Year in Review - 2008
(Published January 2009)
Welcome to the year-in-review edition of CZ-Mail, which highlights many of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management's (CZM) accomplishments in 2008, provides news and information about our 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 2009.
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For CZM, 2008 was a year of opportunities and initiatives. In May, Governor Deval Patrick signed the Oceans Act of 2008, which requires Massachusetts to develop a first-in-the-nation comprehensive plan to manage development in state waters. This effort is being spearheaded by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), with significant staff support from CZM. Also in May, CZM launched StormSmart Coasts, a new program designed to protect people and property in coastal floodplains from erosion and storm damage. In addition, 2008 was a big year for No Discharge Areas (NDAs), with CZM preparing and submitting several applications to support the goal of making all of Massachusetts coastal waters no discharge for boat sewage. These and other CZM highlights for 2008 are provided below.
Leslie-Ann McGee Becomes Interim Director of WBNERR
Assistant Secretary Deerin Babb-Brott to Serve as CZM Director
On December 31, EEA Secretary Ian Bowles announced the appointment of CZM Director Leslie-Ann McGee as Interim Director of the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR). Building on her experience at CZM, she will assist the Patrick administration by assuming this position and managing WBNERR's natural resource stewardship, research and monitoring, education/training, and recreational use functions. Leslie-Ann will be the Department of Conservation and Recreation's (DCR) primary representative to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Estuarine Reserves Division, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, and National Estuarine Research Reserves Association, and will oversee the Reserve's daily operations. The Secretary thanked Leslie-Ann for her leadership and expertise at CZM, where she guided the development of the StormSmart Coast initiative, expanded coverage of the state's marine No Discharge Areas, and played a key role in furthering ocean management by helping establish the state's role in the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership. Deerin Babb-Brott, who was appointed by Secretary Bowles in June as Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Coastal Zone Management, will now serve as CZM Director as well.
Oceans Act Launches Ocean Planning Effort
On May 28, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the Oceans Act of 2008 , requiring a comprehensive plan to manage development in state ocean waters (see the Governor's Press Release ). The bill was the result of three years of negotiation and collaboration between the lead Senate sponsors (Senate President Therese Murray, Senator Robert O'Leary, and Senator Bruce Tarr), environmental groups, fishing organizations, and other ocean users, becoming law this year with the support of the Patrick Administration. EEA is developing the new ocean management plan, which must be submitted in draft form to the Legislature by July 1, 2009, and completed by December 31, 2009. The Oceans Act requires an Ocean Advisory Commission and Ocean Science Advisory Council to assist EEA in developing the ocean management plan. In June, Deerin Babb-Brott, Assistant Secretary and Director of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office and former CZM Assistant Director, was appointed to lead development of the ocean management plan and oversee CZM's ongoing work as Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Coastal Zone Management. CZM is providing technical and planning support to EEA, the Ocean Advisory Commission, and the Ocean Sciences Council. In August, CZM welcomed back former Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator, John Weber, as Ocean Services Manager to coordinate these ongoing ocean planning efforts at EEA. See the Ocean Management program section below for further details. In addition, EEA's Massachusetts Ocean Plan website provides information on the overall planning effort.
CZM Launches StormSmart Coasts
In May, CZM launched its new StormSmart Coasts program with a series of regional workshops. StormSmart Coasts is designed to support local efforts to protect people and property in coastal floodplains from erosion and storm damage. The program features an extensive StormSmart Coasts website , which includes regulatory tools, case studies, planning strategies, and other technical assistance materials. StormSmart Coasts targets municipal officials, including staff and members of Planning Boards, Conservation Commissions, Zoning Boards of Appeals, Departments of Public Works, Building/Engineering Departments, Boards of Health, and emergency management planners. Workshop highlights included presentations by Edward A. Thomas, nationally recognized legal expert on "No Adverse Impact," and Wes Shaw, CZM's NOAA Coastal Fellow and project manager for this initiative. In September, CZM welcomed its new Coastal Fellow, Daniella Hirschfeld, who will manage the implementation phase of StormSmart Coasts where CZM will provide "direct in-community" technical assistance to several communities to help local officials choose, apply, and implement the tools and strategies to meet their specific floodplain management goals. (See the Shoreline and Floodplain Management section below for further details.)
Four New No Discharge Areas Approved in Massachusetts
Through the late spring and summer, CZM achieved significant progress toward Governor Patrick's goal of declaring all of Massachusetts coastal waters as no discharge for boat sewage. In May, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the state's proposal to designate the coastal waters of Cohasset, Scituate, and Marshfield as an NDA. In June, EPA approved the designation of the coastal waters of Salem Sound as an NDA. The NDA applications for Boston Harbor and Cape Cod Bay were approved by EPA in July. CZM has recently completed the application for the Lower North Shore and is currently awaiting approval from EPA. CZM staff are now working to prepare applications for the final three remaining coastal areas—Upper North Shore, South Side of Cape Cod, and Mount Hope Bay-with an anticipated completion date of December 2009. For more on NDA activities along the coast, see CZM's NDA website .
Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program
In February, NOAA approved the Massachusetts Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan, which identifies potential priority areas for coastal and estuarine land conservation projects within the Commonwealth. First submitted in March 2006, an approved Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) plan is good for five years and will soon be required by NOAA to receive CELCP funding for land conservation projects. CZM led the plan development efforts with close cooperation and participation from EEA, DCR, the Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In July, CZM nominated the Great Neck Conservation Partnership Program in Wareham for Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) federal CELCP funding. In November, NOAA released the prioritized list of projects for FY09 funding and the Great Neck Project is ranked third nationally out of 54 nominated projects. While funding decisions are not yet final and are subject to budget appropriations, this exceptionally high ranking puts the project in a good position for potential funding. If funded, the project expects to receive more than $2 million of NOAA-CELCP funding for the purchase of a conservation easement on approximately 95 acres of undeveloped land bordering Buzzards Bay. The funds will also leverage other funding and land donations to create a 260-acre preserve of critical habitat and pristine coastal resources. CZM's project partners include DCR, Mass Audubon, Wareham Land Trust, the town of Wareham, and the Coalition for Buzzards Bay. For more about CELCP, see CZM's CELCP website .
CZM Director Serves on United Nations Expert Panel
In 2008, CZM Director Leslie-Ann McGee was honored to serve on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) Expert Panel on Marine Spatial Planning through the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission's Man and Biosphere Program. The purpose of this UNESCO initiative is to help countries protect marine biodiversity while allowing sustainable use of ocean spaces. An operational manual, directed at resource managers and decision-makers, is being developed and will outline the steps to implement ecosystem-based marine spatial management. A draft will be available early in 2009 and final guidelines will be published in May. For details on this ongoing effort, see UNESCO's Marine Spatial Management website.
