CZM News

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 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.

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

Characterization of Offshore Sand Resources - CZM is seeking a contractor to conduct a preliminary characterization of five (5) potential offshore sand resource areas identified in the 2015 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan for further investigation. The characterization will include: 1) acquiring and analyzing sediment vibracores and surficial sediment samples, and 2) documenting seafloor conditions and biota with video and/or photos. Development of the data acquisition plan and the synthesis of the data will be informed by existing acoustic information available from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Deliverables will include a report, data analysis summaries, maps estimating the areal extent and depth of sand and other characteristics within each of the five study areas, as well as video/photos of the studied seafloor. To view the Request for Responses (RFR) and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by April 7.

Also, 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

BUAR Public Meeting - On March 30 at 1:30 p.m., the BUAR will hold its bi-monthly public meeting in the CZM Large Conference Room. The preliminary agenda includes discussion/approval of minutes for the January 26 meeting, renewal of permits, review of permit application, and discussion of permittee, outreach, and research activities. For more information, contact BUAR Director, Victor Mastone, at victor.mastone@state.ma.us.

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