Year in Review - 2005
(Published January 2006)
Welcome to the 2005 review of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management's (CZM) major accomplishments. The next regular edition of CZ-Mail will be in February. 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. For daily updates from CZM, please follow us on Twitter.
2005 in Review
This past year was challenging and productive for CZM and our partners in coastal management. Coastal issues were always in the news. Whether it was red tide closing shellfish beds, or storms battering the shore, 2005 was an interesting year. It has also been a year of change, reflection, and refocusing of CZM priorities. In March, Acting Director Susan Snow-Cotter was appointed Director of CZM, and Assistant Director Deerin Babb-Brott was appointed Director of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office, which serves as the lead agency for the Commonwealth's environmental review process. Deerin's coastal knowledge will prove invaluable to MEPA and its review of many energy oriented proposals-projects such as the Cape Wind offshore wind farm, and several Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal proposals. In December, Bruce Carlisle, CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program Coordinator, was appointed Assistant Director of CZM.
Through all this change, CZM continued to address the issues important to Commonwealth's coast and began to plan for the future. Under the leadership of Snow-Cotter, three priority areas emerged to guide CZM's future efforts-Ocean Management, Coastal and Marine Habitat Management, and Land Use Management. A suite of programs and projects in each area will challenge CZM staff, while forwarding CZM's mission. This edition of CZ-Mail highlights our accomplishments in 2005, provides news and information about CZM programs and regions, and discusses the notable achievements of our partners.
CZM would like to thank all of the people and organizations that contribute their time, effort, and passion to working on issues important to the Massachusetts coast. It has been a pleasure to work with you over the past year, and we look forward to a positive and productive year in 2006.
Ocean Management Legislation Progresses
On December 12, Senate 529, An Act Relative to Oceans, was favorably reported out of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture and is currently pending in the legislature. This proposed legislation will allow for more proactive and effective management of Massachusetts ocean resources, by authorizing state agencies to develop a statewide Ocean Management Plan to manage, develop, and protect natural and economic ocean resources within state waters. The proposed bill is the first of its kind in the United States, and is in response to the recommendation from the Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force for comprehensive ocean management. Get updates and a history on the bill, go to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Legislative Tracking System and search for "S. 529."
Coastal Hazards Commission Launched
The national media continue to focus on the devastation and the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. Here in Massachusetts, the Governor and the Legislature have asked EOEA, through CZM, to launch a Coastal Hazards Commission. This Commission will be charged with characterizing the Commonwealth's vulnerability to coastal hazards (coastal storms, erosion, sea level rise, storm surge, etc.); evaluating the adequacy of coastal hazards data, and tools, regulations, as well as best management practices for development in coastal flood or erosion prone areas; and developing a coastal hazards assessment for the South Shore. In addition, the Commission will evaluate management approaches to coastal hazards, including: existing seawall repair, removal, or replacement with alternatives; beach nourishment, including an evaluation of offshore sand mining for such purposes; coastal retreat, including infrastructure relocation and private property acquisition; market based influences and incentives/disincentives (insurance, etc.); and hazard mitigation planning. The Commission will begin its work in early 2006. The February edition of CZ-Mail will provide an update on the Commission's activities.
New England Hit with the Largest Red Tide Bloom on Record
In May, due to the spread of toxic red tide, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) took action to prohibit the harvesting, sale, or possession of shellfish from a large portion of the Commonwealth's coastal waters. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries Service) then took emergency action to close a portion of federal waters off the coasts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. This was the largest bloom in New England history and warranted a public health emergency. Some areas still remain closed to shellfishing. Go to the DMF Website for the latest information about red tide in Massachusetts, including opening notices, an up-to-date map of the open areas, and a red tide information page containing details about current and planned monitoring and response efforts. While no one could have predicted the scope of the red tide's impact, the unprecedented response efforts of DMF, the Department of Public Health, local shellfish officers, NOAA Fisheries Service, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority ensured that public health was not threatened by the outbreak.
Aquatic Invasive Species Program
- CZM Launches Marine Invasive Species Monitoring Network - The invasion of nonindigenous (introduced) species has emerged as one of the leading environmental threats to coastal and marine habitats and resources. Early detection of new introductions is critical to preventing further loss of biodiversity, negative impacts to coastal and marine industries, and costly control programs. In 2006, CZM will initiate a marine invasive species monitoring network to enhance early detection efforts. The network will be based on a pilot monitoring program, conducted in 2003 and 2004 by Salem Sound Coastwatch (SSCW). Through this pilot program, SSCW and CZM produced materials for the development of a monitoring network including a set of 20 marine invasive species identification cards, a monitoring protocol, and a web-based Marine Introduced Species Monitoring Resource Center. Trained volunteers and nonprofit organizations will collect information for CZM about current locations, abundance, and characteristics of these nonindigenous species in Massachusetts marine and coastal areas. Data generated through this project will provide a better understanding of the pathways of species introduction and the associated ecological impacts.
Coastal ACEC Program
- Coastal ACEC Grants Announced - CZM's Coastal Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) Grant Program provides funding to groups working on stewardship projects in coastal ACECs. In 2005 the Coastal ACEC program awarded $25,000 to four projects that benefit resource management, stewardship, and partnerships within coastal ACECs. On November 15, the EOEA Secretary hosted an event at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum to honor the 2005 recipients. The Coastal ACEC Stewardship Grant Program was established by CZM in 2002 in its cooperative role with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
Coastal and Ocean Habitat Program
- Coastlines Winter 2004-2005 - Released in February, this annual CZM magazine provides in-depth coverage of ocean-related issues. This edition focuses on the importance of coastal and marine habitats-from the soft coral at the depths beyond the reach of state waters to the sand dunes rising above the shore. Go to the Coastlines web page to view this issue and links to the Coastlines archives. Hardcopies are also available by emailing email@example.com.