CZM Assistant Director Testifies at U.S. Senate Hearing on Climate Change
In May, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation held a hearing to discuss the state of U.S. climate modeling for decision makers and other end users. Climate models allow scientists to understand the current climate system and aid in the prediction of climate changes. The hearing examined the current computing capacity to process models at the regional and local scales, as well as what science and support are needed to develop the next generation of climate models. CZM Assistant Director Bruce Carlisle provided testimony that covered climate change issues in the coastal zone, focusing on the priority modeling and information needs as conveyed by coastal zone managers around the country and highlighting the work being done in Massachusetts to build effective coastal floodplain management strategies. In his testimony, Carlisle described CZM's new StormSmart Coasts program , which is designed to support local efforts to protect people and property in coastal floodplains from erosion and storm damage, citing it as an example of how state coastal programs are well positioned to synthesize current information and provide high-quality products, services, and hands-on assistance to communities.
Aquatic Habitat Restoration Task Force Report and Recommendations
EEA Secretary Ian Bowles released the Aquatic Habitat Restoration Task Force's final report and recommendations in April. Entitled Charting the Course: A Blueprint for the Future of Aquatic Habitat Restoration in Massachusetts, the report includes six recommendations to guide the efforts of EEA and its partners to achieve greater restoration results for the next several years and into the next decade. In May 2007, Secretary Bowles launched the Task Force, which was chaired by CZM Assistant Director Bruce Carlisle. For more information, see the Aquatic Habitat Restoration Task Force web page , which includes links to the Task Force final report and a fact sheet providing an overview of the report and the work of the Task Force.
CZM Mapping Tool
In July, CZM and the Massachusetts Office of Geographic Information (MassGIS) launched MORIS, the Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System. This online mapping tool can be used to search and display spatial data pertaining to the Massachusetts coastal zone. Users can interactively view various data layers (e.g., tide gauge stations, marine protected areas, access points, eelgrass beds, etc.) over a backdrop of aerial photographs, political boundaries, natural resources, human uses, bathymetry, or other data. Users can quickly create and share maps and download the actual data for use in a Geographic Information System (GIS). While designed for coastal management professionals, MORIS can be used by anyone interested in these data and maps. Check it out at www.mass.gov/czm/mapping .
Bruce Carlisle Receives Gulf of Maine Award
In June, the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment presented the first Susan Snow-Cotter Leadership Award to Bruce Carlisle, CZM Assistant Director. This award is bestowed in memory of a long-time friend of the Council and former Director of CZM to an individual from the region who exemplifies outstanding leadership or exceptional mentoring. Carlisle started at CZM in 1993 and played a critical role in developing the state's Coastal Nonpoint Program. He worked on coastal wetland assessment projects, pioneering the development of integrity indicators to measure salt marsh condition, and later became manager of CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program . In 2005, Carlisle was promoted to CZM Assistant Director, where he directs policy development, planning efforts, and technical approaches. Most memorably, Bruce served as CZM Acting Director during Susan's illness and after her death, always working hard to support staff during this difficult time.
CZM Presents at 21st Coastal Society Conference
CZM staff attended the Coastal Society's 21st Conference held from June 29-July 2 in Los Angeles, California. As a result of CZM's exciting ongoing work, our staff were invited to give seven presentations on the following wide-ranging topics: Massachusetts public trust lands, coastal structures, seafloor mapping, working waterfronts, CZM's StormSmart Coasts program , and integrated ocean management. The presentations and associated discussion panels were well received and CZM's work was noted and appreciated by the conference participants.
The 2008 edition of Coastlines, the CZM magazine, explores the Blue-Green Connection—that is the connection between how what we do on land impacts rivers, streams, and oceans. From choosing environmentally friendly cleaning products to recycling trash, this issue covers a multitude of ways we can all contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment. Check out Coastlines 2008 , or for a printed copy, email your request to email@example.com.
Coastal States Organization Activities
The Coastal States Organization (CSO) was established in 1970 and represents the 35 coastal states, commonwealths, and territories on legislative and policy issues relating to the sound management of coastal, Great Lakes, and ocean resources. CZM staff participated in many CSO accomplishments in 2008 including:
- A consensus Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) reauthorization bill developed and approved by the CSO membership in October 2008.
- A Call for Action to identify the nation's top priorities in protecting our oceans, coastlines, Great Lakes, and estuaries.
- The Role of Coastal Zone Management Programs in Adaptation to Climate Change, which details results from the 2008 survey of state coastal programs to obtain up-to-date information on the status of state coastal program efforts to address and adapt to climate change.
- A national statement on the importance of regional ocean partnerships developed by the Regional Ocean Governance Workgroup, co-chaired by Massachusetts.
Susan Snow-Cotter Awards
In February, NOAA presented the first annual Susan Snow-Cotter Award for Excellence in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management to Brian Baird, Assistant Secretary for the California Resources Agency, and Kathleen Leyden, Director of Maine's Coastal Zone Management Program. This award is given to one or more individuals who have initiated innovative practices and brought positive change to the management of ocean or coastal resources at either the state or national level. Mr. Baird, past Chair of the Coastal States Organization, was recognized for his 30-year history working on ocean and coastal management in California. Ms. Leyden has worked extensively at the national, regional, and state levels to increase awareness and promote key issues of coastal management. Originally a NOAA excellence award, it was renamed to honor CZM's former director, Susan Snow-Cotter, who was an exceptional leader in improving both policy and management of ocean and coastal resources on the national and state levels, and in the Gulf of Maine region. See the NOAA press release.
CZM Program Accomplishments
CZM's mission is to balance the impact of human activities with the protection of coastal and marine resources through planning, public involvement, education, research, and sound resource management. To achieve these goals, as well as to meet the needs of municipal officials, property owners, educators, and others in the coastal community, CZM maintains a range of programs. The 2008 accomplishments for each of these program areas are listed below.
- Ocean Planning Process Underway - The process to produce a comprehensive plan to manage development in state ocean waters began after the passage of the Oceans Act of 2008. The inaugural meeting of the Ocean Advisory Commission—which is chaired by Sue Tierney, former Environmental Affairs Secretary and past chair of the Ocean Management Task Force —was held in August. Secretary Bowles addressed the Commission, encouraging them to engage the public in plan development and to set high expectations for the plan. In September, the public input process for the ocean plan began with a public listening session held at Faneuil Hall in Boston, which began a series of 18 such meetings held across the Commonwealth through October, with more than 400 people attending. In addition to these 18 meetings, from October through December, EEA planning staff held approximately 65 meetings with various organizations and interest groups with a connection to the ocean. Information from these sessions helped develop the baseline understanding of activities, uses, and issues in the ocean planning area, and also informed the development of the objectives of the plan. (See EEA's Massachusetts Ocean Plan website for summary reports of the listening sessions and the interest group meetings.) Throughout the fall, state agency workgroups worked on identifying and characterizing available data in each of the following general subjects: fisheries, habitat, sediment, transportation/navigation/infrastructure, recreation and cultural resources, and renewable energy. The workgroups included expertise from outside of state government, as appropriate, and developed draft reports and maps for use in the ocean management plan. (See EEA's Massachusetts Ocean Plan website for the draft reports.) In September, the Ocean Science Advisory Council met and reviewed a proposed draft outline for the baseline assessment of the ocean planning area as mandated by the Oceans Act. In November, members of Ocean Advisory Commission and Science Advisory Council participated in an ocean planning workshop that included presentations on the background to ocean planning in Massachusetts, examples of ocean planning activities elsewhere, and discussion of related subjects, such as marine spatial planning and use and resource compatibility analysis. In early December, the Ocean Advisory Commission met and discussed the results of the public input to date, and began a discussion of the objectives of the ocean management plan. Also in December, the Ocean Science Advisory Council began reviewing a draft of the baseline assessment and the agency workgroup reports. For more on the ocean planning process, see EEA's Massachusetts Ocean Plan website . To receive periodic ocean plan updates, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Northeast Regional Ocean Council - The Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) is a state and federal partnership with the goal of engaging in regional protection and balanced use of ocean and coastal resources and includes representatives from the following states and federal agencies: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, NOAA, EPA, U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Coast Guard. NROC had many accomplishments in 2008, including the development of a work plan for the three main theme areas: ocean and coastal ecosystem health; coastal hazards resilience; and ocean energy planning and management.
