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Federally-Funded Post-Graduate Fellow is Working with Local Groups to Advance Environmental Planning for Great Marsh
November , 1998
Katie Busse has begun working with Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management to support the extensive efforts being conducted by a variety of North Shore groups to develop a resource management approach for Great Marsh, which covers 25,500 acres in Essex, Gloucester, Ipswich, Newbury, Rowley, and Salisbury. Ms. Busse is one of only seven people from around the nation who was selected to receive a Coastal Management Fellowship through this federal program. Massachusetts successfully competed with dozens of other states to host a full-time post-graduate Fellow, who is funded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Services Center. For the next two years, Ms. Busse will provide these North Shore communities with hands-on staff support and will assist local officials, volunteers, and nonprofit organizations that are currently working together to protect the Great Marsh.
"The people in the Great Marsh area clearly have the vision and the commitment to protect this tremendous environmental and recreational resource," said Peg Brady, Director of Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management (MCZM). "With Katie on board, the state can better support local efforts and enhance regional coordination to ensure long-term resource management for the Great Marsh."
Ms. Busse has a Masters in Marine Resource Management from Oregon State University, where she specialized in transferring Geographic Information System (GIS) data and techniques to resource managers, policy makers, and the public. She recently completed an internship at the Coastal Services Center where she developed a coastal GIS-training program that will be used around the country. She also developed two CD-ROMs that are step-by-step guides to watershed management for policy makers and local officials. She has a B.S. in Ecology from the University of Illinois.
"I'm extremely excited to work with Katie, who was by far our first choice as a Coastal Fellow," said Andrea Cooper, MCZM North Shore Regional Coordinator. "Her confidence, focus, determination, and creativity will be a tremendous asset to MCZM and our work with North Shore Areas of Critical Environmental Concern."
"I am looking forward to working with the various groups involved in this North Shore ACEC," said Ms. Busse. "I hope that my experience and efforts will further the work that's already been done to protect natural resources throughout the region."
The Great Marsh is the largest continuous stretch of salt marsh north of Long Island, New York, and includes the Parker River/Essex Bay Area of Critical Environmental Concern, which is a specially-designated area with a higher standards of environmental protection because of its significant natural resources.
As part of this project, Ms. Busse will collect and catalogue information about natural resources, local and regional goals, and existing municipal planning approaches. This information will then be used to develop resource management strategies and local implementation tools. In addition, she will help develop an outreach program to increase public awareness and local support for long-term management efforts in wetland restoration, land protection, water quality improvement, and fisheries/shellfish restoration. During the project, the process will be documented as a model for other similar areas in the state and nationwide. In the final phase of the project, the model will also be applied to Rumney Marshes and refined to test how well it can be applied to urban areas. Through these efforts, the local communities will receive technical assistance, tools, and maps to further the protection of significant environmental resources.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center
Fellowship Program, which is in its fourth year, works to match selected state coastal zone
management programs with outstanding students who have completed a masters, doctoral, or
professional degree program in coastal, marine, or Great-Lakes related studies.