- CZM/USGS Seafloor Mapping Initiative - CZM and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) continue the successful cooperative, which started in 2003, to map the seafloor throughout Massachusetts. Maps are complete or near-complete for Boston Harbor and coastal waters of the North Shore (Nahant to Gloucester). A cruise to collect geophysical data and underwater observations was completed in September 2005 for Ipswich Bay, with maps expected by the end of 2006. The results of these mapping projects will provide a contiguous map of the seafloor environment from the New Hampshire border to south of Boston out to Stellwagen Bank and Jeffreys ledge. The goal of this initiative is to produce high-resolution maps of seafloor topography and geology. The maps include bathymetry, shaded relief, and interpretations of seafloor geology data. CZM and USGS are now planning to continue mapping on the South Shore and western Cape Cod Bay. Also, for additional information about this project, see the USGS project page. A March 2006 workshop is being planned. Stay tuned to CZ-Mail for additional details.
Coastal Geology Program
- Coastal Hazards Characterization - CZM selected Applied Coastal Research and Engineering, Inc. to develop a South Shore Coastal Hazards Characterization Atlas, which will provide information to South Shore decision makers for review of projects on ocean-facing shorelines from Hull through Plymouth to the Cape Cod Canal. As funding permits, EOEA and CZM plan to expand the study area and characterize additional regions along the Massachusetts coastline. When completed, the Atlas will consist of a series of maps displaying summarized Geographic Information System (GIS) data layers depicting general shoreline characteristics that, taken together, will set the physical context for the review of proposed coastal projects. Key data layers will include: littoral cell definition; updated shoreline change maps using a 2001 shoreline; generalized shoreline geomorphology; regional patterns of sediment transport (coastal processes); engineered (armored) shorelines; repetitive loss patterns; storm susceptibility; and regional tide ranges and relative sea level rise implications. The project is scheduled for completion and internal review in January 2006 and will be made available as a web-based document in the late spring.
- Notification Filed for Siasconset Shore Protection Project - Proponents of the Siasconset Shore Protection Project on Nantucket filed an Environmental Notification Form (ENF) with EOEA in February. The proposed project is designed to protect the southeastern corner of Nantucket Island from the effects of aggressive coastal erosion, specifically by widening Siasconset Beach by 200-250 feet and increasing its elevation by at least 10 feet. The project proposal includes a plan to dredge 1.6-2.4 million cubic yards of sand from an offshore site, pump the sediment onto a two to three mile section of the beach, and install sand retaining devices and a large geotextile tube filled with sand at the base of the existing coastal bank. Go to the MEPA Website for more information about this project.
Coastal Smart Growth Program
- Coastal Smart Growth Website Launched - Stormwater runoff polluting shellfish beds and swimming areas, sprawling development shrinking habitats and displacing working waterfront businesses, and water use for expanding lawns leading to rivers running dry-these and other coastal management issues have a common link-historic and current development patterns. Recognizing the connection between land and sea, CZM's new Coastal Smart Growth Website includes planning, technical, regulatory, and outreach tools for real-world growth management that protects coastal resources.
- Smart Growth Toolkit - EOEA has completed a Smart Growth Toolkit. Available online and as a CD, the Toolkit presents new methods to guide and promote sustainable and environmentally sound development and growth. Case studies are included to illustrate the broad range of smart growth techniques that transform traditional sprawl development patterns into innovative development designs that integrate housing and transportation needs with environmental protection.
- Smart Growth Conference - The first Massachusetts Smart Growth Conference was held this fall in Worcester, with more than a dozen sessions on Smart Growth topics including Open Space Residential Design, Low Impact Development (LID), Transit Oriented Development, and Mixed-Use Zoning. The highlight of the conference was the release of the Smart Growth Toolkit, which puts information on 12 different Smart Growth techniques into the hands of local officials, developers, and others that can implement the recommended practices.
- IKEA LID - In February, 2004, the furniture retailer IKEA proposed a 366,275 square foot store in Stoughton. Although not in the coastal zone, this project provided an opportunity to implement LID techniques in a high visibility site. A green roof on the IKEA building could capture and filter up to 75 percent of the rooftop runoff, significantly reducing the land area needed for traditional stormwater management devices, meaning that 30 percent of the original site plan could remain undisturbed. In addition, a green roof's vegetation layer improves the energy performance of a building—heating and cooling are much more efficient. CZM contacted IKEA company officials directly about "going green," while others in the LID Working Group wrote encouraging LID practices. These efforts were a success. This new IKEA, with its 37,000 square foot green roof, opened in November.
- Low Impact Development DVD - The Massachusetts Edition of the first national Low Impact Development (LID) film includes a 30 minute "Reining in the Storm" film showcasing the work of 21 LID pioneers and their projects. The Massachusetts edition also includes a 15 minute film that highlights statewide LID projects and includes a number of LID model bylaws and outreach and technical assistance materials. The Commonwealth's portion of the DVD was produced by the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, in partnership with CZM.
- CZM Funds Lawrence LID Project as Urban Model - Groundwork Lawrence (GWL), an organization dedicated to the improvement of parks, open space, and riverways in the City of Lawrence, was awarded funding for a LID project through CZM's Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant Program. With the assistance of CZM and the Natural Resource Conservation Service, GWL will design a community garden and explore stormwater management methods at an affordable housing development site. The comprehensive plan for the site will include LID techniques designed to minimize nonpoint source pollution and maximize natural resource protection. The project will serve as a model project for implementing LID in an urban setting, highlighting the importance of a collaborative planning process.
Coastal Water Quality Protection
- Coastal NPS Grants - In 2005, CZM awarded over $300,000 to 14 recipients through the Coastal Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Grant Program, which provides funding to public and nonprofit organizations for projects that improve coastal water quality. Projects included assessment of nonpoint sources of pollution, development of transferable tools for NPS control, and design and implementation of innovative demonstration projects.
