Renewable Energy Task Force and Offshore Wind Meetings - On May 16, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) convened a Joint Massachusetts and Rhode Island Renewable Energy Task Force Meeting in Falmouth. Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Undersecretary Ned Bartlett provided opening remarks welcoming BOEM, Task Force members, representatives of three offshore wind development firms, and stakeholders; highlighting the collaborative efforts and progress to date; and pointing to some of the next steps, including the upcoming Massachusetts competitive procurement pursuant to the Energy Diversity Act. BOEM staff provided updates on the status of the lease areas and environmental reviews, and offshore wind developer representatives discussed their plans for site characterization surveys and timelines for developing construction and operations plans. Following the Task Force meeting, the Commonwealth convened a public information meeting to share updates and answer questions. On May 17, CZM and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center held meetings of the Fisheries Working Group on Offshore Wind Energy and Habitat Working Group on Offshore Wind Energy. For more information on Massachusetts offshore wind, see the EEA’s Offshore Wind website.
CZM Spotlight: CZM Works with Sail Boston to Help Keep Coastal Waters Clean - From June 17-22, Sail Boston 2017 will welcome 40 tall ships to the Port of Boston. The event will feature a Parade of Sail through Boston Harbor with thousands of spectator vessels anchored along the parade route to view these historic sailing ships. Event organizers, the U.S. Coast Guard, and local harbormasters and marina operators have been planning for months, and CZM has worked with them to ensure that proper pollution prevention protocols and facilities will be in place to support the event. All of Massachusetts waters are designated as a No Discharge Zone, which prohibits the discharge of treated and untreated boat sewage into coastal waters. CZM’s primary role in planning this event was working with Sail Boston 2017 and the U.S Coast Guard through the federal consistency review process. CZM reviews federal projects (including project receiving federal permits or funding) that have the potential to impact the Massachusetts coast to ensure they meet state standards. Through this review, CZM identified the need for adequate and convenient pumpout facilities for all the spectator vessels expected to attend the Parade of Sail on June 17. CZM, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, then provided event organizers with a comprehensive list of pumpout boats and dockside facilities, along with detailed contact information. Organizers reached out to each pumpout facility to ensure event participation. As a result, sewage pumpout boats will be positioned throughout Boston Harbor to collect and properly dispose of waste during the Parade of Sail. In addition, CZM encouraged Sail Boston to develop a pumpout communication strategy that includes creation of a pumpout information web page, distribution of pumpout information to local marinas and harbormasters, and use of social media to further spread the word to boaters. This cooperation and collaboration will help protect the water quality in Boston Harbor so everyone can enjoy Sail Boston.
Seeking Local Cleanup Coordinators for COASTSWEEP 2017 - COASTSWEEP 2017, the annual state-wide beach cleanup sponsored by CZM, kicks off in September—and now is the time to sign up to be a local cleanup coordinator for your favorite beach, marsh, dive site, and riverbank. 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 trash and other 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.
EEA Focuses on Climate Change Resilience for Earth Week 2017 - On April 18, as part of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Earth Week celebrations, EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton joined Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, CZM officials, and other state and local officials to announce the availability of $2.6 million in funding through CZM’s Coastal Resilience and Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) grant programs. The event also highlighted Salem’s role as a local leader in implementing projects with this grant funding, highlighting how their efforts to address erosion, flooding, and stormwater serve as a model for other coastal communities across the Commonwealth in addressing climate change impacts. See the EEA press release for more information on the event. On April 19, also as part of Earth Week and its commitment to working with communities and local partners to prevent and prepare for climate change, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant program, which builds on Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569 and provides funding to cities and towns to complete a community-driven process to identify hazards and develop strategies to improve resilience. See the EEA press release for details on MVP and see the Grants section below for additional information on the Request for Proposals for all three grant programs. Also as part of EEA’s Earth Week celebration and to highlight CZM’s efforts to help coastal communities address climate change impacts, CZM Director Bruce Carlisle penned this Salem News column: Earth Day 2017: Coastal connections in a changing climate.
CZM Spotlight: Great Marsh Resiliency Partnership to Receive EPA Award for Promoting Climate Change Resilience - On May 3, the Great Marsh Resiliency Partnership (GMRP) will receive a 2017 Environmental Merit Award from the New England Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in recognition of their significant contributions to preserving and protecting natural resources. The project began in June 2014 when the GMRP received $2.9 million through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program to support coastal resiliency planning and ecosystem enhancement projects in the Great Marsh and its coastal watersheds. The GMRP is a working group that includes local conservation groups, regional planning entities, state and federal agencies, and local communities working to protect the Great Marsh. Coordinated by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the project includes five components aimed at increasing the resiliency of the Great Marsh and Parker-Ipswich-Essex (PIE) Rivers Region: 1) barrier beach restoration (dune restoration and native vegetation planting); 2) salt marsh restoration (invasive species removal); 3) hydrological barrier assessment and prioritization for improvement/removal; 4) hydrodynamic and sediment transport modeling; and 5) Great Marsh resiliency planning. Along with CZM, major partners include the Ipswich River Watershed Association (IRWA), Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays), Merrimac Valley Planning Commission/Eight Towns and the Great Marsh, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, University of New Hampshire, Mass Audubon, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Boston University. CZM’s primary role in the project is to provide technical assistance and support for Great Marsh resiliency planning, working directly with staff from IRWA and NWF along with municipal officials from Essex, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, Newburyport, and Salisbury. In addition, CZM has played a substantial role in providing technical assistance and available information to the other components of the project. The award will be presented to NWF at a ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston on May 3, with CZM staff and many members of the GMRP in attendance.