- Gulf of Maine Council - The 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. Massachusetts has been an active member since 1989 and chaired the Council from July 2007 to June 2008. In 2008, CZM chaired the Council's working group and led the Council to focus its priorities and work plan. During this time of significantly reduced budgets, it was also necessary to reorganize the Council's core services, including internal coordination, fund development, information technology support, and the Gulf of Maine Times.
- Seafloor Mapping Initiative - CZM and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) continue the successful cooperative started in 2003 to map the seafloor throughout Massachusetts. From 2003-2008, this project has mapped more than 700 square miles of seafloor, with additional mapping planned in Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound for 2009 and 2010, respectively. In 2008, surveys continued along the south shore (Hull to Duxbury) and a new funding agreement between USGS and CZM was signed to expand the mapping program to Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound. For additional information and preliminary results from current mapping, see the project website. For details about Massachusetts seafloor mapping efforts, see CZM's new Seafloor Mapping Program website .
Shoreline and Floodplain Management
- StormSmart Coasts Website - In May, CZM launched the StormSmart Coasts website , which provides an extensive assortment of tools and technical assistance materials for local officials looking to address the challenges arising from storms, floods, sea level rise, and climate change.
- StormSmart Coasts Factsheets - Also in May, CZM released the first three StormSmart Coasts fact sheets: Introduction to No Adverse Impact Land Management in the Coastal Zone ; No Adverse Impact and the Legal Framework of Coastal Management ; and the case study A Cape Cod Community Prevents New Residences in Floodplains .
- StormSmart Volunteer Receives Gulf of Maine Visionary Award - In June, the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment presented a 2008 Visionary Award—recognizing innovation, creativity, and commitment to protecting the marine environment—to Edward Thomas, Esquire, for his extensive pro bono publico assistance to CZM on the StormSmart Coasts program . His dedication and expertise have significantly bolstered CZM's ability to promote coastal community resiliency through the No Adverse Impact approach.
- StormSmart Coasts Featured in Coastal Services Magazine - The September/October 2008 issue of Coastal Services, a NOAA Coastal Services Center magazine, featured "Making Massachusetts' Coast StormSmart," a piece about CZM's StormSmart Coasts program.
- Freeboard Fact Sheet - In October, CZM's StormSmart Coasts program released a new fact sheet, Raise Your Home, Lower Your Monthly Payments: Protect buildings and reduce monthly expenses with freeboard . Freeboard is the practice of raising a building's lowest floor above predicted flood elevations by a small additional height. This cost-effective approach can lead to substantial reductions in flood insurance premiums, significantly decrease the chances a home will be damaged by storms and flooding, and help protect against sea level rise.
- StormSmart Coasts Begins Implementation Phase - In December, CZM chose five pilot projects to kick off the implementation phase of the StormSmart Coasts program . The city of Boston, the towns of Falmouth, Hull, and Oak Bluffs, and the three-town team of Duxbury, Kingston, and Plymouth were selected to serve as pilots for implementing coastal floodplain and sea level rise management tools and strategies developed through StormSmart Coasts. CZM's StormSmart Coasts team will work closely with each pilot to select and apply the appropriate tools and strategies that address the coastal floodplain management issues specific to each community. In addition, an advisory team, composed of representatives from each municipality, will be created to share information, tackle problems, and help with overlapping matters.
- StormSmart Coasts on WBZ - In December, StormSmart Coasts was featured in a WBZ-TV piece by Mish Michaels entitled, "Coast Towns Get 'Smart' About Living On Edge." The piece describes a program in Scituate that encourages residents in flood prone areas to elevate their homes. Funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay 75 percent of the costs. The benefits of home elevation are described in a StormSmart Coasts fact sheet .
Coastal Water Quality Protection
- CPR Grant Program Concludes Another Successful Year - In 2008, CZM and EEA, through the
Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program , awarded $400,000 to coastal communities to reduce nonpoint source pollution. Projects funded included the construction of two shoreside boat waste pumpout facilities—at Sesuit Harbor in Dennis and at McMillan Pier in Provincetown—that were critical for the designation of the Cape Cod Bay No Discharge Area. Communities also continue to use CPR funds to design and install the most progressive stormwater remediation practices including bioretention cells, tree box filters, and gravel wetlands. FY08 CPR recipients are:
- The town of Bourne for the implementation of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) in the Conservation Pond Watershed.
- The town of Brewster for the design of stormwater BMPs in the Stony Brook Watershed.
- The town of Cohasset for the design and implementation of stormwater BMPs within the James Brook Watershed.
- The town of Dennis for the design and construction of a vessel sewage pumpout facility at Sesuit Harbor.
- The town of Duxbury for phase III of the Kingston Bay stormwater remediation project.
- The town of Provincetown for the design and construction of a vessel sewage pumpout facility at MacMillan Pier.
- The city of Weymouth for the assessment and design of stormwater BMPs for Herring Brook.
For details about the grant program, including a complete review of all of this year's projects, see the CPR web page .
- CZM's Robin Lacey Named Educator of the Year by Mass Marine Trades - In January, CZM's Robin Lacey was presented with the Educator of the Year Award by the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association (MMTA) in recognition of his dedicated work to help marina owners and operators comply with existing and emerging water quality regulations. "For almost 10 years, Robin has patiently and proactively educated Massachusetts marine businesses on their responsibilities as stewards of the coastal environment. If one of our member firms is overwhelmed with the complexity of a specific environmental compliance regulation, they can count on Robin to swiftly answer their questions with clear and concise information," said MMTA's Greg Glavin. "In doing so, he has shepherded an entire industry in the direction of environmental compliance solutions that are effective, attainable, and affordable," he continued. For more on clean boating and marina operations, see CZM's Marina Management web page , which includes links to the Massachusetts Clean Marina Guide.
- Pressure Washing Guidance - In December, CZM released A Guide to Selecting Pressure Washing Management Practices and Technologies: Supplement to the Massachusetts Clean Marina Guide to provide guidance to marinas and boatyards about the proper handling and disposal of wastewater and solids generated when boat hulls are cleaned. The guide includes a review of relevant regulations, pressure washwater disposal options, and equipment that can be used to minimize impacts from pressure washing practices. In January 2009, a copy of the guide will be mailed to all Massachusetts marinas, boatyards, and yacht clubs. For more marina and pressure washing information, see CZM's Marina Management web page . To request a copy, email your request and mailing address to email@example.com.