- CPR Grants - In December, CZM's Coastal Pollution Remediation (CPR) Grant Program distributed $646,925 to eight coastal communities for stormwater remediation and boat sewage collection. Funded projects include a number of stormwater treatment installations and the installation of a dockside vessel pumpout station.
- Coastal Monitoring Grants Awarded - In November, CZM awarded Coastal Monitoring Grants totaling $90,000 to nine organizations for the collection of coastal water quality data. The Coastal Monitoring Grants Program funds environmental monitoring and assessment efforts in coastal wetlands and water bodies to improve the management, protection, and restoration of important coastal habitats and natural resources.
- Boaters' Guide to Tide and Pumpout Facilities - Each year CZM and DMF produce the Boaters' Guide to Tide and Pumpout Facilities. The wallet-sized pamphlet, printed on waterproof paper, contains information on the locations of pumpout facilities along the Massachusetts coastline and a June-September tide chart. The 2006 Guide will be available in the spring.
- COASTSWEEP 2005 - The 18th annual COASTSWEEP, the statewide annual beach cleanup sponsored by CZM and the Urban Harbors Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, was held in September and October. Thousands of volunteers removed trash from hundreds of miles of Massachusetts coast. In total, 2,151 volunteers participated in 101 cleanups. For more information about the COASTSWEEP effort and the marine debris collected, go to CZM's COASTSWEEP Website.
- CZM Activates Coastal Storm Team for May Northeaster - CZM activated the Rapid Response Coastal Storm Team for the northeaster that hit at the end of May. A moderate coastal storm was forecast for May 25-26 that had the potential for significant coastal flooding and a likelihood of structural damage. The Storm Team members were each tasked to survey a segment of the coastline and report the degree of flooding, storm damage, and erosion to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) in Framingham. The feedback from the Storm Team provided valuable information to MEMA, allowing for more coordinated and targeted emergency response, during and after the storm event. The hardest hit areas of the coast included Scituate, Marshfield, Duxbury, Hull, Winthrop, Newbury, and Salisbury.
- CZM Maintains Active Role in State Emergency Management - As CZM and EOEA's MEMA representative, Joe Pelczarski provides a coastal and environmental perspective to the variety of emergencies that occur in the Commonwealth. In this role, Joe is one of many state workers on call to staff the MEMA bunker in Framingham in response to all types of declared emergencies that may not necessitate Storm Team activation. In 2005, Joe was activated for nine events. While most events are weather related, MEMA was also activated for a January terror threat in Boston and to tackle the red tide outbreak in June. For more information about MEMA's role in emergency management, go to the MEMA Website.
Project/Federal Consistency Review
- Weaver's Cove LNG Project Receives FERC Approval - In June, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the Weaver's Cove Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Project in Fall River, one of several LNG facilities proposed in Massachusetts. This project includes construction and operation of a 200,000 cubic meter LNG storage tank, a dock, and LNG off-loading facility, and requires the dredging of approximately 2.5 to 3 million cubic yards of material from the Taunton River to allow tankers to access the facility. The project is still undergoing review by Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office, through which the proponent has been required to submit two supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Reports.
- Three other LNG Proposals Under Review - Two LNG terminals proposed for Massachusetts Bay and one proposed for the Boston Harbor Islands are also under review by federal and state authorities. In 2005, the U.S. Coast Guard determined that the Northeast Gateway LNG Project and the Neptune LNG Project had submitted sufficient information to allow each project's Deepwater Port Act licensing process to proceed. This determination began an approximately 330-day review period, during which environmental documentation for the project will be developed and published for public review. Both are proposals for an LNG docking facility off Cape Ann in Massachusetts Bay, with an undersea pipeline connection to the existing Hubline. Finally in September, a Virginia company, AES, Inc., proposed an LNG facility for Outer Brewster's Island, in Boston Harbor. See the U.S. Coast Guard Website for more information about the Deepwater Port Act and these projects. MEPA is performing the initial state review for these projects.
- Swansea Desalination Project - In May, the Swansea Water District (SWD), proponents of a desalination plant in Swansea, issued the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the facility on the Palmer River. The facility would withdraw up to 2.0 million gallons per day (mgd) of brackish water during low tide, producing up to 1.3 mgd of fresh water through reverse osmosis. The highly concentrated brine resulting from the process would be discharged to the Palmer River during high tide. In response to concerns about entrainment and impingement of aquatic organisms at the intake, design changes include a reduction of the intake velocity and the addition of two protective screens. Also, state and federal agencies are working with the SWD to minimize any potential impacts associated with the brine discharge. An alternative that includes having the SWD buy its additional water from a regional water supplier, thus eliminating impacts to the Palmer River, is being explored further. A Supplemental FEIR for the project will be issued in 2006 to address these unresolved issues.
- MMS to Take Lead Role in Cape Wind Project - As a result of the federal Energy Policy Act that was passed earlier this year, the U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) now has lead authority for renewable energy projects, such as wave, wind, or solar energy on offshore lands, and other projects that make alternative use of existing oil and natural gas platforms. For the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, MMS has assumed the role formerly held by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is expected to issue a new final Environmental Impact Statement in the coming year.
Port and Harbor Planning
- Superior Court Upholds CZM Designated Port Area Decision - The Massachusetts Superior Court upheld CZM's 2002 decision to redraw the boundaries of the Charlestown section of the Mystic River Designated Port Area (DPA). The decision, based on the recommendations of a CZM study published in October of 2002, modifies the DPA boundary to exclude three properties. The decision was challenged in a lawsuit filed by three other property owners within the DPA. The Court found that CZM's decision was not arbitrary or capricious and was adequately supported by substantial evidence. The Court ruled for the Commonwealth on all claims supporting agencies' discretion to make policy decisions amid competing interpretations of the agency's regulations. CZM had not had a DPA decision challenged in court before, and the Court's ruling helps to clarify CZM's discretionary authority. This Superior Court decision has been appealed by the affected business owners. CZM's designation decision and study are available on the CZM Publications web page.
