2013 Rapid Assessment Survey Report
During August 2013, an expert team of taxonomists were on the hunt for marine invasive species throughout New England as part of a periodic Rapid Assessment Survey. The survey, coordinated by CZM and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sea Grant College Program, has occurred roughly every three years since 2000 and provides an opportunity to discover new marine invaders through a close inspection of flora and fauna. (See these ID cards for examples of established and potential invaders in Massachusetts coastal waters.) The Report on the 2013 Rapid Assessment Survey of Marine Species at New England Bays and Harbors file size 53MB provides an overview of the invasive, cryptogenic (species with as of yet unresolved origins), and native species found at 18 sites from Maine to Rhode Island during the 2013 survey. Thirty-nine invasive species in total were found during this survey, an increase of 10 species from the last survey conducted in 2010.
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 Designated Port Area 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 . 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 file size 1MB , updated DPA map file size 4MB , and DPA description . For more information on DPAs, see CZM’s Port and Harbor Planning Program - Designated Port Areas website.
2014 Coastal Community Resilience Grants Awarded
On April 4, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan announced nearly $1 million in funding through CZM’s Coastal Community Resilience Grants Program to support local climate preparedness efforts to address the effects of coastal storms, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise now and into the future. The 10 grant award recipients are the communities of Barnstable, Boston, Brewster, Gloucester, Hingham, Hull, Oak Bluffs, Provincetown, Salem, and Weymouth. Grants funded through the first round include projects that will increase awareness of sea level rise and other climate impacts, identify community vulnerabilities and risks, develop targeted strategies, and implement on-the-ground measures to increase community resilience. For more information on this year’s Coastal Community Resilience Grants, see the EEA press release.
On April 1, CZM launched its new Twitter feed, which will give the latest information on CZM project updates, requests for proposals, job postings, comment opportunities, calendar items, and other time-sensitive notices, along with links to tools and information from the CZM website and other coastal zone management related items of interest. See http://twitter.com/MassCZM to see our tweets and to sign up to follow CZM.
On March 27, the first meeting of a new Coastal Erosion Commission was held in Boston. Created by the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Bill, the commission is charged with investigating and documenting the levels and impacts of coastal erosion in the Commonwealth and developing strategies and recommendations to reduce, minimize, or eliminate the magnitude and frequency of coastal erosion and its adverse impacts on property, infrastructure, public safety, and beaches and dunes. Meeting topics included the introductions of members, review of the Commission’s charge, review of proposed plan for its meetings, and establishment and preliminary tasking of working groups. Presentations were made on: summaries of related national and state erosion management reviews and reports; overview of coastal geology, coastal processes, and shoreline management practices; and work underway on shoreline change and characterization. For more information, see the Commission's website .
Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan Review and Revision Process
In January, 2013, on behalf of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), CZM initiated a process to review the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan as required by the 2008 Oceans Act. During the first part of this process, a review document that reports on progress made to date and opportunities for enhancement was developed and reviewed by the Ocean Advisory Commission and Ocean Science Advisory Council. Following input from stakeholders through public comment and through dialogue last June, the Review of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan file size 2MB document was released in January 2014.
In June 2013, six technical work groups (focusing on habitat, fisheries, sediment resources, recreational and cultural services, transportation and navigation, and energy and infrastructure) were convened to provide expert input and to assist in the compilation and analysis of data and information that will help inform the plan revision process. The findings and recommendations of the work groups were presented for discussion and feedback at two public workshops on March 10 in Boston and March 11 in Falmouth. For more information, see the Massachusetts Ocean Plan website.
In December 2013, CZM released Sea Level Rise: Understanding and Applying Trends and Future Scenarios for Analysis and Planning file size 3MB , a guidance document to help coastal communities and others plan for and address potential sea level rise effects on residential and commercial development, infrastructure and critical facilities, and natural resources and ecosystems. The document includes background information on local and global sea level rise trends, summarizes the best available sea level rise projections, and provides general guidance in the selection and application of sea level rise scenarios for coastal vulnerability assessments, planning, and decision making for areas that may be at present or future risk from the effects of sea level rise.
Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program RFR Coming Soon - CZM anticipates the release of the Fiscal Year 2015 Request for Responses (RFR) for the Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program in mid-July. CPR grants provide funds for a variety of projects that address local nonpoint source pollution issues, including assessment, design, and construction of Best Management Practices and the design and implementation of commercial boat pumpout facilities. Technical assistance on potential proposals is available from CZM central and regional staff and MassBays Program regional staff up until the RFR is issued. After its release, CZM staff can only respond to general questions, but MassBays regional staff will continue to be available to assist with proposal development. For more information about CPR, including regional staff contacts, past projects, and RFR details when available, see the CPR website.
Current CZ-Mail (CZM's monthly electronic newsletter) - July 2014
CZ-Tip - Coastal Reading List 101 - February 2014
Sea Level Rise: Understanding and Applying Trends and Future Scenarios for Analysis and Planning file size 3MB - December 2013
Non-Native Seaweed in Massachusetts file size 1MB - May 2013
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.