- 2008 Boaters' Guide to Tides and Pumpout Facilities - Each year, CZM and the Division of Marine Fisheries produce the Boaters' Guide to Tides 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 2009 guide will be available this winter.
- No Discharge Area Website - In 2008, CZM updated its No Discharge Areas (NDA) website to provide convenient access to information about NDAs in Massachusetts and to include location and contact information for the more than 100 boat pumpout facilities all along the Commonwealth's coast.
- COASTSWEEP 2008 - COASTSWEEP celebrated its 21st anniversary in September. Part of an international effort organized by the Ocean Conservancy, COASTSWEEP is the statewide annual beach cleanup sponsored by CZM and the Urban Harbors Institute (UHI) of UMass Boston. On September 20, CZM Director Leslie-Ann McGee welcomed more than 200 dedicated volunteers to kick off COASTSWEEP at the Salisbury Beach State Reservation. COASTSWEEP cleanups were held through September and October, with 2,900 volunteers cleaning more than 130 miles of coastline, river bank, marsh, seafloor, and lakeshore sites in Massachusetts—collecting 18,000 pounds of debris from 100 locations. CZM and UHI would like to thank all of the dedicated volunteers that participated in COASTSWEEP 2008. For more information about this year's efforts, see the COASTSWEEP website. If you are interested in getting involved in future COASTSWEEP cleanups, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project/Federal Consistency Review
- Offshore LNG Proposals - CZM participated in several meetings hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pre-filing application process for the recently proposed Weavers Cove Energy Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Offshore Berthing project. The project proposes to construct and operate an unloading facility in Mount Hope Bay, with a 4.25-mile submarine transfer pipeline. CZM has also provided project comments as part of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) process.
- Renewable Energy Proposals - CZM provided comments on the U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service's Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cape Wind Energy Project. This review was conducted as part of the ongoing Federal Consistency Review. In January, CZM completed its review of the Environmental Notification Form for the town of Hull's proposed four-turbine array project in waters just offshore of Nantasket Beach. Also, CZM continues to work with Hull and the University of Massachusetts Renewable Energy Research Laboratory to develop the project.
- Offshore Alternative Energy Programs - In September, CZM reviewed the Minerals Management Service's Proposed Rule for Alternative Energy and Alternative Uses of Existing Facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf. CZM provided comments on the proposed rule as it relates to Coastal Zone Management Act compliance, areas available for lease, coordination with states, revenue sharing, data sharing, mitigation conditions, performance thresholds, and reporting.
- Federal Development Activities - NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service asked for a Federal Consistency Determination to be undertaken for the proposed Woods Hole Berthing project, which involves dredging the Great Harbor entrance channel, dredging to create a maneuvering basin/berthing area, and construction of a 550-foot-long pile-supported pier to be used as the home port of a new NOAA fisheries research vessel. The review was completed in August and resulted in the beneficial reuse of dredged sand. In cooperation with the Barnstable County Dredge, 20,000 cubic yards of sand was placed onto Menauhant Beach in Falmouth.
- Boston Harbor Deep Draft Navigation Improvement - CZM completed the review of the USACE/Massachusetts Port Authority proposal to deepen the Port of Boston to allow deeper draft bulk and container vessels to enter the port without experiencing tidal delays. The project was designed to position the port to effectively meet current and future needs of the cargo industry and to improve commercial viability. As part of this project, CZM participated in the Boston Harbor Navigation Improvement Project Technical Working Group and has suggested that this group continue to provide technical assistance to the proponent.
Port and Harbor Planning
- Port and Harbor Planning Activities - A number of communities are in the process or have completed work on existing or new harbor plans in 2008. On the North Shore, the city of Lynn should receive approval to begin development of the first Municipal Harbor Plan (MHP) for Lynn Harbor in January 2009. The city of Gloucester continues to work extensively with CZM and EEA to draft an MHP update that both meets the needs of a Designated Port Area Master Plan and reflects the goals and vision of the community. Gloucester expects to submit a plan to EEA for review in early 2009. In June, the Salem Municipal Harbor Plan renewal was approved by EEA. The new plan facilitates the development of waterfront parcels in a way that meets the needs of the community while realizing Salem's vision of drawing the public to the harbor. In Boston Harbor, EEA issued a decision on the city of Boston's Municipal Harbor Plan Amendment for the Charlestown Navy Yard, which lays out a conceptual framework to improve public access and allows for year-round access to the Harborwalk and waterfront areas of the Navy Yard, preserving many interior and exterior public facilities for civic/cultural uses. See the full EEA decision . In East Boston, the Boston Redevelopment Authority submitted an Amendment to the East Boston MHP with site-specific substitutions, offsets, and other public benefits for three projects from the McArdle Bridge to Jeffries Point. On the South Shore, CZM provided harbor planning technical assistance services to the towns of Hingham, Hull, and Scituate. In Scituate, CZM partnered with the Waterways Commission and Harbormasters office to develop and present an initial public informational meeting regarding the development of a harbor management plan. On the Cape and Islands, Nantucket is in the final stages of developing a state-approved harbor plan. A draft plan has been developed, and extensive public hearings have been held. Nantucket is making final revisions to the plan, and expects to submit the final plan for approval this spring. Provincetown has begun work on updating their existing MHP. Town representatives have met with CZM and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for guidance. A draft plan will be developed over the next six months. On the South Coast, New Bedford and Fairhaven selected a harbor plan renewal consultant and formally kicked off the planning process in January. Numerous meetings were held, including a broad public meeting and several thematic workshops on topics such as recreational boating, commercial fishing, dredging, and tourism/public access and the environment. The city and town anticipate submission of a formal draft plan for review by CZM in early 2009. For more information about CZM's harbor planning efforts, contact CZM's Regional Coordinators .
Shoreline Public Access
- Access Locator Updates - In 2008, CZM expanded its Online Locator of Coastal Public Access Sites (Access Locator), the statewide inventory of publicly accessible waterfront properties developed in coordination with MassGIS . Previously limited to shorelands owned by government agencies and nonprofit land conservation organizations, the Access Locator now includes numerous privately owned sites where nonwater-dependent development has been required to provide walkways and other public open spaces, as a condition of a MassDEP Chapter 91 License. In addition to maps, the Access Locator offers printable descriptions about each property including parking information, directions, photos, and a list of facilities. For these new "Chapter 91" sites, users can view licenses, site plans, and conditions governing the public access benefits. CZM welcomes comments and suggestions at email@example.com.
Aquatic Invasive Species
- Marine Invasive Species Workshop - In April, CZM's Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program and the Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel hosted a workshop on monitoring for marine invasive species at the New England Aquarium. The free workshop was attended by more than 60 participants, and focused on monitoring methods, identification of marine invaders, and the latest mapping technologies being applied to invasive species monitoring. To get involved in marine invasive species monitoring, please contact Adrienne Pappal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Marine Invasive Monitoring and Information Collaborative Expands - CZM's Marine Invasive Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC) is a volunteer early detection and monitoring program that focuses on 20 non-native marine species. In 2008, with the help of local and regional partners, MIMIC has trained close to 100 volunteers and expanded the network to include 50 sites across coastal Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. All data collected by MIMIC are available online through the Marine Invader Tracking System (MITIS), a partnership between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sea Grant College Program and CZM. For details, or for more information on becoming a local partner or volunteer, contact Adrienne Pappal at email@example.com.
