COASTSWEEP 2015—Still Sweeping Through Coastal Towns - Since September, volunteers have been out combing the coast for trash during the 2015 COASTSWEEP, the state’s volunteer beach cleanup organized by CZM as part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. Dedicated volunteers collect marine debris and record what they find on dozens of shoreline sites, and even below the waves. See this YouTube video for a recap of an October 3 beach cleanup in Nahant and Removing Plastic from Rockport’s Reefs with COASTSWEEP blog and this YouTube video for a description of a September 19 underwater cleanup in Rockport. By the time COASTSWEEP wraps up in mid-November, over 3,000 volunteers will have cleaned more than 100 locations along the Commonwealth’s coast. And there’s still 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 into mid-November. To find out more, see the COASTSWEEP website, especially the Get Involved page, or check out COASTSWEEP on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more on becoming a local cleanup coordinator, see this Mass.gov Blog posting from CZM.
CZM Receives Grant to Monitor and Assess Climate Change Impacts to Tidal Marshes - CZM has received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant to develop a program to monitor and assess climate change impacts to tidal marshes. This project will build on current work by CZM and partners that includes modeling coastal wetland response to sea level rise, with an eye toward identifying barriers to and opportunities for marsh migration, and developing a network of sentinel sites to track changes in vegetation communities in the tidal marsh-upland ecotone (a transition zone between two ecosystems). The new project will expand sentinel site monitoring to include a land cover change analysis program that tracks changes in the spatial extents of tidal marsh microhabitats (e.g., vegetation communities, pannes, pools, creeks, and ditches) using automated and/or semi-automated image analysis techniques, high-resolution imagery, and lidar. It will also expand on-the-ground efforts to monitor biological and physical changes on the marsh interior and seaward extent at all sentinel sites over time. Together, these projects form a holistic program that will inform development, application, and monitoring of site-specific climate change adaptation strategies. Additionally, this grant provides support for a project to demonstrate a salt marsh assessment approach for Cape Cod and the Islands using the Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS) framework developed by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and CZM. Visit CZM's Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System for Coastal Wetlands web page for more information on CAPS. The new climate change and CAPS projects will begin in January 2016 and run through 2017 and September 2018, respectively.
Coastal Resilience Grant Awards Announced - On August 21, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) announced over $2.2 million in funding through CZM’s Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program and Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Grant Program to advance local efforts to reduce risks associated with coastal storms, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise. Grants were awarded to Barnstable, Boston, Brewster, Chelsea, Dennis, Edgartown, Essex, Falmouth, Lynn, New Bedford, Plymouth, Quincy, Sandwich/Barnstable, Scituate and Winthrop. Projects awarded grants this year include support for assessing vulnerability to flooding and sea level rise, key steps for beach nourishment and dune restoration projects, evaluating structural and non-structural shoreline protection approaches, studying wave effects on sand movement, examining public infrastructure and natural resources at risk, and developing adaptation strategies. For more information, see the EEA Press Release.
New Seaport Economic Council Announced - On August 10, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito announced the signing of Executive Order 564, which transforms the former Seaport Advisory Council into a new Seaport Economic Council to be chaired by the Lieutenant Governor and administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development with support from EEA. The Council will assist the Administration in prioritizing investments and innovation in creating ‘blue’ or ocean-based jobs, local maritime planning efforts, partnerships with public education institutions, and coastal infrastructure projects that meet standards of resilience and sustainability. The Council is represented by senior officials from EEA—Assistant Secretary for the Environment Dan Sieger and CZM Director Bruce Carlisle—as well as a representative from the Department of Transportation, municipal leaders, representatives from coastal communities, and trade associations for the maritime economy. A competitive grant program will focus on the five priority areas of innovation, public education, economic development planning, maritime sector strategy, and investments in coastal infrastructure. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. For more information see the Seaport Economic Council website.
CZM-Funded Project Demonstrates Living Shoreline Techniques through Short Documentary - In April 2014, CZM’s Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Grants Program awarded funding to the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, Inc. (MVSG) to conduct preliminary investigations into the hatchery production of ribbed mussels and demonstrate living shoreline techniques using coir logs, ribbed mussels, and marsh grass for pilot scale marsh restoration. MVSG has completed four living shoreline installations (two at low wave energy and two at high wave energy sites) that will provide useful information and lessons learned to help guide and expand future living shoreline applications on Martha’s Vineyard and throughout coastal Massachusetts. Through the short documentary, Living Shoreline, MVSG discusses the innovative project approach and explains the role living shorelines play in providing storm protection and water quality bioremediation as sea level rises.
Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program Awards Land Protection Grant to Mattapoisett - On July 1, EEA announced the award of $40,000 to the town of Mattapoisett to help the town's water department purchase and protect nearly 22 acres of land near one of the town's drinking water supply wells. The grant, which is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and administered by CZM through the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (BBNEP), will help the town protect its drinking water supply and conserve open space. The property also contains Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program critical natural landscapes and habitat for rare endangered species, as well as 3,710 feet of direct frontage on the Mattapoisett River that includes important wetland and forest habitat. The Mattapoisett River has the second largest river herring population in Buzzards Bay. For details, see the EEA press release.
Boston Living with Water—Winning Designs Honored - On June 8, Mayor Walsh and the Boston Living with Water steering committee and jury honored winners of this design competition for adapting Boston’s waterfront to higher sea levels. Designs to minimize damage from chronic and episodic flooding were crafted for three sites that represent the different scales and types of development along the harbor: a building, a neighborhood, and infrastructure. Three of the four Boston Living with Water winning teams were led by local architects and planners who appreciate the complexities of working vertically in an historic, urban environment. Final submissions are available for viewing on the Boston Living with Water website. Funded through CZM’s Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program and the Barr Foundation, this design competition was hosted by The Boston Harbor Association, city of Boston, Boston Redevelopment Authority, and Boston Society of Architects. For more information, see this WGBH article.
Marshfield Sea Level Rise Symposium - On June 8, CZM joined educators from Marshfield’s Furnace Brook Middle School, Bridgewater State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Marshfield Coastal Advisory Commission to present the second annual Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Symposium. This day-long Symposium provided nearly 350 eighth grade students with an introduction to the science behind sea level rise. Lectures covered coastal geomorphology, implications and impacts associated with sea level rise, and coastal adaptation and mitigation strategies. Students then applied what they learned to a series of exercises where they evaluated coastal hazards and sea level rise susceptibility associated with a fictitious town with similarities to South Shore communities. In addition, the students planned for the development of a new community in an undeveloped section of coastline in a way that minimized potential sea level rise impacts and maximized resiliency. Finally, CZM conducted a tutorial of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)Sea Level Rise Viewer as a tool to evaluate potential flooding and ecological impacts associated with sea level rise. For more information, see the Wicked Local Marshfield article.
There are currently no employment opportunities at CZM. Please check back later or see the Finding a Job page for additional state opportunities.
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.
Current CZ-Mail (CZM's monthly electronic newsletter) - November 2015
CZ-Tip - Boat Winterizing - November 2015
CZ-Tip: Scuba Diving in Massachusetts - October 2015
CZ-Tip: Recycle to Reduce Marine Debris - September 2015
CZ-Tip: Save Water - August 2015
Report on the 2013 Rapid Assessment Survey of Marine Species at New England Bays and Harbors file size 53MB - July 2014
Sea Level Rise: Understanding and Applying Trends and Future Scenarios for Analysis and Planning file size 3MB - December 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.Chelsea Creek Designated Port Area Boundary Review - As noticed in the November 23 Environmental Monitor and Boston Globe, CZM is seeking comments on the Boundary Review of the Chelsea Creek Designated Port Area, Chelsea MA. The purpose of the boundary review was to determine whether the portion of the Designated Port Area (DPA) boundary requested for review should remain as it is currently established or whether it should be modified in accordance with criteria governing the suitability of contiguous lands and waters to accommodate water-dependent industrial use. 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. Under the DPA regulations at 301 CMR 25.00 , CZM is responsible for mapping, interpreting, and periodic review of DPA boundaries. CZM will convene a public hearing on the DPA boundary designation report on December 1 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the City Council Chambers, Chelsea City Hall, 3rd Floor 500 Broadway, Chelsea, MA 02150. Submit comments on the draft report to: Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Lisa Berry Engler, Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 800, Boston MA 02114-2136. Comments are due by December 23.
Great Marsh Sea Level Rise Symposium - On November 12, the Great Marsh Coalition will hold the 4th Great Marsh Sea Level Rise Symposium, Great Marsh Communities in Action, at Woodman’s of Essex. This full-day workshop allows coastal decision makers and practitioners from the region to explore, share, and discuss various ongoing case studies of efforts to mitigate sea level rise impacts in the Great Marsh—the largest continuous stretch of salt marsh in New England, extending from Cape Ann to New Hampshire. Coffee and lunch will be provided. For more information, contact CZM’s Kathryn Glenn at email@example.com. Registration is required by November 10 as space is limited.
Also, check out the CZM Coastal Calendar for more CZM-related events.