- New Massachusetts Ocean Management Initiative Website - The new website features improved navigation and organization, and provides detailed information on the Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force, the Task Force's Waves of Change final report and recommendations, and state ocean management legislation. New sections of the site include the Massachusetts Ocean Education Program with its online Ocean Education Guide, links to ocean management resources, recent news, and national highlights.
- Massachusetts Ocean Education Guide Website - CZM developed a dynamic directory of ocean education resources. The directory includes field trips, speakers, curricula, publications, parent/child interactive programs, after school programs, workshops, films/videos, newsletters/periodicals, library/resource centers, volunteer opportunities, and other programs designed to assist K-12 educators in teaching about the Commonwealth's ocean resources. Go to the Ocean Education Guide Website to access the Massachusetts Ocean Education Guide and/or to submit an ocean education program for inclusion.
- Secretary's Award for Excellence in Ocean Education - In April, at the Massachusetts Marine Educators Conference, the first annual Secretary's Award for Excellence in Ocean Education was presented to the Massachusetts Marine Educator of the Year, Susan Wieber Nourse. She is the initial holder of the Jaeger Chair in Marine Science at Tabor Academy, "The School by the Sea," nestled on the shore of Sippican Harbor in Marion. Nourse directs Tabor's Schaefer Oceanology Lab as a regional center for marine science studies, creating innovative classroom curricula and field practica, sharing these academic programs with her students, and exporting validated lesson plans to educators nationwide. She was also elected the president of Massachusetts Marine Educators.
Shoreline Public Access Program
- Coast Guide Online! - CZM has developed an easy-to-use online guide to selected beaches and coastal spots on the North Shore and in and around Boston. Based on CZM's Massachusetts Coast Guide to Boston and the North Shore publication, the website includes detailed, printable maps and brief descriptions of coastal areas that are open to the public. Specifically, sites within Boston Inner Harbor, Dorchester Bay-Quincy, North Gloucester, and Plum Island & Vicinity are now online, with more to come. The sites range from small boat landings to bustling urban plazas to wildlife refuge areas. Descriptions include facilities available, parking information, and, when applicable, hours of operation. There is also a section devoted to public transportation. For those looking for more places to explore, use the order form to purchase the printed Coast Guide, which includes 22 maps and brief descriptions of nearly 400 coastal sites from Salisbury to Hingham.
- Chronicle Highlights Coast Guide - In May, Chronicle, the daily news magazine on Channel 5, aired a show on public access to the Massachusetts coast. The segment featured interviews with DCR's Irene Del-Bono on public rights at the shoreline and with CZM Director Susan Snow-Cotter on the Massachusetts Coast Guide to Boston and the North Shore.
Special Natural Areas Protection
- Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program - In 2002, NOAA established the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) primarily to protect important coastal and estuarine areas. In November, CZM issued an RFR seeking potential coastal and estuarine land acquisition projects from coastal communities and state agencies. CZM will review and rank these projects and submit the state's highest priorities to NOAA for consideration in a national competitive process. The final list of highest ranking projects will be provided to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration in the FY 2007 federal budget process. Earlier this summer the state's draft Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan (CELC Plan) underwent an extensive public review process. The state's final plan will be submitted to NOAA in the very near future for review and approval. The CELC Plan, identifies potential "project areas" that have significant ecological, conservation, recreation, historical, or aesthetic values.
Underwater Archaeological Resources Program
- Shoreline Heritage Identification Partnerships Strategy - The Shoreline Heritage Identification Partnerships Strategy (SHIPS) was developed by the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR) in partnership with the Newburyport Maritime Society to capitalize on the need to respond to casual reporting of coincidental shoreline discoveries and the on-going need to inventory shoreline cultural resources. The SHIPS program is a multi-level approach providing an opportunity to involve the public at the discovery level in the archaeological process. Through a local historical society/museum partnership with the state cultural resource management agency, SHIPS gives people who "walk the beaches" on a regular basis, and who have an interest in local maritime history, a way to report what they see. For more information go to the BUAR Website.
- Underwater Archaeology in Massachusetts - October was Massachusetts Archaeology Month and BUAR, the Newburyport Maritime Society, and Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. sponsored Voices of the Deep: Underwater Archaeology in Massachusetts and Beyond, a two-day event in Newburyport. Activities included a family day of educational activities including a simulated shipwreck excavation, equipment demonstrations, and exhibits of the technology used by marine archaeologists. In addition participants were treated to presentations by professional marine archaeologists and a special viewing of the NOAA/Science Channel's high definition film on the wreck of the steamer Portland (1898).
Wetlands Restoration Program
- CZM Wetlands Restoration Program Grants - At events in February and March, nine recipients received awards through CZM's 2005 Wetland Restoration Grants for Priority Projects Program. The 2005 awards focused on two components of wetland restoration—construction of restoration projects and pre- or post-construction monitoring of wetlands restoration projects. In total, CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program (WRP) awarded $100,000 for project tasks that range from training volunteers in monitoring techniques to the fabrication and installation of properly-sized culverts to restore normal tidal flows to saltwater marshes. In 2006, 10 new projects have been designated as WRP priority projects, bringing the total to 42 active projects. These projects are eligible to receive WRP technical assistance—either internally through staff or externally through pre-qualified consulting firms. The 2006 Wetland Restoration Grants for Priority Projects Program has closed and awards will be announced in early 2006. For more information about these and other WRP projects, or to receive WRP email updates, please go to the WRP Website .