- Marine Invasive Species Monitoring Guide - In December, CZM's AIS Program released a new resource for groups that monitor marine invasive species. Developed as the primary guidance document for MIMIC, Monitoring Marine Invasive Species: Guidance and Protocols for Volunteer Monitoring Groups includes information on site selection, monitoring protocols, safety, and identification resources. For details, contact Adrienne Pappal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Chronicle Features Invasives - In December, Chronicle, the daily news magazine on Channel 5, featured a story about invasive species in New England. The episode, Invasion!, features the troubling invasive tunicate, Didemnum vexillum, which was first discovered in the Gulf of Maine in the late 1980s and has since rapidly colonized many nearshore and offshore areas, including portions of Georges Bank. With no known predators, Didemnum has the potential to overgrow other marine organisms and smother critical habitat. CZM's Aquatic Invasive Species Program was highlighted in its efforts to develop early detection, monitoring, and rapid response capabilities, including the volunteer-based Marine Invasive Monitoring and Information Collaborative .
- 30th Anniversary of the Blizzard of '78 - On the morning of Monday, February 6, 1978, the National Weather Service (NWS) announced that a "Snow Watch" was in effect for southern New England. For coastal communities, the weather indicators were only slightly more serious, as the NWS issued "Gale Warnings." With these rather tame weather reports, New Englanders went about their day, never expecting to be confronted with what turned out to be the most destructive winter storm in the history of the Commonwealth. The blizzard was most severe in the eastern half of the state, where accumulations ranged from more than 25 inches in Boston to as much as 54 inches in some of our southern communities. The storm has been commemorated in a number of books and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has developed a about the storm, which includes detailed descriptions of its impacts and statistics. In addition, CZM's Blizzard of '78 Gallery features 37 compelling images of this storm of the century.
- CZM Emergency Management in 2008 - CZM's Joe Pelczarski serves as EEA's representative to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). For emergency events, Joe coordinates EEA's communications and response activities from the MEMA Emergency Operations Center in Framingham. Events in 2008 included coastal storms in January and March. In other efforts, CZM participated in: the Massachusetts Recovery Alliance created by Governor Patrick to coordinate planning for recovery after a disaster and the Massachusetts Flood Task Force to examine flood planning and preparedness in the Commonwealth. CZM staff also participated in updating the Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Continuity of Government (COG) Planning for EEA to reflect the expanded Secretariat that now includes energy. For more information on emergency management, see MEMA's website .
- Wetlands Restoration Grants - In 2008, CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program (WRP) selected nine proposals to receive awards totaling $200,000 under its FY08 Wetland Restoration Grants for Priority Projects. Funds will be used by recipients to support construction-related activities and monitoring at designated Priority Project restoration sites. Construction-related grants were awarded to the towns of Cohasset, Marshfield, and Plymouth, and monitoring grants were awarded to the Association to Preserve Cape Cod in Barnstable, the Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research, the Lloyd Center for the Environment in Dartmouth, Mass Audubon in Wenham, the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, and Salem Sound Coastwatch in Salem.
- Completed Restoration Projects - In 2008, WRP marked the completion of four restoration projects along the Commonwealth's coast. In June, project partners came together to celebrate the Sesuit Creek Restoration Project in Dennis—the largest salt marsh restoration completed to date in Massachusetts. The project replaced a small failing pipe with two large culverts, increasing flow capacity by 60 times and restoring natural tidal conditions to the 65-acre marsh. In October, EEA Secretary Bowles joined project partners to celebrate the salt marsh restoration at South Cape Beach State Park, which was completed in the spring. The project replaced two culverts, which improved tidal exchange to 15 acres of marsh. Also completed in 2008 was the Bass Creek project in Yarmouth, which restored tidal flow to a degraded 35-acre salt marsh by replacing an undersized culvert with a walking bridge over an open channel. In December, tidal flows were restored to approximately 18 acres of the Medouie Creek salt marsh on Nantucket. Seawater flow into the marsh, located in the northeast corner of Nantucket, had been cut off by dikes traversing two sides of the marsh. A large box culvert and a broad, low swale were installed to ensure proper drainage of freshwater out of, and adequate high tidal flows into, the marsh. For more information about these projects, see the WRP website .
- Funding Awards for Restoration Partners - WRP helped project partners secure numerous funding awards in 2008 from federal restoration programs and other sources. Examples include a $1 million U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant for the Eel River Headwaters restoration project in Plymouth; a $400,000 USFWS North American Waterfowl Conservation Act Grant for the Newman Road Salt Marsh Restoration Project in Newbury (part of a $1 million grant in partnership with the Essex County Greenbelt Association); and a $150,000 Natural Resources Conservation Service Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program agreement for the Thissell Marsh Restoration Project in Beverly.
- Sesuit Creek Project Receives Coastal America Award - In December, the Sesuit Project Team was notified that it will receive a 2008 Coastal America Partnership Award "for outstanding efforts to restore and protect the coastal environment." Coastal America is a collaboration of federal, state, and local governments and private alliances to address environmental problems along our nation's coasts. WRP played a lead role in completing this 65-acre salt marsh restoration in Dennis. Other core team members are the town of Dennis, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, USFWS, and the NOAA-Gulf of Maine Council Partnership. A ceremony will be held in early 2009 with a Principal from Coastal America to present the award on behalf of the President of the United States.
- Friends of Herring River Website - The Friends of Herring River is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the restoration and ongoing environmental vitality of the Herring River Estuary in Wellfleet and Truro. The new Friends of Herring River website provides information about the Friends' initiatives, links to the new eNewsletter, and other news and resources. The Herring River Estuary Restoration is a priority project of CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program .
Underwater Archaeological Resources
- Archaeological Site Work - Fieldwork opportunities were frequent in 2008 for the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR). In collaboration with UMass-Boston and local watermen, BUAR conducted a preliminary archaeological survey of Marblehead Harbor. The survey used magnetometer, side-scan sonar, and sub-bottom profiler in an attempt to locate the remains of the Revolutionary War Privateer Freemason (1779). During June, with assistance from American Underwater Search and Survey and a BUAR research fellow from Flinder's University (Adelaide, Australia), BUAR searched for a China trade shipwreck off Cape Cod. In addition, BUAR has been working with several groups of recreational divers to create volunteer diver programs including two pilot investigations—one of the lime schooner A.H. Heaton (1907) in Boston's outer harbor and the other of Native American mishoons (dugout canoes) in Lake Quinsigamond, Worcester. For more information about underwater archaeology in the Commonwealth, see the BUAR website .
