News

Coming Soon: Draft Amendment to Ocean Management Plan - Pursuant to the Oceans Act, in January 2013 the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) initiated a review and update of the 2009 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan. CZM has led this effort on behalf of EEA and has been working with the Ocean Advisory Commission and Ocean Science Advisory Council on the plan review and update pdf format of Massachusetts Ocean Plan Review and Update Factsheet
. In the review phase, a comprehensive assessment was conducted, reporting on progress in achieving the requirements and commitments established by the Oceans Act and the 2009 plan. The results of this assessment were released in the document, Review of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, January 2014 pdf format of Review of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan
. The plan update phase got underway in June 2013, with the release of a scope for the ocean plan update and the convening of six technical work groups to review scientific data and information and identify and characterize important trends in ocean resources and uses. The work groups address: habitat, fisheries, sediment resources, recreational and cultural services, transportation and navigation, and energy and infrastructure. In March 2014, CZM held two public workshops to share information and solicit input and feedback from stakeholders on the findings and recommendations of the work groups. Public meetings with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) on offshore wind and transmission, and workshops convened by the Coastal Erosion Commission in May and June 2014 also served as forums for dialogue and feedback. A draft amendment to the ocean plan is anticipated to be released for public review and comment at the end of September. Regional public meetings are being planned for October and a meeting announcement will be sent out to the CZ-Mail mailing list. Additional information and the draft amendment will also be available on the Massachusetts Ocean Plan website .

MassBays and CZM Awarded $149,000 to Study Tide Gates - In August, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded a $149,000 grant to CZM and the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays) to document the location and condition of tide gates within the 47 coastal embayments of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays. Tide gates that are not properly managed, or abandoned, can adversely affect both coastal ecosystems and neighboring infrastructure. Efforts to improve the situation are hindered by lack of up-to-date information about how many tide gates exist and their location, condition, and operating regime (if any). Funding from this NOAA competitive grant program will be used to create a tide gate inventory that will provide the basis for determining potential and existing impacts on salt marsh systems and initiate, inform, and prioritize management for both ecological benefit and hazard mitigation. MassBays and CZM are set to begin the project in October, which will include a website that highlights the effort.

Help Make Your Favorite Beach Shine through COASTSWEEP 2014 - COASTSWEEP, the statewide beach cleanup sponsored by CZM, celebrates its 27th year this September. Thousands of volunteers throughout Massachusetts turn out each year to collect marine debris, such as trash, fishing line, and any other human-made items, and record what they find. COASTSWEEP is part of the International Coastal Cleanup organized by Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC. The information recorded by participants all over the world is used to identify sources of debris and develop initiatives to reduce the problem. COASTSWEEP cleanups will be scheduled throughout September and October, and CZM is looking for volunteers for these cleanups, as well as coordinators to organize additional cleanups at local beaches and other coastal sites. As a cleanup coordinator, not only will you know that your favorite coastal spot is covered by COASTSWEEP, you’ll get a t-shirt as a thank you for taking the lead. To find out more, see the COASTSWEEP website , especially the Get Involved page and the 2014 Cleanup List , or check out COASTSWEEP on Facebook or Twitter. For more about marine debris and how to prevent it, see the CZ-Tip - Help Clean up Massachusetts Shores at COASTSWEEP .

Green Crab Study Fieldwork Wraps Up - This summer, CZM looked into the impacts of invasive green crab Carcinus maenas pdf format of c_maenas.pdf
burrowing activity in Massachusetts salt marshes. (See the Mass Great Outdoors Blog post, Not from around Here: Green Crabs, for details on this study.) Green crabs prey on native organisms and can create a complex network of deep, permanent burrows in the banks of salt marsh creeks, potentially altering natural chemical processes, hastening erosion, and disrupting the ecological balance. While green crabs have been present in Massachusetts for over 100 years, this aspect of their biology has not been looked at in depth. CZM found burrows throughout Massachusetts, but no significant indications that they are impacting the salt marsh. More data is likely needed to characterize the effects. CZM will continue to study this issue to get a clearer understanding of this invasive species impact on salt marshes and other coastal habitats in Massachusetts. Visit the CZM Aquatic Invasive Species Program website for more information about marine invasive species, their impacts, and what you can do to help.

