team of taxonomists were on the hunt for marine invasive species throughout New England as part of the Rapid Assessment Survey (RAS). The RAS, coordinated by CZM and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sea Grant program, has occurred roughly every three years since 2000 and provides an opportunity to discover new marine invaders through a close inspection of flora and fauna. (See these ID cards for examples of established and potential invaders in Massachusetts coastal waters.) The Report on the 2010 Rapid Assessment Survey of Marine Species at New England Floating Docks and Rocky Shores (PDF, 9.9 MB) provides an overview of the non-native and cryptogenic species (species with as of yet unresolved origins) found at 20 sites from Rhode Island to Maine during the 2010 survey. The 2013 Rapid Assessment Survey is also in the works for this summer, so stay tuned!
Maximize MORIS Mapping: Customize Data Layer Symbology
With more than 600 data layers and 10 basemap options available in MORIS (the Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System), there are hundreds of possible combinations for viewing. With all these images being layered over each other, you may occasionally find that the symbology (the symbols that show the data onscreen) doesn't quite work. For example, the default symbology of a data layer may stand out when viewed over the Google Roadmap, but tend to blend into the background when using the Bing Aerial basemap. If this happens, you can adjust the symbology of most data layers to make the map easier to read. To change the symbology, right-click a data layer's name in the "Active Data Layers" window, move the cursor over "Choose a color" to view a menu of color options, and select one of the colors. The data layer will be redrawn with the chosen color. To change back to the original symbology, right-click the data layer's name in the "Active Data Layers" window and click "Revert to original symbology." If you are viewing overlapping data layers, you can adjust the transparency of an active data layer. Simply right-click a data layer's name in the "Active Data Layers" window and use the opacity slider. Slide the button toward 0% to make the layer more transparent and toward 100% to make it more opaque.
CZ-Tip - Search the Seashore for Sunken Ships this Spring
The next time you walk the beach in search of strange things washed up from this winter's intense storms, keep a watchful eye for half-buried timbers and other artifacts from long-ago shipwrecks. Every year, evidence of archeological finds from under the sea is either washed up or uncovered by winter waves and tides. Given that the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR) estimates that more than 3,000 vessels have wrecked off the Massachusetts coast, there is a true treasure trove of material to be discovered. And though some of these objects are seemingly quite ordinary (e.g., a piece of wood), they should be handled with care—any find has the potential to be an important piece of maritime history. To learn more about the importance of underwater archeological finds, who is responsible for protecting them, and how to safeguard these potential treasures, see CZ-Tip - Uncovering Maritime History at the Shore.
Conservation Grants - EEA's Division of Conservation Services (DCS) is seeking applications for the fiscal year 2014 Conservation Assistance for Small Communities, Parkland Acquisition and Renovations for Communities (PARC), Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND), and Conservation Partnership grants. Conservation Assistance grants provide reimbursement funding to small municipalities to prepare Open Space and Recreation Plans and/or appraisals (requirements for other DCS grant programs). PARC grants help communities to acquire parkland, develop new parks, and renovate existing parks. LAND grants provide funds to municipal conservation commissions for the purchase of conservation land and conservation restrictions. Conservation Partnership grants provide funds to nonprofit organizations for land acquisitions. Conservation Assistance applications are due by May 31, PARC and LAND grants applications are due by July 17, and Conservation Partnership applications are due by July 22.
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants - The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) are inviting communities, state agencies, and tribal governments and territories to submit applications for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. These competitive grants assist applicants with hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of hazard mitigation projects to reduce or eliminate the loss of life and property due to natural hazards. In May and June, DCR and MEMA will hold several briefings for potential applicants to explain applicant eligibility requirements, the types of projects that are eligible, and the non-federal cost-share. They will also offer technical assistance meetings to provide applicants an opportunity to discuss their specific project proposal and ask questions of the State Hazard Mitigation Team. CZM strongly encourages all potential applicants to attend one of these sessions. For complete grant details, see the MEMA website. Full applications are due by August 30.
Small Shipyard Grants - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration is seeking applications from small shipyards. Under this program, grants are available to qualified shipyards for capital and related infrastructure improvements that will facilitate efficiency, competitive operations, and quality ship construction, repair, and reconfiguration. For details, see the Federal Register Notice. Applications are due by May 28.