- BUAR Director Mastone Appointed to Federal MPA Committee - In March, BUAR Director Victor Mastone was appointed to NOAA's Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Federal Advisory Committee. The committee is made up of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience, who represent parties interested in the use of MPAs as a management tool. Mastone was selected to represent the cultural resource interests and perspectives on the committee and will serve until 2011. For more information, see the committee's website and the NOAA press release.
- Archaeology Month - October was Massachusetts Archaeology Month and BUAR participated in several events. The Archaeological Institute of America's Archaeology Fair was held at the Boston Museum of Science and BUAR assisted with several presentations including a mock "dig" of a shipwreck. In Orleans at the Snow Library's Lifetime Learning Lecture series on Cape Cod Shipwrecks, BUAR Director Mastone gave the presentation "Massachusetts Submerged History." BUAR also co-sponsored a two-day event in partnership with the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Cape Cod Maritime Museum that featured "WSI: Wreck Scene Investigation," a hands-on set of educational activities for kids that included a mock shipwreck "dig" along with equipment exhibits and demonstrations.
- Publications - BUAR Director Victor Mastone authored an article for the autumn 2008 issue of Sea History, the quarterly magazine of the National Maritime Historical Society. "Marine Debris or Shipwreck Tale? The Mystery at Newcomb Hollow Beach, Cape Cod" describes the research on this unknown shipwreck recently discovered in Wellfleet. Also, Mastone co-edited the Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology's Underwater Archaeology Proceedings 2008 from the Society for Historical Archaeology's annual conference held in January.
CZM Regional Offices
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 North Shore, Boston Harbor, South Shore, Cape Cod and Islands, and South Coastal—and the 2008 accomplishments for each region are provided below.
North Shore (Salisbury to Revere)
- Salem Sound No Discharge Area Approved - In June, EPA approved the state's proposal to designate the coastal waters of Salem Sound as an NDA. The ban on discharge of all boat sewage would apply to the state waters of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Beverly, Danvers, Salem, and Marblehead. For more on NDA activities along the coast, see CZM's NDA website .
- Eelgrass Management in Gloucester - In 2008, CZM released a fact sheet and a report that provide details on efforts to restore eelgrass in Gloucester. The Eelgrass Habitat Restoration in the Annisquam River fact sheet describes the efforts of CZM and its partners to study the potential to restore this valuable habitat. Also, CZM's Tony Wilbur and co-authors published the report Adaptive Management for Impacts to Eelgrass Habitat in Gloucester Harbor, which summarizes the effort in 2006-2007 to create an eelgrass bank, raise awareness of the value of eelgrass habitat, and facilitate transplanting efforts to Boston Harbor.
- Technical Assistance - In 2008, CZM staff continued to work with the cities of Salem, Lynn, and Gloucester to update or develop Municipal Harbor Plans or waterfront development plans to promote and facilitate water-dependent uses of harbor areas. CZM also continued to coordinate the very popular North Shore Regional Conservation Commission and Health Agents Networks, with more than 25 participating communities. Through the networks, CZM provides regular training for North Shore Conservation Commissions, Boards of Health, and their staff; facilitates coordination between the cities and towns and state agencies; and supplies an avenue for discussion of new regulatory and policy tools. CZM also worked with EPA, Safer Waters in Massachusetts, Saugus River Watershed Association, and the communities of Revere, Lynn, Saugus, Nahant, and Swampscott to prepare the recently submitted application to designate the Lower North Shore region as a No Discharge Area. CZM's North Shore Regional Coordinator continues to work with regional staff of the Eight Towns and the Bay Committee to prepare the NDA application for the Upper North Shore region, which includes 16 communities from Gloucester to Salisbury, and up the Merrimack River to Lawrence. CZM expects to submit an application to EPA later this spring.
Boston Harbor (Winthrop to Weymouth)
- Boston Harbor No Discharge Area Approved - In July, EPA approved the state's proposal to designate the coastal waters of Boston Harbor as an NDA. The ban on discharge of all boat sewage applies to the state waters of Winthrop, Chelsea, Everett, Boston, Quincy, Milton, Weymouth, Braintree, Hingham, and Hull, including the waters of the Charles River in Watertown, Newton, and Cambridge.
- South Bay Harbor Trail - In the fall of 2008, the South Bay Harbor Trail was completed, greatly enhancing pedestrian access to Boston Harbor. Made possible through several public-private partnerships, this "wayfinding" bike trail-marked by a series of U.S. Coast Guard buoys—starts in Roxbury, runs through the South End and Chinatown, and connects directly to the South Boston waterfront.
- Parcel E - In 2008, the Parcel E project began site preparation to make way for the new mixed-use project that will replace the old Jimmy's Harborside Restaurant adjacent to the World Trade Center in South Boston. The new facility will include four restaurants and enhanced public access along the South Boston waterfront.
- Technical Assistance - In 2008, CZM continued to work with the Boston Redevelopment Authority to develop a Municipal Harbor Plan for the East Boston waterfront. CZM participated in the Technical Working Group for two Boston Harbor dredging projects that include maintenance of the Inner Harbor and long-range plans for the deepening of the federal navigation channel.
South Shore (Hingham to Plymouth)
- South Shore No Discharge Area Approved - In May, EPA approved the designation of the coastal waters of Cohasset, Scituate, and Marshfield as an NDA. The ban on discharge of all boat sewage would also apply in the North and South Rivers and adjacent coastal waters. This designation will help protect these coastal waters and will complement the ongoing local clean water initiatives, such as municipal sewering projects, new stormwater best management practices, and the adoption of stormwater bylaws.
- Straits Pond Restoration Project - In 2008, CZM continued to work with the Straits Pond Watershed Association and the towns of Hull, Cohasset, and Hingham on the Straits Pond Restoration Project, which seeks to restore tidal exchange to a severely impaired 94-acre coastal salt pond through the reconstruction and enlargement of a culvert between the Weir River estuary and Straits Pond. The $2.69 million construction phase of this project, expected be begin in early spring 2009, will be administered by the Massachusetts Highway Department.
- Scituate Coastal Inundation and Visualization Project - In 2008, CZM continued to work with project partners including NOAA, the National Weather Service, the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System, UMass Boston, DCR, and the town of Scituate on a project that seeks to better communicate flood and storm damage risk to hazard-prone areas within Scituate through storm surge modeling, flooding visualization imagery, tidal elevation monitoring, post-storm flood and storm damage impact documentation, and other methods.
- Technical Assistance - In 2008, CZM provided technical, grant writing, and coordination assistance to a number of regionally significant wetland restoration and stewardship projects. These efforts included preliminary feasibility and monitoring assessments for Broad Cove in Hingham; design, permitting, and monitoring for Parker Avenue Cut in Cohasset; monitoring and permitting for Musquashcut Pond in Scituate; design, permitting, and monitoring in Green Harbor River in Marshfield; and the compilation of historical and existing condition information for Ellisville Harbor in Plymouth.
Cape Cod & Islands (Bourne to Provincetown and the Islands)
- Cape Cod Bay No Discharge Area Approved - In July, EPA approved the designation of the coastal waters of Cape Cod Bay as an NDA. The discharge ban applies to the bayside coastal waters of Marshfield, Duxbury, Plymouth, Bourne, Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown.