Round 2 of Climate Resilience Grants Coming Soon - Two new grant programs that were piloted by CZM this winter and spring will be offered again this fall. The Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program and the Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Pilot Grant Program provide funding and technical resources on a wide range of community-based efforts to increase resilience to coastal storms, inundation, erosion, and sea-level rise. The Coastal Community Resilience Grants Program offers competitive awards to coastal cities and towns to increase public education and awareness; assess vulnerability and risk; identify and implement management measures, standards, or policies; and redesign to accommodate changing conditions. The Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Grants Program provides competitive grants to coastal cities and towns and non-profit organizations to implement living shoreline techniques, including beach and dune building, enhancement, or restoration; bio-engineering approaches with native vegetation; natural oyster or mussel reef creation, enhancement, or restoration; and fringing salt marsh creation or restoration. CZM anticipates the Request for Responses to be issued in early September with proposals due around mid-October. For more information, contact one of CZM’s five Regional Coordinators .

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment - The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (BBNEP) and SeaPlan have completed a climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning study for water quality infrastructure in New Bedford, Fairhaven, and Acushnet. Earlier this year, the BBNEP hired SeaPlan to complete the study and the final report is now available on the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Water Quality Infrastructure web page. In addition to the online report, SeaPlan characterizes the vulnerabilities of specific sites in the three municipalities through two online viewers: one depicts various hurricane and potential sea level rise scenarios and the other shows risk and damage predictions and cost estimates.

Sign Up for COASTSWEEP 2014 - COASTSWEEP, the state-wide annual beach cleanup sponsored by CZM, will kick off its 27th 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 throughout September and October. To get involved, see the COASTSWEEP website or check out COASTSWEEP on Facebook or Twitter.

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 DPA 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 pdf format of CMR 25.00: Designation of Port Areas
. 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 pdf format of Designation Decision - Gloucester Inner Harbor DPA
, updated DPA map pdf format of Gloucester Inner Harbor DPA Map 2014
, and DPA description pdf format of Gloucester Inner Harbor DPA Description 2014
. For more information on DPAs, see CZM’s Port and Harbor Planning Program - Designated Port Areas website .

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 Grant 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 .

Follow CZM on Twitter - 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.

Coastal Erosion Commission - 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 .

Jobs

There are currently no employment opportunities at CZM. Please check back later or see the Commonwealth Employment Opportunities website for additional state opportunities.

Also, see the Commonwealth Employment Opportunities website for additional state opportunities.

Grants and Requests for Responses

Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program - CZM is seeking proposals for the new Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program . Up to $1.5 million ($350,000 per project) will be awarded to coastal cities and towns to advance new and innovative local efforts to increase awareness of climate impacts, identify vulnerabilities, and implement measures to increase community resilience (i.e., the ability to endure impacts associated with coastal storms and the effects of erosion, flooding, and sea level rise and to respond, recover, and adapt to consequences). For more information, to view the RFR, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due to CZM by October 10.

Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Grant Program - CZM is seeking proposals for the Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Pilot Grant Program . Up to $1.5 million ($750,000 per project) will be awarded to coastal cities and towns and non-profit organizations with vulnerable coastal property that is open and accessible to the public. The goal of this program is to advance the understanding and implementation of natural or nonstructural approaches to mitigating coastal erosion and flooding problems. For more information, to view the RFR, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due to CZM by October 10.

Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grants - CZM is seeking proposals for the Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant program . For Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, 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. For more information, to view the RFR, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by October 7.

Sea Level Rise and Stormwater BMP Evaluation - CZM is seeking applications to provided consultant services to conduct an evaluation of sea level rise and climate impacts on stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) in the coastal zone. The final deliverable will provide recommendations for improvements to BMP design and operation and maintenance protocols and will enhance state and municipal efforts to better protect coastal resources and support adaptation strategies and suitable policy changes. Up to $75,000 is available through this RFR, which is sponsored by CZM and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Program. For more information, to view the RFR, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due to CZM by October 7.

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

Coastal Erosion Commission Science and Technology Working Group - The next meeting of the Coastal Erosion Commission’s Science and Technical Working Group will be held on Friday, September 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, 25 Riverside Drive, Lakeville, MA. The agenda will focus on finalizing the Working Group’s Report to the Commission. For questions about the Science and Technology Working Group, please contact Rebecca Haney at Rebecca.haney@state.ma.us or (617) 626-1228.

Sign Up for COASTSWEEP 2014 - COASTSWEEP, the state-wide annual beach cleanup sponsored by CZM, will kick off its 27th 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 throughout September and October. To get involved, see the COASTSWEEP website or check out COASTSWEEP on Facebook or Twitter.

BUAR Public Meeting - On September 25 at 1:30 p.m., the Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR) will hold its bi-monthly public meeting in the CZM Large Conference Room in Boston. The preliminary agenda includes discussion/approval of minutes for the March 29 meeting, renewal of five permits, 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.