National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking proposals for the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program to fund the protection and restoration of coastal wetlands. Projects can include acquisition of coastal lands or waters or restoration, enhancement, or management of coastal wetland ecosystems. For details, see the 2014 Grant Notice (PDF, 201 KB). Applications are due by June 28.
Hurricane Sandy Research Grants - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is seeking applications for research grants to study lessons learned during Hurricane Sandy recovery. State and local governments, schools, nonprofits, and higher education institutions are eligible for grants of up to $500,000. Topics of research could include community resilience, long-term recovery, health system response, and social media use. For more information or to apply, see the GrantSolutions.gov website. Applications are due by May 20.
Reminders - This opportunity, listed in the last CZ-Mail, is still available:
- §319 Grants - 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 on the Comm-PASS website. Search for document number "BRP 2013-03." For more information about past §319 projects, see MassDEP's website. Proposals are due by May 31.
Community Rating System Manual - The Community Rating System Coordinators Manual has been updated for 2013. The Community Rating System (CRS) rewards communities that are doing more than meeting the minimum National Flood Insurance Program requirements to help citizens prevent or reduce flood losses. The CRS also provides an incentive for communities to initiate new flood protection activities. This manual is a guidebook for the CRS and provides criteria for CRS classification.
Coastal Climate Adaptation Planning Tools - The Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) Tools Network has released Tools for Coastal Climate Adaptation Planning: A Guide for Selecting Tools to Assist with Ecosystem-based Climate Planning, a guide designed to assist practitioners responsible for understanding and preparing for climate-related effects on ecosystems. The guide focuses on software and web-based applications that leverage geospatial information to help professionals account for the health and well-being of ecosystems and human communities in projects and plans.
Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Wetlands Loss Study - The World Bank has released Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Wetlands: Impacts and Costs, a study that warns that a one-meter rise in sea levels from climate change could destroy more than 60 percent of the developing world's coastal wetlands.
Mercury in Coastal and Marine Ecosystems - The Coastal and Marine Mercury Ecosystem Research Collaborative at Dartmouth College has published Sources to Seafood: Mercury Pollution in the Marine Environment, a report that synthesizes 11 papers that discuss the factors affecting mercury cycling in ocean systems; related policy and low level effects on human health; and offer fish consumption advice.
Coastal Wetland Reviews - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released four Coastal Wetland Review Reports that provide the results of meetings with stakeholders in coastal watersheds throughout the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The reviews provide information on coastal wetland stressors, local protection strategies, and key gaps that, if addressed, could help reverse the trend of wetland loss.
Marine Spatial Planning Videos - Rhode Island Sea Grant has completed a four-part video series on Marine Spatial Planning. The series explores ocean planning with practitioners from around the world. Topics include the ocean economy, renewable energy, fisheries, and marine spatial planning.
Gulf of Maine Times - The March 2013 edition of the Gulf of Maine Times features articles on planning for climate change, local energy utility plans for severe weather, and other Gulf of Maine news.
Sound Waves - The March/April 2013 issue of Sound Waves, the monthly newsletter from the U.S. Geological Survey, features articles on complex food webs in Puget Sound, gas hydrate research, and other coastal and marine research news.
Newswave - The winter 2013 issue of NEWSWAVE, the quarterly newsletter on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes activities from the U.S. Department of the Interior, features articles on Superstorm Sandy, coastal change on Fire Island, New York, and other ocean and coastal news.
Marine Ecosystems and Management Information Service - The April/May 2013 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 a marine activities and compatibility with EBM, marine spatial planning tools, and other notes and news.
Text MAMA for Mobile Alerts - The National Weather Service's Mobile Alert Messaging Application (MAMA) provides mobile alerts on the latest weather in your area. Just text your zip code and you will receive a text when there is severe weather in your area. Alerts include winter storms; marine, coastal, and tropical weather; hydrological events; and fire-related weather. To set it up, just text your zip code to 56149.
Ocean Science - Ocean Science is a free iPhone educational application developed by Ringier Studios that provides a journey deep into the sea. Users can learn and enjoy seven principles of ocean science with movies, 360° pictures, animations, and motion graphics.