- Coastal Conservation Commission Training - The Woods Hole Sea Grant program, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC), has developed a new web-based training module entitled, Coastal Conservation Commission Training: Making Decisions Based on Law and Science. This training module, developed with funding from the National Sea Grant Law Center, expands the standard training that Conservation Commission members receive. Provided as PowerPoint presentations with accompanying audio, the coastal module presents details about the law, the science, and the regulations—all specifically tailored toward coastal geology, coastal processes, and application of the state Wetland Protection Regulations for coastal resource areas. Also included is a discussion of who's who in the Massachusetts coastal community, featuring CZM's Cape Cod Regional Coordinator, Steve McKenna. Check it out on the MACC website.
- Technical Assistance - In 2008, CZM continued to provide support to the 23 communities in the Cape & Islands region. CZM coordinates a Cape & Islands Conservation Commission Network and provides ongoing technical assistance to local conservation commissions. CZM staff assisted local harbormasters and waterways committees on a variety of dredge related issues, including facilitation of a federal, state, and local agency workgroup to develop greater flexibility in the time-of-year restrictions for certain types of dredge projects. CZM coordinated numerous agency pre-application meetings to offer project specific feedback on large projects within the region. CZM worked with the Pleasant Bay Alliance and the towns of Chatham, Orleans, Harwich, and Brewster to assess changes to the Pleasant Bay system resulting from the recent breach in the barrier beach. Work includes detailed flood studies, hydrographic survey work, and the development of a comprehensive sediment management plan for the Bay.
South Coastal (Wareham to Seekonk)
- Technical Assistance - In 2008, CZM provided Buzzards Bay communities with a detailed presentation on the sea floor mapping project that will be conducted in Buzzards Bay and Martha's Vineyard Sound beginning in the summer of 2009. CZM and BBNEP continued to work closely with other state and federal agencies on the Shoreline and Aquatic Resources Technical Working Groups of the Natural Resource Damages Assessment team to quantify damages and identify 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, MassDEP, and EPA on navigational dredging activities in New Bedford Harbor. This included providing guidance to municipalities with MEPA proposals to expand the size of the dredge material disposal area within the harbor, as well as participating in the plans to create and define the use of a second confined aquatic disposal (CAD) facility in the harbor. CZM also provided technical assistance to the Fairhaven Conservation Commission on strategies for dock and pier management. Finally, CZM continued to be a resource for municipalities, other agencies, and the public on coastal issues and concerns in the area.
National Estuary Programs
CZM administers two National Estuary Programs (NEPs), the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program and the Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP). The Buzzards Bay NEP works to protect and restore water quality and living resources in Buzzards Bay and its watershed. The Massachusetts Bays 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
- Buzzards Bay Grants - In 2008, the Buzzards Bay NEP continued its core mission to provide grants and technical assistance to Buzzards Bay municipalities. In March, the NEP awarded $104,000 in state and federal funds to six municipalities to enhance coastal wetlands, conserve open space, and improve the environmental quality of estuaries within the Buzzards Bay watershed. Recipients of these awards were the city of New Bedford and the towns of Rochester, Marion, Acushnet, Fairhaven, and Mattapoisett. In December, the program awarded more than $131,000 in federal funds to seven municipalities. Recipients of these awards were the towns of Fairhaven, Acushnet, Wareham, Bourne, and Rochester and the city of New Bedford. The second round of grants will help these communities protect and restore wetlands, habitat, and open space; test and design treatment solutions for stormwater discharges; and restore a herring run.
- Technical Assistance - In 2008, the Buzzards Bay NEP continued to assist municipalities with development of local regulatory protection strategies, review local projects, and help program partners to prepare grant applications and restoration plans for state and federal grant programs. These efforts are part of the NEP's ongoing effort to implement recommendations contained in a comprehensive watershed management plan to protect and restore water quality and living resources in Buzzards Bay and its surrounding watershed.
Massachusetts Bays Program
- Climate Ready Estuaries - Along with five other NEPs, the Massachusetts Bays Program was selected to host a pilot project of EPA's Climate Ready Estuaries initiative in May. MBP is currently working with EPA in designing and completing a climate change vulnerability assessment for the coastal zone of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays. Upon completion of the vulnerability assessment, the information gathered will help to revise the Massachusetts Bays Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan so that strategies and actions address the anticipated impacts of climate change.
- Stephen B. Gersh Stewardship Award - In June, MBP presented the bi-annual Stephen B. Gersh Stewardship Award to Russ Vickers, recognizing his contributions, time commitment, energy, and skills to help realize the MBP's vision of improving the health of coastal habitats in Massachusetts. His tireless work has resulted in notable environmental accomplishments within the Salem Sound watershed area. In addition to serving on the MBP's Management and Executive Committees, Russ served on the board of Salem Sound Coastwatch. Founded in 2001, the Stephen B. Gersh Award is presented to a citizen who demonstrates dedication, creative problem-solving skills, and long-range vision for the betterment of the environment both locally and beyond.
- No Discharge Areas - MBP has been actively engaged in the NDA designation process throughout Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays. In 2008, MBP regional staff worked with communities on efforts to successfully designate NDAs in Cape Cod Bay, Salem Sound, and the South Shore. MBP continues to provide assistance with the Upper North Shore designation, which is anticipated by the end of 2009.
- MBP Program Evaluation a Success - In 2008, MBP successfully completed a triennial evaluation of the program, a requirement to ensure continued federal funding. The overall review process involves meticulous documentation of program implementation and effectiveness. MBP submitted its review package to EPA in February. In July, EPA conducted an onsite visit as the final component of the review. Through the three-day visit, MBP hosted a team of EPA staff and peers from other NEPs who met with CZM and EEA staff and viewed implementation projects in the Salem Sound and Eight Towns and the Bay regions. In November, MBP received notification that it had passed the review. The evaluation report included an overview of the program, key accomplishments over the last few years, and several suggested recommendations that should be addressed in the next three-year cycle.
- Habitat Enhancement Achievements - MBP staff are involved in numerous habitat improvement projects. The following, which are included in the National Estuary Program habitat database for FY08, represent improvements to almost 1,500 acres of coastal habitat:
- Mill River, Gloucester - Efforts are underway to return this former freshwater pond to a saltwater estuary through the restoration of tidal flow. Studies of mudflat clams will be monitored to measure project success. Partners include the city of Gloucester, WRP, Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, and NOAA's Community-Based Restoration Program.
- Great Marsh, Upper North Shore - MBP staff are working to improve conditions in the high marsh of the upper Great Marsh, more than 500 acres of marsh impacted by emergent stands of the invasive plant, Phragmites. Through the use of chemicals, fire, and cutting, Phragmites is being removed in order to restore the marsh to a more natural state. Partners include the town of Newbury, Ducks Unlimited, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, and the Essex County Greenbelt Association.
- Town Creek, Salisbury - MBP staff are working on this culvert repair project to address tidal flow in Town Creek to enable better control and more extensive tidal flushing to restore a brackish salt/freshwater coastal marsh that is currently overgrown by Phragmites due current tidally restrictive infrastructure. Partners include the town of Salisbury, NOAA, and WRP.