- Herring River Restoration Project - In April, Wellfleet citizens approved the use of $1 million in state Land Bank funds to purchase 25 acres of estuarine floodplain and uplands from the Chequesset Yacht and Country Club. This approval was the first of several critical stages of the Herring River Restoration Project—a comprehensive effort to restore a 1,100-acre estuary that has been diked, drained, diverted, and filled for over 100 years. In November, Representative William Delahunt and Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry announced the successful joint effort to secure $500,000 in federal Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program funds for the project. The phased restoration project calls for the re-establishment of tidal flows through the dike across the mouth of the Herring River at Chequesset Road, and the relocation of several of the Chequesset Yacht and Country Club fairways out of the floodplain, allowing for tidal waters to flow into the 1,100 acre estuarine system, and returning the former fairways to salt marsh and tidal creek habitat. Once completed, this project will be the largest salt marsh restoration in the New England region. CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program and other partners greatly appreciate the efforts of the Congressman, Senators, and organizations who voiced their strong support for this important restoration project. For more information, go to the WRP Website.
- Coastal America Honors Bridge Creek Project - In June, at a Coastal America award ceremony held in Barnstable, Timothy Keeney, NOAA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere and Benjamin Grumbles, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water, recognized the individuals and organizations of the Bridge Creek Salt Marsh Restoration Project team for their coordination, commitment, and leadership in the successful completion of a three-year engineering and construction project to restore approximately 40 acres of degraded salt marsh on Cape Cod Bay. The Bridge Creek Salt Marsh Restoration Project, which received more than $1.3 million in federal, state, and Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership funds and donations, was sponsored by the town of Barnstable and involved 27 organizations in a broad and diverse partnership. The Coastal America Partnership is a collaboration of federal, state, and local governments, and private alliances to address environmental problems along our nation's coasts.
- Neponset Salt Marshes Restoration - In August, CZM's WRP and project partners gathered at the DCR's Neponset Salt Marshes Reservation to celebrate the restoration of about 15 acres of former and degraded estuarine habitat. In the 1950s, materials dredged from the Neponset River were deposited onto the marsh surface and a dike for the sewer main was built across the marsh. The restoration project involved removing and relocating acres of the dredged material fill as well as restoring tidal flow through a properly sized culvert under the dike. The project serves as an excellent example of the increasingly important role of public-private partnerships in realizing restoration results. From the public sector, partners included CZM, DCR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the city of Boston. Partners from the private sector's Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership included The Gillette Corporation, Great Meadows Farm, ICF Consulting, CH2M Hill, Inc., Earth Tech, and the ESS Group, Inc. For more information, go to the WRP Website.
CZM Regional Programs
Coastal management at the local level is the bedrock of the CZM program, and CZM works closely with communities to ensure that local decision-making is based on sound coastal management principles. CZM serves as a liaison between federal and state programs and municipal authorities on key issues, coordinates regional environmental management initiatives, performs Federal Consistency Review, and provides technical assistance. CZM's regions are Boston Harbor, Cape Cod & Islands, North Shore, South Coastal, and South Shore.
Boston Harbor (Winthrop to Weymouth)
- Designated Port Area Success Story - In June, Massport announced that a $47 million proposal has been selected for the Massport Marine Terminal in South Boston. This section of South Boston is one of 11 working waterfronts included in the Commonwealth's Designated Port Area (DPA) program-areas in developed ports and harbors where the creation or expansion of maritime industrial uses is encouraged. According to Massport, the proposal includes intermodal cargo warehousing and distribution, cold storage, bulk cargo, and seafood processing. This site has recently been used by the Central Artery Project to store excavated dirt, and was previously used for parking. For more information, see an article on DPAs on page 27 of the 2003 Coastlines file size 3MB .
- Financial Assistance - Through the Coastal Monitoring Grants Program, CZM awarded the University of Massachusetts Boston $9,624 and the Neponset River Watershed Association $12,000 for the collection of coastal water quality data.
- Technical Assistance - In 2005, CZM continued to assist with Boston Redevelopment Authority planning efforts that involve municipal harbor plans for the Charlestown, Fort Point Channel, and North End portions of the Boston waterfront. In addition, CZM participated in a Technical Working Group for Boston Harbor dredging projects that included upcoming maintenance of the Inner Harbor and long-range plans for the deepening of the federal navigation channel.
Cape Cod & Islands (Bourne to Provincetown, and the Islands)
- Harbor Planning - CZM plays a large role in harbor planning activities in coastal communities. When adopted, Municipal Harbor Plans promote water dependent uses of harbor areas. In 2005, there was action on several harbor planning efforts in the Cape Cod and Islands region. The South Coastal Harbor Management Plan in Chatham was successfully renewed. Also, the Provincetown Municipal Harbor Plan was submitted for renewal, and an effort to update the town of Nantucket's decade-old locally adopted harbor plan began.
- Dredging Study - To inform management decisions related to dredging projects, CZM, with support from the Barnstable County Department of Dredging and Woods Hole Sea Grant, developed and entered into a contract to analyze the "state of the science" associated with hydraulic dredge operations typical of those in the Cape and Islands region.
- Financial Assistance - Through the WRP Priority Project Grants, CZM awarded the Association to Preserve Cape Cod $10,000, Orleans $20,000, the Thorton Burgess Society $23,000, and Barnstable $20,000 for wetlands restoration projects. Through the Coastal NPS Grants Program, CZM awarded Oak Bluffs $5,561 and Chatham $28,800 to assess and reduce nonpoint source pollution. Through the Coastal ACEC Grant Program, CZM and DCR awarded the Association to Preserve Cape Cod $5,000 for the Sandy Neck/Barnstable Harbor ACEC.
- Technical Assistance - In 2005, CZM continued to provide support to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Sea Grant's Marine Outreach Guidance Group, Americorps Cape Cod Advisory Board, Pleasant Bay Management Alliance, Cape Cod National Seashore Off-Road Vehicle sub committee, and the Barnstable County Dredge Advisory Committee. Also CZM facilitated several meetings of the Cape Cod Conservation Commission network, and supported the Barnstable County Coastal Resources Committee. Additionally, specific and general technical assistance was provided to many of the conservation commissions, Boards of Selectmen, harbormasters, planners, engineers and citizens in towns across the Cape, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and the Elizabeth Islands during the year. The Cape and Islands office also supported the County of Barnstable in the compilation of existing wetlands and zoning bylaw information related to dock and pier management.
