News

2014 Draft Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan Available for Public Comment - On September 24, 2014, the Draft Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, September 2014 (2014 draft ocean plan) was released for public review, hearings, and a 60-day public comment period. The 2014 draft ocean plan is the first formal amendment of the 2009 ocean plan. In December 2009, EEA issued the Commonwealth’s first-ever Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, as required by the Oceans Act of 2008. The 2009 ocean plan established protections for critical marine habitat and important water-dependent uses in the Massachusetts Ocean Planning Area and set siting and performance standards for specific ocean-base development. EEA is required by the Oceans Act to review the ocean plan every five years.

For more information, including the 2014 draft ocean plan, plan review and update process, technical work group reports, and the 2009 ocean plan, see the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan website.

Five regional public hearings will be held to receive comment and input on the 2014 draft ocean plan:

  • North Shore - October 8, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Ipswich Public Library, Collins Room, 25 N. Main Street, Ipswich, MA 01938.
  • Cape Cod - October 14, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at the Heritage House Hotel, Chauncy’s Room, 259 Main Street, Hyannis, MA 02601.
  • South Coast - October 20, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Memorial Theater, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740.
  • Islands - October 22, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at the Katharine Cornell Theater, 54 Spring Street, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.
  • Boston Harbor and South Shore - October 27, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Executive Office for Energy and Environmental Affairs, 100 Cambridge Street, 2nd Floor Rooms C-D, Boston, MA 02114.

Submit written comments on the 2014 draft ocean plan by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 to:

Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
ATTN: Ocean Plan
251 Causeway Street, Suite 800
Boston, MA 02114

Comments will also be accepted via email at: oceanplan@state.ma.us. For more information, please contact CZM at czm@state.ma.us or 617-626-1200.

Massachusetts Receives Funds to Characterize Beaches - Geoscientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Massachusetts Geological Survey, in partnership with CZM, have received a $200,000 award from the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to characterize sediment types and document the existing beach and dune profiles at 22 public beaches along the Massachusetts coast over the next two years. This project will establish baseline characteristics (grain size statistics and elevation profiles) and provide the data needed for future shoreline management planning. The beaches being assessed in year one are in Cuttyhunk, Falmouth, Nantucket, Oak Bluffs, and Westport. Year two will assess beaches in Hull, Marshfield, Nahant, Newbury, Newburyport, Plymouth, Revere, Rockport, Salisbury, Sandwich, Scituate, and Winthrop.

New Federal Office for Coastal Zone Management - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management—the federal agency that administers the National Coastal Zone Management Program, which includes CZM—has merged with the Coastal Services Center to create the new Office for Coastal Management. While the basic missions of these organizations remain intact, the merger is intended to generate new efficiencies and improve effectiveness of program implementation. In addition to the National Coastal Zone Management Program, the major initiatives of this new NOAA office are Digital Coast, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, and the Coral Reef Conservation Program.

COASTSWEEP 2014—Still Sweeping Through Coastal Towns - September kicked-off the 27th annual COASTSWEEP, the state’s volunteer beach cleanup organized by CZM as part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. Volunteers have already turned out in large numbers throughout Massachusetts to collect marine debris, such as trash, fishing line, and other human-made items, and record what they found. But COASTSWEEP isn’t over yet! There is still plenty of time to volunteer at a scheduled cleanup or to organize one of your own at a local beach or coastal site. All the supplies (bags, gloves, data cards, pencils, etc.) are provided free of charge, and cleanups can be scheduled at your convenience through the end of October. To find out more, see the COASTWEEP Press Release or COASTSWEEP website, especially the Get Involved page and the 2014 Cleanup List, or check out COASTSWEEP on Facebook or Twitter. For more about marine debris and how to prevent it, see the CZ-Tip - Help Clean up Massachusetts Shores at COASTSWEEP.