- Upper Shawme Pond, Sandwich - MBP staff are assisting partners in the town of Sandwich to restore the Upper Shawme Pond Fish Run, the only active herring run remaining in Sandwich. The pond used to be the spawning ground for alewife and eels before the fish run ceased to function due to low flow. As part of a dam reconstruction project, an Alaskan steep pass fish ladder will be installed to restore fish access. Additional partners include the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Gulf of Maine Council, NOAA Habitat Restoration Center, National Association of Counties, and the state's Division of Marine Fisheries.
- Green Harbor, Marshfield - The goal of this tide gate replacement project is to improve water quality and wildlife habitat and restore natural hydrology to the Green Harbor River. Partners include the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, the town of Marshfield, and WRP. CZM and students from Whitman/Hanson High School, led by Laurie Bianchi, assisted with data collection.
Staff and People
In looking back over this year of changes, CZM welcomes the new members of the coastal management team and wishes the best of luck to those who have moved on to new opportunities.
Coastal Shoreline and Floodplain Manager - In April, Andrea Cooper became CZM's new Coastal Shoreline and Floodplain Manager and will serve as the lead for developing and implementing state policy and municipal technical assistance programs to promote sound land-use principles in areas threatened by coastal erosion and flooding. For the last three years, Andrea was the Smart Growth Coordinator for CZM and EEA. In this role she catalogued, developed, and distributed planning, technical, regulatory, and outreach tools to community officials and development industry professionals for real-world growth management—receiving a 2007 Commonwealth Employee Performance of the Year Award for her efforts. Before that, Andrea was CZM's North Shore Regional Coordinator for nine years. Her accomplishments included co-founding the Green Neighborhoods Alliance, which received a 2004 EPA New England Environmental Merit Award for its work to reshape suburban growth by promoting open space and environmental resource protection through creative and flexible cluster development approach.
Legislative Coordinator - In April, Mary-Lee King left CZM to join the Department of Fish and Game team as Legislative Director. In her four years at CZM, Mary-Lee focused on a variety of legislative issues and special projects, including the ocean management legislation, the Coastal Hazards Commission, and No Discharge Areas.
Mass Bays Outreach Coordinator - In May, Peter Hanlon left the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program after five years as Policy and Outreach Coordinator. During his time with Mass Bays, Peter worked on improving the program website and developing outreach materials for both the Think Blue (stormwater information for the public) and Greenscapes (environmental landscaping) campaigns. In September, MBP welcomed Carole McCauley as the new Outreach and Policy Coordinator. Carole worked previously with the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program in Florida as the Watershed Action Volunteer Coordinator and with the Environmental Awareness Group of the U.S. Peace Corps in Antigua. Most recently, she finished a second master's degree at the Florida Institute of Technology and worked as an environmental planning and implementation manager in Montserrat.
AIS Program Intern - In June, CZM welcomed Alex Boeri as the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program Summer Intern. Alex assisted program staff in monitoring for marine invasive species at several locations along the coast of Massachusetts.
Wetlands Restoration Planner - In August, Beth Suedmeyer left CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program to join DCR's Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) Program as their Inland ACEC Coordinator. While working with WRP as a Restoration Planner, Beth contributed to several key projects, including the Aquatic Habitat Restoration Task Force Report, Great Marsh Coastal Wetlands Restoration Plan, and the Purple Loosestrife Biocontrol Project.
Ocean Services Manager - In August, CZM welcomed back John Weber as the Ocean Services Manager, filling a critical policy, planning, and coordinating role for the ocean planning efforts of EEA. John has spent the last two years working for the Maine Coastal Program on wind energy and coastal land-use issues. He also served as CZM's Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator in 2005-2006, where he played key roles in developing harbor plans for the Charlestown Navy Yard and the Fort Point Channel.
Marine Spatial Planner - In September, CZM welcomed Emily Chambliss as a Marine Spatial Planner. Emily will provide mapping assistance with CZM's ocean planning efforts and will be developing new GIS data layers for MORIS , the Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System. Emily received her master's of environmental management from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences and her bachelor's from Boston College.
NOAA Coastal Fellow - In September, CZM bid farewell to Wes Shaw, our 2006-2008 Coastal Management Fellow from NOAA's Coastal Services Center (CSC). Wes was the mastermind behind CZM's nationally acclaimed StormSmart Coasts program , which was designed to give local decision-makers information and tools for coastal storm damage and flood protection, as well as sea level rise and climate change preparation. While at CZM, Wes twice received recognition at the national conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) for his innovative StormSmart Coasts work. Wes moved to Washington, where, with funding from CSC, he will transfer the Massachusetts StormSmart Coasts model to other coastal areas around the country, beginning with regional websites for the Gulf of Mexico coast and the New England states. In September, CZM welcomed Daniella Hirschfeld as our seventh NOAA Coastal Management Fellow. In phase two of StormSmart Coasts, Daniella will work directly with selected coastal communities to implement coastal floodplain management tools. Daniella received her master's in environmental management from Duke University's Nicholas School of Environmental and Earth Studies and her bachelor's from Dartmouth College.
Clean Marina Intern - In September, CZM welcomed Kim Starbuck as the Massachusetts Clean Marina Program Intern. With financial support from the Cape Cod & the Massachusetts Marine Trades Associations, CZM was able to bring Kim on board to assist CZM's Clean Marina Program , which provides resources and direct technical assistance regarding environmental compliance to Massachusetts marinas. During her internship, Kim initiated the development of an environmental regulatory compliance checklist and compiled information on clean marina certification programs around the country to inform future efforts in Massachusetts. Kim is finishing up her master's of science in environmental, earth, and ocean sciences at UMass Boston.
BUAR Deputy Director - In September, David Trubey left CZM to take a position with Fathom Research, a marine science consulting firm. For the past nine years, David has served as the Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources Deputy Director and Staff Archaeologist. During this time, David participated in all aspects of BUAR activities-from field investigations to outreach activities to coordinating project review.
Ocean Analyst - In October, EEA and CZM welcomed Pressada Vella to the ocean management planning team. Pressada is finalizing her doctoral dissertation at UMass Boston where she has been studying various aspects of marine ecosystem-based management, and also brings international experience in such issues to EEA/CZM. Pressada previously interned for the MassDEP, Chapter 91 Waterways Licensing Program, and has worked for the government of Malta on environmental issues related to the European Union.
Marine Ecologist - In December, Tony Wilbur left CZM to pursue a master's degree in education. Since 1998, Tony has served as a marine ecologist at CZM. From 1998 to 2004, he played a key role in the development of technical information to characterize the environmental and economic issues surrounding dredged material management in the Commonwealth. Since its inception in 2003, Tony has served as CZM's program manager for a Seafloor Mapping Cooperative with the U.S. Geologic Survey. The high-resolution data, maps, and other products of the Massachusetts seafloor generated by this program directly support and inform priority management efforts, such as comprehensive ocean planning and habitat protection. Tony's work on (and passion for) the protection and management of the marine environment was also clearly exhibited through his work on innovative pilot projects on eelgrass quality assessment on the North Shore. CZM wishes Tony all the best in his new chapter.