North Shore (Salisbury to Revere)
- Knowles Named Environmental Hero - Honoring volunteers for their "tireless efforts to preserve and protect our nation's environment," NOAA presented 37 Environmental Hero Awards in conjunction with Earth Day in April. One North Shore resident received this prestigious award. Robert "Stubby" Knowles was honored posthumously for his 33 years of service as Gloucester's shellfish constable, where he is widely considered the patriarch of coastal wetland protection and restoration throughout the region. DMF's quarterly newsletter, MarineFisheries, featured a thoughtful tribute to Stubby Knowles.
- Financial Assistance - Through the WRP Priority Project Grants, CZM awarded the Saugus River Watershed Council $10,000 and the Massachusetts Audubon Society $5,446 for wetlands restoration projects. Through the Coastal NPS Grants Program, CZM awarded Groundwork Lawrence $30,000, Salem Sound Coastwatch $19,795.00, and Salem $34,500 to assess and reduce nonpoint source pollution. Through the Coastal Monitoring Grants Program, CZM awarded the Ipswich River Watershed Association $12,000, Salem Sound Coastwatch $10,184, and the Mystic River Watershed Association $12,000 for the collection of coastal water quality data. Through the Coastal ACEC Grant Program, CZM and DCR awarded Eight Towns and the Bay and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission $8,351 and the Massachusetts Audubon Society $3,492 for the Parker River/Essex Bay ACEC. The Saugus River Watershed Council was awarded $7,500 for the Rumney Marshes ACEC.
- Technical Assistance - In 2005, CZM worked with the city of Gloucester and the Urban Harbors Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston to update the City's existing harbor plan and Designated Port Area Master Plan, which the City expects to submit to EOEA in early 2006 for review and approval. CZM also facilitated the North Shore Regional Conservation Commission and Health Agents Networks, with more than 25 communities participating. Through the networks, CZM provides training opportunities for North Shore Conservation Commissions including winter botany, writing effective conservation restrictions, river bank delineation, federal and state permitting requirements, and Low Impact Development techniques. The North Shore Health Agent Network topics of discussion included proposed changes to Title 5 septic system regulations, beaver management issues, and the use of deed restrictions under Title 5. In addition, the network communities of Salisbury, Rowley, Newbury, and Georgetown piloted a simple and effective database developed by Merrimac Valley Planning Commission, funded through a Coastal NPS Grant, to track and record septic systems. The pilot went so well that the database has been introduced to a wider audience.
South Coastal (Wareham to Seekonk)
- Bird Island Tern Restoration Project Receives Federal Funding - The Massachusetts Congressional delegation, lead by the efforts of Representative Barney Frank, were successful in securing $100,000 in federal funding for the Bird Island Roseate Tern Restoration Project located in Marion. The northeastern population of the Roseate Tern is listed as endangered at both the federal and state levels. Bird Island, one of only three major Roseate Tern colony sites in North America, supports approximately 25 percent of the species population. The island has been damaged by coastal erosion over the decades, resulting in a significant loss of nesting habitat. This earmark will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New England District to complete the project's Feasibility Study and begin the development of Detailed Plans and Specifications. EOEA, through CZM and the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, have been working for several years with the Army Corps and the town of Marion on this critically important restoration project. The efforts of Congressman Frank and all of the Massachusetts delegation in securing this funding are greatly appreciated by all the project partners.
- O'Reilly Named Environmental Hero - Honoring volunteers for their "tireless efforts to preserve and protect our nation's environment," NOAA presented 37 Environmental Hero Awards in conjunction with Earth Day in April. One South Coast municipal official this prestigious award. Michael O'Reilly, Environmental Affairs Coordinator in Dartmouth, was recognized for his efforts to protect and restore coastal resources in Dartmouth, including his salt marsh restoration and fish passage efforts.
- Financial Assistance - Through the Coastal NPS Grants Program, CZM awarded the Buzzards Bay Action Committee $18,951 to assess and reduce nonpoint source pollution. Through the Coastal Monitoring Grants Program, CZM awarded the Westport River Watershed Alliance $5,752 for the collection of coastal water quality data.
- Technical Assistance - In 2005, CZM continued to be an active participant in the Natural Resource Damages Assessment team that is quantifying damages and identifying potential restoration opportunities related to the 2003 Bouchard oil spill in Buzzards Bay. Also, CZM continued to work closely with the city of New Bedford, the town of Fairhaven, DEP, and EPA on navigational dredging projects in New Bedford Harbor. These dredge projects continue to improve the harbor's ability to serve as one of the state's most important centers for marine industrial activity. In addition, CZM continued to work with the city of Fall River, the Seaport Advisory Council staff, the Division of Capital Asset Management, DCR, and the project consultants with the Fall River Multi-Use State Pier Project. Progress continued with the project's Feasibility Study, including broad design elements of the proposed facility.
South Shore (Hingham to Plymouth)
- Plymouth/Kingston/Duxbury Bay No Discharge Area - CZM has continued work with the towns of Plymouth, Kingston, and Duxbury on a federally approved boat sewage No Discharge Area (NDA) for the entire Plymouth/Kingston/Duxbury Bay, including municipal coastal waters from Duxbury Beach to the southern extent of Plymouth. The Bay accommodates approximately 1,600 residential boats, nearly 1,300 transient vessels, 10,000 acres of shellfish beds, and numerous recreational bathing beaches. The designation is seen as one more step in the municipalities' continuing clean water initiatives. CZM has been coordinating the collection of information regarding ecological resources, vessel population, and pumpout availability; conducting public meetings; and distributing informational guides to area boaters in support of the nomination process. It is anticipated that an application for the NDA will be submitted to EPA in February, with the goal of an NDA designation by Memorial Day, to kickoff the 2006 boating season. For additional information contact CZM's South Shore Regional Coordinator, Jason Burtner.