MassBays and CZM Awarded $149,000 to Study Tide Gates - In August, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded a $149,000 grant to CZM and the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays) to document the location and condition of tide gates within the 47 coastal embayments of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays. Tide gates that are not properly managed, or abandoned, can adversely affect both coastal ecosystems and neighboring infrastructure. Efforts to improve the situation are hindered by lack of up-to-date information about how many tide gates exist and their location, condition, and operating regime (if any). Funding from this NOAA competitive grant program will be used to create a tide gate inventory that will provide the basis for determining potential and existing impacts on salt marsh systems and initiate, inform, and prioritize management for both ecological benefit and hazard mitigation. MassBays and CZM are set to begin the project in October, which will include a website that highlights the effort.

Green Crab Study Fieldwork Wraps Up - This summer, CZM looked into the impacts of invasive green crab Carcinus maenas pdf format of c_maenas.pdf
burrowing activity in Massachusetts salt marshes. (See the Mass Great Outdoors Blog post, Not from around Here: Green Crabs, for details on this study.) Green crabs prey on native organisms and can create a complex network of deep, permanent burrows in the banks of salt marsh creeks, potentially altering natural chemical processes, hastening erosion, and disrupting the ecological balance. While green crabs have been present in Massachusetts for over 100 years, this aspect of their biology has not been looked at in depth. CZM found burrows throughout Massachusetts, but no significant indications that they are impacting the salt marsh. More data is likely needed to characterize the effects. CZM will continue to study this issue to get a clearer understanding of this invasive species impact on salt marshes and other coastal habitats in Massachusetts. Visit the CZM Aquatic Invasive Species Program website for more information about marine invasive species, their impacts, and what you can do to help.

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment - The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (BBNEP) and SeaPlan have completed a climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning study for water quality infrastructure in New Bedford, Fairhaven, and Acushnet. Earlier this year, the BBNEP hired SeaPlan to complete the study and the final report is now available on the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Water Quality Infrastructure web page. In addition to the online report, SeaPlan characterizes the vulnerabilities of specific sites in the three municipalities through two online viewers: one depicts various hurricane and potential sea level rise scenarios and the other shows risk and damage predictions and cost estimates.

Green Infrastructure Grants Awarded - On May 30, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan announced nearly $1.3 million in funding through CZM’s Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Pilot Grant Program to support community-based efforts to reduce risks associated with coastal storms, erosion, and sea level rise through natural and nonstructural approaches called green infrastructure. The nine grant award recipients are Barnstable, Brewster, Chilmark, Duxbury Beach Reservation, Gosnold, Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, Newbury, Plymouth, and Scituate. Projects funded this year include building and enhancing dunes and beaches, planting beach grass and other erosion-control vegetation, building ribbed mussel reefs, and implementing bioengineering techniques that stabilize eroding shorelines. Results of these pilot projects will provide valuable information for ongoing implementation and evolution of living shoreline and green best practices. For more information on this year’s Green Infrastructure Grants, see the EEA press release.

Gloucester DPA Boundary Review Decision - On April 23, CZM issued the Designation Decision for the Gloucester Inner Harbor Designated Port Area (DPA), concluding the comprehensive DPA boundary review process for the City of Gloucester initiated in March 2013 at the request of the City. The decision affirms the findings and proposed DPA boundary modifications in CZM’s February 3, 2014, designation report, Boundary Review of the Gloucester Inner Harbor Designated Port Area. The boundary modification was made in accordance with criteria governing the suitability of contiguous lands and waters to accommodate water-dependent industrial use pursuant to 301 CMR 25.00 pdf format of CMR 25.00: Designation of Port Areas
. The Commonwealth’s DPA policy seeks to promote water-dependent industries as an important sector of the state’s economy and prevent the loss of areas that have certain key characteristics that make them particularly well suited to water-dependent industrial uses. CZM is responsible for mapping, interpreting, and periodic review of DPA boundaries. For more on the Gloucester decision, see the Designation Decision pdf format of Designation Decision - Gloucester Inner Harbor DPA
file size 1MB, updated DPA map pdf format of Gloucester Inner Harbor DPA Map 2014
file size 4MB, and DPA description pdf format of Gloucester Inner Harbor DPA Description 2014
. For more information on DPAs, see CZM’s Port and Harbor Planning Program - Designated Port Areas website.