CZM Launches New Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Viewer - To support the assessment of coastal flooding vulnerability and risk for community facilities and infrastructure, CZM has developed the Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Viewer. This viewer includes interactive maps of flooding extents and water level elevations associated with sea level rise scenarios, current coastal flood zones, and hurricane surge modeled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Examples of mapped facilities include: electrical generation facilities, fire stations, hospitals, police stations, town/city halls, and wastewater treatment plants. With the viewer, users can zoom in to an area of interest and view public facilities and associated flooding data, switching tabs to compare maps of sea level rise, FEMA coastal flood zones, and hurricane surge. The viewer and technical report are designed as a general planning tool to support broad-scale vulnerability and risk assessments and identification of adaptation strategies consistent with Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569 and programs like CZM’s StormSmart Coasts.
Storm Team Activated for February Northeaster - During the February 13 nor’easter, CZM staffed the State Emergency Operations Center, along with several other agencies from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). CZM also activated the Coastal Storm Damage Assessment Team (Storm Team), which provided timely information on coastal impacts to the Operations Center. Specifically, impacts were recorded in 13 coastal communities across the upper North Shore, along the South Shore, and bordering Cape Cod Bay. The afternoon high tide resulted in overwash and flooding of coastal roads and parking areas, as well as beach and dune erosion. Erosion exposed segments of two septic systems and caused some damage to beach access stairs from Sandwich to Eastham. Beach and dune erosion were also reported from Salisbury to Rockport and Hull to Marshfield. In Scituate and Marshfield, there was overwash onto roads and around houses. A total of 56 reports from the Storm Team were submitted using CZM’s StormReporter tool.
State Adaptation and Resilience Programs Highlighted at EBC New England Program - On February 10, in the first of a five-part program on climate change offered by the Environmental Business Council (EBC) of New England, representatives from state agencies working on climate adaptation and resiliency programs presented their initiatives and gave updates on work planned for 2017. EEA Director of Climate and Global Warming Solutions Katie Theoharides discussed progress to date and work underway on Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569 (which establishes an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth) and the pending Statewide Climate Adaptation Plan. CZM Director Bruce Carlisle provided an overview of tools and technical assistance products and highlighted important work being done by cities and towns through the state’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program. Division of Ecological Restoration Director Tim Purinton focused on the benefits of ecological restoration to climate resiliency, including the capacity of restored wetlands to capture and trap carbon, known as Blue Carbon. Steve Miller from the Department of Transportation discussed the Boston Flood Risk Model and initial work to reduce transportation vulnerabilities for the Central Artery/Tunnel. Jeremy Caron from the Division of Capital Asset Management highlighted their work on resilience planning for state assets. Department of Energy Resources Director of Emerging Technology Will Lauwers discussed the Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative and its third grant round currently underway. Closing the program, the speakers assembled for a panel answering questions from the moderator and audience.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Cristina Kennedy at email@example.com. For more information or to provide feedback on the stormwater guidebook for planners, contact Ashley Green at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the MS4 permit requirements, contact Fred Civian at email@example.com.
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.
There are currently no employment opportunities at CZM. Please check back later or see the MassCareers website for additional state opportunities.
Dam and Seawall Repair or Removal Program - The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) is seeking applications for funding for the repair or removal of dams, levees, seawalls, and other forms of inland and coastal flood control. The Dam and Seawall Repair or Removal Program offers qualified applicants grants for final design and permitting, and grant and loan funds for repair, reconstruction, and removal. EEA encourages applicants to maximize restoration of natural systems. Projects that minimize or eliminate the use of hard infrastructure are eligible for a zero percent interest rate. To view the two Requests for Responses (RFR) and submit questions, see the COMMBUYS bid solicitations for design and permitting and construction financing. Proposals for both opportunities are due by July 21.
Buzzards Bay Municipal Mini-Grant Program - The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program is seeking proposals for the Buzzards Bay Watershed Municipal Mini-Grant Program. Projects must implement a recommendation(s) in the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan to protect and restore water quality and living resources in Buzzards Bay and its surrounding watershed. Eligible projects include stormwater remediation designs for discharges affecting marine waters, wetland/open space/habitat acquisition, migratory fish passage restoration, construction of boat pump-out facilities, and many other activities that support the management plan. A 33 percent match of requested funding is required and only municipalities are eligible to apply. For more information, to view the RFR, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by August 1.
Water Quality Monitoring Programs - The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program is seeking proposals for the Water Quality Monitoring Programs - Buzzards Bay Watershed Mini-grant solicitation. Projects must involve inter-municipal or Buzzards Bay-wide water quality monitoring programs to characterize conditions or establish priorities for action. The monitoring may include ambient water quality monitoring, discharge monitoring, or groundwater monitoring. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) is a requirement for application of funding under this solicitation. Writing and preparation of a QAPP cannot be funded with these grant funds. Acceptable grant-related costs include staff time, interns, equipment, or laboratory tests. For more information, to view the RFR, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by August 1.
Also, see COMMBUYS - the Commonwealth's electronic procurement system for other state opportunities.
Current CZ-Mail (CZM's monthly electronic newsletter) - June 2017