Please note: All official CZM requests for public comment are published in the Public Notices section of the Environmental Monitor, the bi-weekly publication from the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) office. Available opportunities for public comment from other agencies and organizations are provided below:
Dam and Seawall Repair or Removal Fund Public Hearings - On May 21, EEA will hold public hearings in Boston and Scituate on the proposed regulations Provisions for Administration of the Dam and Seawall Repair or Removal Fund, 301 CMR 15.00 (PDF, 102 KB). The Boston hearing is from 10 a.m. to noon in the 2nd Floor Conference Room D at 100 Cambridge Street. The Scituate hearing is from 2-4 p.m. in the Selectmen Hearing Room at Scituate Town Hall, 600 Chief Justice Cushing Way. Testimony may be presented orally or in writing at each hearing, or submitted by May 29 to John Clarkeson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminders - These comment opportunities, posted in the last CZ-Mail, are still available:
- Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations: Berkley, Dighton, Fall River, Freetown, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, and Swansea - FEMA is seeking comments on the proposed Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) for the following coastal communities: Berkley, Dighton, Fall River, Freetown, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, and Swansea. The BFEs are the basis for the floodplain management measures that a community must adopt to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. The preliminary FIRMs for the proposed BFEs are available at each community's town hall. Submit comments, identified by Docket No. FEMA-B-1296, by June 4 to Luis Rodriguez at Luis.Rodriguez3@fema.dhs.gov.
COASTSWEEP Intern - CZM is seeking applicants for a COASTSWEEP marketing and social media intern with strong written and verbal communication skills to optimize Massachusetts's role and visibility in the annual beach cleanup. The goal of this internship is to increase volunteer participation, event sponsorship, and public awareness of the hazards of marine debris. Duties will include developing and implementing a marketing and social media strategy, identifying and contacting potential sponsors for in-kind donations, planning a kickoff cleanup for COASTSWEEP, identifying and contacting local print and radio outlets to run public service announcements, and updating and informing past, current, and potential future COASTSWEEP volunteers through a variety of social media. Applications are due by May 15.
Marine Invasive Species Intern - CZM is seeking a graduate-level student intern to assist with the upcoming August Rapid Assessment Survey (RAS) for marine invasive species and to support efforts of the CZM Aquatic Invasive Species Program. The RAS, coordinated by CZM and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sea Grant program, utilizes a team of taxonomic experts to survey marine species at floating docks and piers across New England. The surveys have occurred roughly every three years since 2000 and provide an excellent opportunity to discover new marine invaders. See the results of the 2010 survey (PDF, 9.9 MB). This is a paid, part-time position located primarily in Boston with some fieldwork and travel (average 15 hours a week, with one full-time week in August during the survey). The anticipated start date is July 7 with an end date of January 4, 2014. Experience with fieldwork and knowledge of the marine species of the northwest Atlantic is preferred. Also, applicants must be currently enrolled in a degree program. Applications are due by May 15.
Ocean Health Lecture - On May 9, the New England Aquarium will present How Healthy Is the World's Ocean? by Ben Halpern, Director, Center for Marine Assessment and Planning, and researcher, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California-Santa Barbara. The lead scientist for the Ocean Health Index project, Halpern will present results from an initial data assessment and dive deep into what the results mean—how countries compare to each other, what goes into the index, and how the planet is doing.
Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle - On May 19, the Mystic River Watershed Association will hold the 2013 Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle. The day's events include a 5K run/walk race, three paddling races (3, 9, and 12 miles), educational booths, children's activities, and more.
Summer Cinema by the Sea - This spring and summer, the Northeastern University's Marine Science Center in Nahant will hold a free film series of marine-related documentaries. The series will kick off on May 21 with National Geographic's Dawn of the Ocean. All screenings are 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.
Sustaining Coastal Cities Conference - From May 22-23, the College of Science at Northeastern University will host Sustaining Coastal Cities, a conference on the critical role and fragile state of marine ecosystems. This conference will bring together international experts who will focus on marine ecosystems and the state of marine fisheries. May 22 will feature the free evening lecture, Overview of Challenges Facing Marine Ecosystems, by Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. On May 23, the full-day conference will officially launch the Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative at Northeastern, a science and policy center committed to generating research and developing solutions toward the sustainability of city coastal regions.
BUAR Public Meeting - On May 30 at 1:30 p.m., CZM's Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources will hold its bi-monthly public meeting at CZM's Boston Office in the Large Conference Room. The preliminary agenda includes discussion/approval of minutes for the March 28 meeting, one isolated find exemption, and discussion of permittee, outreach and research activities. For more information, contact BUAR Director, Victor Mastone, at email@example.com.