- Financial Assistance - Through the WRP Priority Project Grants, CZM awarded the Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research $11,554 for wetlands restoration projects. Through the Coastal NPS Grants Program, CZM awarded the Massachusetts Bay Estuary Association $10,000, the Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research $16,712, and the North & South Rivers Watershed Association $35,000 to assess and reduce nonpoint source pollution. Through the Coastal Monitoring Grants Program, CZM awarded the Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research $11,000, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association $7,500, and the Jones River Marine Ecology Center $9,940 for the collection of coastal water quality data.
- Technical Assistance - In 2005, CZM worked with the towns of Hull, Cohasset, and Hingham on the West Corner Bridge Replacement and Straits Pond Restoration Project. Through these ongoing efforts, a preliminary engineering design and an in-depth evaluation of potential flooding have been completed. The Conservation Law Foundation and the NOAA Community Based Restoration Program have provided funds for project permitting, the Gulf of Maine Council has provided funds for ecosystem monitoring, and Congressman Delahunt has successfully secured $700,000 for construction costs.
National Estuary Programs
CZM administers two National Estuary Programs, the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (BBNEP) and the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays). The BBNEP works to protect and restore water quality and living resources in Buzzards Bay and its watershed. The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program works collaboratively to emphasize the local role in protecting Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays and develops innovative models for improving resource protection.
Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program
- Westport Herring Run Restoration - The town of Westport recently completed a herring run restoration project funded with $10,045 from the Buzzards Bay Watershed Municipal Grant Program. The culvert connecting Buzzards Bay to Cockeast Pond had collapsed, restricting passage of fish into the pond. The BBNEP funding allowed for a new culvert to be installed under River Road. In addition, BBNEP staff assisted the town with permitting and wetland delineation.
- BBNEP Hires Natural Resources Planner - The Buzzards Bay NEP has hired Sarah Raposa as a Natural Resources Planner. Ms. Raposa will work with municipalities and state agencies to prepare maps and collect geographic information about natural resources in the Buzzards Bay watershed. Her current work includes a project with the Buzzards Bay Action Committee (a municipal official organization), and the New Bedford Voc-Tech High School Geodesy Department, to map stormdrains and catch basins in the Buzzards Bay watershed.
Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program
- MassBays Committee Member Given NOAA Award - In March, Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program Management Committee member Charles Max Schenk received the NOAA's Volunteer of the Year Award. The award, part of NOAA's annual Excellence Awards Program, recognizes an individual who, outside of his or her work, donates substantial time to improve the coastal or marine environment. MassBays nominated Schenk, who is also president of the board of the Massachusetts Bays Estuary Association, for his outstanding dedication and supported numerous organizations, including the Cultural Alliance of the Lower Merrimack Valley, Gloucester's Conservation Commission, Friends of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, and the Eight Towns and the Bay Committee.
- Massachusetts Bays Symposium Proceedings - In August, MassBays produced a proceedings document for the May 2004 Massachusetts Bays Symposium in Boston-the first such symposium for the region in 10 years. The symposium brought together experts to describe the current conditions of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays, review progress made in protecting and restoring the Bays, and strengthen scientific partnerships. The proceedings are available on the MBP website.
- Ecosystem-Based Management Tools - At an October meeting of all 28 National Estuary Programs, the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program led the effort to improve the management of estuarine areas by exploring the use of innovative "Ecosystem-Based Management" tools. MassBays staff developed a draft framework for a national approach and facilitated workshops with other NEP directors and staff to discuss how ecosystem-based management could enhance current research, management, and outreach of our nation's estuaries.
Gulf of MaineThe Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment is a U.S.-Canadian partnership of government and non-government organizations working to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf of Maine to allow for sustainable resource use by existing and future generations. CZM is a member agency and Director Susan Snow-Cotter sits on the council.
Gulf of Maine Action Plan Grants Announced - In April, The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment awarded its 2005 Action Plan Grants to three Massachusetts recipients:
- The Massachusetts Bay Estuary Association for its Storm Windows stormwater education campaign.
- The Massachusetts Audubon Society to assist with restoration efforts for the Little River.
- The Boston University Biology Department for its Creating Scientists and Stewards program.
For more information about the Action Plan Grants and other Gulf of Maine grant opportunities, see the Council's Website.
Staff and People
2005 was a year of significant staff transitions at CZM with some key staff moving onto opportunities outside of CZM, while others took on new roles within the agency. Also, a number of new staff came on board. The list below details the 2005 CZM staff changes. CZM welcomes the new additions and wishes the best of luck to those who have moved on to new challenges.
CZM Director - In March, Susan Snow-Cotter was appointed Director of CZM. Susan most recently served as CZM's Acting Director, since the September 2004 departure of former Director Tom Skinner. She has been with CZM for 11 years, first as the Ocean Policy Coordinator, and for the past six years, as Assistant Director. She represented Massachusetts on the federal Minerals Management Service's Outer Continental Shelf Policy Committee and on the regional Gulf of Maine Council's Working Group, worked on the Bay State's aquaculture and ocean resource planning projects, and was instrumental in developing the Massachusetts Ocean Management Initiative. Susan joined CZM after working on fisheries and coastal management issues for the Pacific Island of Saipan for six years. She earned her master's degree in marine affairs from the University of Washington-Seattle and a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. As CZM's new Director, Susan is looking forward to advancing the Governor's Ocean Management Initiative, particularly building support for the passage of ocean management legislation, developing an ocean management plan, and leading efforts to complete seafloor mapping of state waters.
MEPA Director - In November, Deerin Babb-Brott was appointed as Director of MEPA. Babb-Brott, who has served as Acting MEPA Director since March, was previously with CZM since 1992, most recently serving as the Assistant Director for Planning and Coastal Development.