Jobs

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

Also, see the Commonwealth Employment Opportunities website for additional state opportunities.

Grants and Requests for Responses

There are currently no CZM solicitations available at this time. Please check back later or see COMMBUYS - the Commonwealth's new 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.

2014 Draft Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan Available for Public Comment - On September 24, 2014, the Draft Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, September 2014 (2014 draft ocean plan) was released for public review, hearings, and a 60-day public comment period. The 2014 draft ocean plan is the first formal amendment of the 2009 ocean plan. In December 2009, EEA issued the Commonwealth’s first-ever Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, as required by the Oceans Act of 2008. The 2009 ocean plan established protections for critical marine habitat and important water-dependent uses in the Massachusetts Ocean Planning Area and set siting and performance standards for specific ocean-base development. EEA is required by the Oceans Act to review the ocean plan every five years. For more information, including the 2014 draft ocean plan, plan review and update process, technical work group reports, and the 2009 ocean plan, see the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan website.

Five regional public hearings will be held to receive comment and input on the 2014 draft ocean plan:

  • North Shore - October 8, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Ipswich Public Library, Collins Room, 25 N. Main Street, Ipswich, MA 01938.
  • Cape Cod - October 14, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at the Heritage House Hotel, Chauncy’s Room, 259 Main Street, Hyannis, MA 02601.
  • South Coast - October 20, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Memorial Theater, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740.
  • Islands - October 22, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at the Katharine Cornell Theater, 54 Spring Street, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.
  • Boston Harbor and South Shore - October 27, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Executive Office for Energy and Environmental Affairs, 100 Cambridge Street, 2nd Floor Rooms C-D, Boston, MA 02114.

Submit written comments on the 2014 draft ocean plan by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 to:

Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
ATTN: Ocean Plan
251 Causeway Street, Suite 800
Boston, MA 02114

Comments will also be accepted via email at: oceanplan@state.ma.us. For more information, please contact CZM at czm@state.ma.us or 617-626-1200.

Calendar

2014 Draft Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan Public Hearings - On September 24, 2014, the Draft Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, September 2014 (2014 draft ocean plan) was released for public review, hearings, and a 60-day public comment period. The 2014 draft ocean plan is the first formal amendment of the 2009 ocean plan. EEA is required by the Oceans Act to review the ocean plan every five years. For more information, including the 2014 draft ocean plan, plan review and update process, technical work group reports, and the 2009 ocean plan, see the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan website.

Five regional public hearings will be held to receive comment and input on the 2014 draft ocean plan:

  • North Shore - October 8, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Ipswich Public Library, Collins Room, 25 N. Main Street, Ipswich, MA 01938.
  • Cape Cod - October 14, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at the Heritage House Hotel, Chauncy’s Room, 259 Main Street, Hyannis, MA 02601.
  • South Coast - October 20, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Memorial Theater, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740.
  • Islands - October 22, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at the Katharine Cornell Theater, 54 Spring Street, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.
  • Boston Harbor and South Shore - October 27, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Executive Office for Energy and Environmental Affairs, 100 Cambridge Street, 2nd Floor Rooms C-D, Boston, MA 02114.

Sign Up for COASTSWEEP 2014 - COASTSWEEP, the state-wide annual beach cleanup sponsored by CZM, will kick off its 27th year in September. Volunteers throughout Massachusetts turn out in large numbers each year for this event, which is part of an international campaign organized by the Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC. Participants all over the world collect marine debris and record what they find. This information is then used to help reduce future marine debris problems. Cleanups will be scheduled throughout September and October. To get involved, see the COASTSWEEP website or check out COASTSWEEP on Facebook or Twitter.

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