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.

COASTSWEEP 2015—Still Sweeping Through Coastal Towns - September kicked off the 28th 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 throughout Massachusetts to collect marine debris, such as trash, fishing line, and other human-made items, and record what they found. At Carson Beach in South Boston, 21 Bank of America employees collected more than 120 pounds of trash from a seemingly pristine beach. At Salisbury Beach, more than 100 volunteers found over 4,000 cigarette butts. Off Pebble Beach in Rockport, divers collected countless small pieces of plastic hidden among reef rocks and packed three bags with trash while cleaning the beach in between dives. 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, coastal site, or even an underwater site (see the Scuba Diving in Massachusetts tip described below for more on great dive sites for future cleanups). All the supplies (bags, gloves, data cards, pencils, etc.) are provided free of charge, and cleanups can be scheduled at your convenience into early November. To find out more, see the COASTSWEEP website, especially the Get Involved page and the 2015 Cleanup List, or check out COASTSWEEP on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more on becoming a local cleanup coordinator, see this Blog posting from CZM. Also see the COASTSWEEP Press Release for more on the 2015 cleanups.

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.

CZM Announces Funding to Address Coastal Storms, Erosion, and Sea Level Rise Impacts - On May 13, on behalf of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), CZM announced the availability of funding through two grant programs that support local efforts to address the effects of coastal storms, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise. The Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program will provide up to $1.5 million in grants and technical resources to coastal communities to advance innovative local efforts addressing climate change and sea level rise impacts. The funds will finance initiatives to increase awareness of these issues, assess vulnerability and risk, and implement measures to respond, recover, and adapt to coastal impacts. The Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Grant Program will provide up to $1.5 million in funding and technical resources to coastal communities and eligible nonprofit organizations for natural approaches addressing coastal erosion and flooding problems. Grants can be used for planning, feasibility assessment, design, permitting documents, construction, and monitoring of green infrastructure projects that use natural approaches instead of hard structures such as seawalls and groins. For more information, see the EEA press release.

Chatham South Coastal Harbor Management Plan Renewal Approved - On May 12, EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton approved the renewal of the Chatham South Coastal Harbor Management Plan. CZM provided technical assistance throughout the municipal harbor planning process. The update includes wastewater management improvements, private dock and pier restrictions, and recommendations for alternative moorings to protect sensitive bottom habitat and water quality. Originally developed in 1994, this renewed harbor plan will be valid for seven years. For more information, see the EEA Decision pdf format of Chatham MHP Decision May 2015


There are currently no employment opportunities at CZM. Please check back later or see the Finding a Job page for additional state opportunities.

Grants and Requests for Responses

Proposal Deadline for Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grants Extended to October 9 - CZM is seeking proposals for the Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the CPR program will provide up to $400,000 to municipalities located in the Massachusetts Coastal Watershed to assess and remediate stormwater pollution from paved surfaces and to design and construct commercial boat waste pumpout facilities. As much as $125,000 may be requested and a 25 percent match of the total project cost is required. Projects may not exceed one year in duration and must be completed by June 30 of each year. Under the original posting, proposals were due September 4—the Request for Responses (RFR) has been reposted with a deadline of October 9. For more information, to view the RFR, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by October 9.

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.


October Is Massachusetts Archaeology Month - From October 16-17, in celebration of Massachusetts Archaeology Month, the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR) will participate in the Archaeological Institute of America’s Archaeology Fair at the Boston Museum of Science. The fair is directed to school groups on Friday, October 16, and families/general public on Saturday, October 17. BUAR activities include participation in a mock “dig” of a shipwreck and exhibits. For more events, see the Archaeology Month website, which features a poster of an anonymous shipwreck in Gloucester being investigated by BUAR.

Sign Up for COASTSWEEP 2015 - COASTSWEEP, the annual state-wide beach cleanup sponsored by CZM, will kick off its 28th 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 through mid-November. To get involved, see the COASTSWEEP website or check out COASTSWEEP on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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