CZM Assistant Director - In December, Bruce Carlisle was named Assistant Director of CZM. Bruce started at CZM in 1993 as an intern with the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program while researching and writing his Master's thesis. From 1994 to 2003, he served as CZM's Wetlands and Water Quality Specialist, working on technical and policy issues in the protection of the Commonwealth's coastal and marine resources. In 2003, Bruce assumed the role of Coordinator for the Wetlands Restoration Program, overseeing efforts to promote and assist wetlands restoration in Massachusetts. Bruce has also invested significant time and energy in applied research projects developing wetlands assessment methods and examining trends in coastal wetlands. Bruce has a Masters Degree in Environmental Policy from Tufts University.
Cape Cod and Islands Regional Coordinator - In December, Truman Henson, CZM's Cape Cod Regional Coordinator for the past 10 years, took over as Project Review Coordinator.
Coastal ACEC Stewardship Coordinator - CZM's Coastal ACEC Stewardship Coordinator, Katie Lund, left CZM in December. Katie first joined CZM in 1998 as a NOAA Coastal Services Center Fellow working on management strategies for the Parker River/Essex Bay ACEC on the North Shore. In 2000, Katie was hired jointly by DCR and CZM as the Coastal ACEC Stewardship Coordinator, where she assisted ACEC communities with planning, management, GIS training and technical assistance, facilitation, and outreach. Since 2002, Katie administered the Coastal ACEC Stewardship Grant program, which has awarded $85,000 for stewardship projects. In more recent years, Katie served as the Massachusetts representative on the Gulf of Maine Council Working Group and chair of the Council's Habitat Conservation Subcommittee.
Coastal Geologist - CZM Coastal Geologist, Mark Borrelli, left CZM in July to pursue his Ph.D. in Coastal Geology at URI. With CZM since 2002, Mark initially served as a geology fellow working on research to support CZM's technical assistance efforts. In 2004, Mark served as a Coastal Geologist providing technical assistance to coastal communities on coastal geology, physical processes, and techniques for mitigating impacts to coastal resources.
Coastal Nonpoint Grants Coordinator - In August, Julie Conroy, CZM's Nonpoint Source Grants Program Coordinator, left CZM to join Horsley Witten Group, an environmental consulting firm. Julie began at CZM as an intern in the North Shore Regional Office. She then served as the Assistant Regional Coordinator for the Boston Harbor Region. In 2003 Julie joined CZM's Coastal Nonpoint Program playing a central role in the program's evolution.
GIS/Data Manager - In January, CZM's Dan Sampson was named GIS/Data Manager. Dan previously served as a CZM coastal geologist working on Federal Emergency Management Agency mapping projects. As GIS/Data Manager, Dan assists staff with a range of complex data tools, leads development of spatial data products, coordinates GIS and remote sensing efforts, and collaborates with MassGIS to enhance the online version of the Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System.
GIS Specialist - In March, CZM welcomed Chris Slinko as a GIS Specialist. Chris is working on a database of waterfront sites providing public access to the coast. When complete, this database will be available to the public through the MassGIS Program Website. Chris received a Master's Degree from the University of Rhode Island (URI), where she specialized in Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis. Her previous experience in this field includes work on two projects for the National Park Service and internships with DEP and the Rhode Island nonprofit Save the Bay.
Invasive Species Specialist - In November, CZM welcomed Beth Suedmeyer as our first invasive species specialist. Beth is working on both wetland and marine invasive species issues. Specifically, she is working with CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program to enhance purple loosestrife biological control efforts. On the marine side, Beth is developing a marine invasive species monitoring network along the coast of Massachusetts. Beth is a former Fulbright Scholar and comes to CZM from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.
North Shore Regional Coordinator - In January, Kathryn Glenn, formerly CZM's Assistant North Shore Regional Coordinator, was named CZM's North Shore Regional Coordinator. Kathryn provides technical assistance to North Shore communities, facilitates the North Shore Conservation and Health Agent networks, and works with local, state, and non-profit organizations on regional initiatives that protect and enhance the North Shore coastline.
Ocean Policy Analyst - In January, CZM welcomed Kate Killerlain Morrision as its new Ocean Policy Analyst. Kate is working to further the Massachusetts Ocean Management Initiative, including assisting with the implementation of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force's 16 recommendations and coordinating interagency staff on the development of a state ocean management planning process. Kate, previously an intern at CZM working on ocean policy development and a legislative aide for a West Coast state representative, has a master's degree in marine affairs from the University of Washington.
Project Review Coordinator - In December, Alex Strysky, CZM's Project Review Coordinator returned to his previous job with the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Chapter 91 Program after serving with CZM for a year.
Wetlands Restoration Program Coordinator - At the end of December, Hunt Durey assumed the leadership role for CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program. Hunt has served as the program's Restoration Planner since 2000, developing regional restoration plans, working on restoration policy and program development issues, helping to advance restoration projects, designing and maintaining the program website, and managing WRP's GIS and database assets. As the WRP Manager, Hunt will oversee all WRP activities, manage staff and resources, and coordinate program efforts with other restoration partners. Hunt has a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School.
Wetlands Restoration Specialist - In March, Jeremy Bell joined the Wetlands Restoration Program (WRP) team. As a wetlands restoration specialist and project manager, Jeremy is working on several of the WRP's priority projects. Previously Jeremy managed aquatic habitat restoration projects in King County, Washington. Most recently Jeremy worked for the Massachusetts Audubon Society and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) as a Habitat Analyst developing data for a selection of forest preserves. Jeremy has a master's degree in environmental studies from Evergreen State College.
Outreach Staff - Andrea Bistany, who served as CZ-Mail and Coastlines editor, resigned from CZM in April to pursue freelance opportunities. To fill this void, the CZM outreach team reorganized. Robin Lacey, CZM Webmaster and Clean Marina Program Coordinator, became a full time member of the outreach staff as editor of CZM's monthly email newsletter, CZ-Mail. Robin's marina duties were taken over by Steve McKenna, CZM's Technical Resource Specialist. Arden Miller, CZM's Graphic Designer, is now the editor-in-chief of the CZM magazine, Coastlines.