World Oceans Day - World Oceans Day is June 8 and activities celebrating oceans and coasts are held across the world throughout June. The 2013 theme is Together we have the power to protect the ocean. See the World Oceans Day website to view or submit events.
Floodplain Management Conference - From June 9-14, the Association of State Floodplain Managers will hold its 37th Annual National Conference, Remembering the Past - Insuring the Future, in Hartford, Connecticut. Presentations are invited that address the many issues and problems associated with managing flood risk, reducing flood damages, making communities more sustainable, and protecting floodplains and fragile natural resources.
Environmental Business Council Awards - On June 12, the Environmental Business Council (EBC) will hold the 23rd annual Meeting and Awards Celebration in Boston. Each year, EBC recognizes companies, organizations, and individuals for outstanding environmental/energy accomplishments in the promotion of a sustainable, clean environment through this awards celebration.
Rising Seas Summit - From June 18-20, the inaugural Rising Seas Summit, Understanding Sea Level Rise in the Face of Extreme Events and an Uncertain Economy, will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Join professionals from national and local government, industry, academic institutions and environmental organization to discuss the interrelationships between sea level rise, climate change, and extreme events.
AWRA Summer Conferences - In June, the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) will hold two conferences in Hartford, Connecticut, for scientists, practitioners, policy makers, managers, teachers, students, community advocates, and other water resources professionals. From June 24-25, the Summer Specialty Conference on Environmental Flows will be held, followed by Healthy Forests = Healthy Waters from June 27-28.
Hazus Conference—Call for Abstracts - From August 5-7, the sixth annual Hazus Conference will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Hazus is a nationally applicable, standardized methodology that contains models for estimating potential losses from earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. Participants can submit abstracts on innovative Hazus related applications such as the use of Hazus for flood, earthquake, and hurricane studies; international applications of Hazus; applications of Hazus in high school as well as post secondary education service, teaching, and research; and enhancements of Hazus hazard and exposure inputs. Submit abstracts to Dave Coats at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 25.
Fish Passage Conference - From June 25-27, the International Conference on Engineering and Ecohydrology for Fish Passage will be held at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. Fish Passage 2013 is a national forum on fish passage issues for researchers and practitioners with sessions in engineering, biology, management, and social issues.
Water Education Conference - From August 7-9, the Project WET Foundation will hold the 2013 Water Education Conference in Denver, Colorado. The goal of the conference is to increase the knowledge and capacity of participants to effectively provide water education to children, parents, educators, and communities.
Wetlands and Rivers Month Calendar - May is Wetlands Month and June is Rivers Month. This online calendar (PDF 1.1 MB), prepared by the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, lists related events in, on, and along the rivers and wetlands of Massachusetts. These events extend through July 4.
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.
Wednesday Walks - On Wednesdays through May, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold a series of walks with naturalist Connie Boyce. For details, see the museum calendar.
Barnstable Land Trust Walks and Talks - Throughout the spring, the Barnstable Land Trust will hold numerous events as part of its Walks & Talks nature series. For details, see the Barnstable Land Trust website.
Reminders - The following calendar items posted in the last CZ-Mail are still to come:
- Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference - From May 14-15, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission will hold the 24th annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference in Burlington, Vermont. This conference is the premier forum in the Northeast for sharing information and improving communication on nonpoint source pollution issues and projects.
- Boating Safety Course - Through July 20, the Massachusetts Environmental Police will offer Boat Massachusetts, a free, state and nationally approved boating safety course for boaters age 12 and older, which concentrates on the equipment and operating guidelines needed to enjoy boating in a safe and responsible way.
Other Items of Interest
Rachel Carson Contest - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is calling for submissions to the seventh 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 five categories—poetry, essay, dance, photography, songwriting, and mixed media. Submissions are due by June 10.
Cape Cod Field Schools - Through November, Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is offering a variety of 2-, 3-, and 4-day field courses for adults that focus on the unique coastal environment and wildlife of Cape Cod. Cape Cod Field Schools emphasize active, outdoor, "in-the-field" experiences and are taught by professional naturalists and scientists.
Coastal Ocean Science Academy - The Northeastern University Marine Science Center in Nahant is accepting applications for the 2013 Coastal Ocean Science Academy, a two-week summer experience held from August 12-23 that is open to students entering grades 9-12. Participants experience firsthand diverse New England coastal habitats and marine resources, engaging in hands-on research and inquiry activities.