News

Support Available for Communities on Stormwater Issues - In April 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) co-issued the final General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems In Massachusetts, referred to as the MS4 permit. The MS4 permit applies to most—but not all—cities and towns in the coastal zone pdf format of The Massachusetts Coastal Zone Map
file size 2MB and coastal watersheds (see the designated MS4 areas) and becomes effective July 1, 2017, with Notices of Intent due on September 29, 2017. CZM is providing support for coastal communities through technical assistance and the Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) stormwater grant program. The Fiscal Year 18 Request for Responses (RFR) for CPR grants is anticipated to be released in the spring, and CZM staff will be holding regional outreach meetings to answer questions about the program. Stay tuned for announcements of these informational meetings. CZM also recently released the Report on Climate Change Impacts to Coastal Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs), providing practical recommendations to modify existing BMPs and promote green infrastructure options that can be readily adapted to address climate change impacts and reduce costs. In addition, work is underway on a guidebook for municipal planners, consultants, and others on stormwater management in communities. The guidebook will include: planning and zoning tools to improve stormwater at the municipal scale; strategies for improving stormwater management during subdivision application and site plan reviews; and a BMP Selection Tool that focuses on Low Impact Development (LID) techniques and reducing stormwater contaminants, such as bacteria and nitrogen, which are common pollutants in coastal waters. For more information on the CPR grant program and coastal water quality, contact Adrienne Pappal at adrienne.pappal@state.ma.us or Cristina Kennedy at cristina.kennedy@state.ma.us. For more information or to provide feedback on the stormwater guidebook for planners, contact Ashley Green at ashley.green@state.ma.us. For more information on the MS4 permit requirements, contact Fred Civian at frederick.civian@state.ma.us.

Ocean Advisory Commission Meets - On January 26, CZM hosted a meeting of the Commonwealth’s Ocean Advisory Commission to discuss continued implementation of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan and related topics including ocean-based aquaculture, offshore wind and transmission, offshore sand resources, and updates on the Northeast Ocean Plan and the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, designated by President Obama in September 2016. The 17-member commission includes legislators, representatives from a commercial fishing organization and an environmental organization, an expert in offshore renewable energy, representatives from the coastal Regional Planning Agencies, and the heads of CZM, MassDEP, and Division of Marine Fisheries. The commission will convene again for its next meeting in spring 2017.

New Seafloor Mapping Initiative Report Published - CZM and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) published the new seafloor mapping report, High-resolution geophysical data from the Inner Continental Shelf: South of Martha's Vineyard and north of Nantucket, Massachusetts, which presents geophysical data collected by USGS during a survey in 2013. The report includes bathymetric data (water depth), acoustic backscatter that provides an image of the seafloor, and seismic-reflection profiles that reveal the nature of the sediment layers below the seafloor. The reports were prepared as part of the 13-year, cooperative mapping program between CZM and USGS, which began in 2003 and has mapped more than 2,403 square kilometers (928 square miles) of the Commonwealth’s coastal waters. For more information, see CZM's Seafloor Mapping Program website and the recently updated USGS Geologic Mapping of the Seafloor Offshore of Massachusetts website, or contact CZM’s Dan Sampson at daniel.sampson@state.ma.us.

Thank You COASTSWEEP Volunteers! - CZM offers our heartfelt thanks to the thousands of volunteers who turned out for the 2016 COASTSWEEP, the annual statewide coastal cleanup sponsored by CZM. Cleanups were held from September to mid-November and results are still flowing in. Here’s the data compiled so far: 1,892 volunteers cleaned 85 locations, covered over 135 miles of coastline, and removed 11,675 pounds of trash. The final tally, which will continue to grow as the rest of the cleanups are tabulated, will be reported in the January CZ-Mail.

Offshore Wind Public Information Meetings - On November 14-15, representatives from CZM and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center will host public information meetings in Vineyard Haven and New Bedford to present, answer questions, and discuss recent and upcoming planning and assessment activities related to future offshore wind projects in federal waters off Massachusetts. Topics include an overview of the new energy diversity law and updates on: marine mammal and bird studies, Metocean data collection, geological surveys, and transmission planning. Representatives of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will be in attendance. For more information on the offshore wind activities for Massachusetts, see the EEA website. The information meetings will be:

  • Monday, November 14, 2016, 5:00-7:00 p.m., at the Katherine Cornell Theater, 54 Spring Street, Vineyard Haven
  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 5:00-7:00 p.m., at the New Bedford Public Library, 613 Pleasant Street, New Bedford

Citizen Monitoring Coordinators’ Network - On September 29, the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays) held a summit for citizen monitoring coordinators to share resources and consider forming a network of coastal monitoring programs to address capacity-building needs. The resulting Citizen Monitoring Coordinators’ Network will connect organizations with scientists who can help them formulate their own questions and approaches to answering those questions; facilitate equipment exchange and joint training for volunteers; provide training on communicating results to local and state decision makers; and help to secure funding to sustain long-term programs and jump-start lapsed ones. Visit the MassBays website for more information and to join the effort.

New Fact Sheet Available on Design Improvements for Projects that Repair and Reconstruct Seawalls and Revetments - Recommended design practices for seawalls and revetments have advanced significantly over the last 50 years. Any repair or reconstruction project for seawalls and revetments—whether minor repairs or complete reconstruction—should therefore include design improvements based on the best available techniques to reduce impacts, improve structure longevity, and minimize maintenance costs. This new CZM fact sheet, StormSmart Properties Fact Sheet 7: Repair and Reconstruction of Seawalls and Revetments, discusses the history and impacts of seawalls and revetments and options for improving their performance and reducing impacts.

Coastal Resilience Grant Awards Announced - On August 17, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) announced over $1.8 million in funding through CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program to support local efforts to improve responses to and reduce the impacts from coastal storms and climate change, including storm surge, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise. Grants were awarded to Beverly, Boston, Dennis, Harwich, Ipswich, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Newburyport, Orleans, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Scituate, Swampscott, Truro, Wareham, Weymouth, and Winthrop. Funded projects include efforts to assess local vulnerability of public infrastructure to flooding and sea level rise, identify alternatives for beach nourishment and dune restoration projects, evaluate structural and non-structural shoreline protection approaches, study wave effects on sand movement, and develop strategies to adapt to sea level rise. For more information, see the EEA Press Release.

Jobs

There are currently no employment opportunities at CZM. Please check back later or see the MassCareers website for additional state opportunities.

Grants and Requests for Responses

There are no CZM solicitations available at this time. Please check back later or see COMMBUYS - the Commonwealth's electronic procurement system for other state opportunities.

Project Review/Public Comment

Please note: All official CZM requests for public comment are published in the Public Notices section of the Environmental Monitor, the bi-weekly publication from the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) office.

Currently, there are no major comment opportunities to highlight here.

Calendar

There are currently no CZM calendar listings. Please check back later.

Also, check out the CZM Coastal Calendar for more CZM-related events.