News

MassBays Awards Healthy Estuary Grants - On April 22, the Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton announced $97,828 in federal grant money to help towns and organizations improve ecosystem health in Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay. These Healthy Estuaries grants were awarded by the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays) through CZM with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grants are being matched by $99,112 in municipal and private contributions and focus on supporting MassBays mission to protect, restore, and enhance the estuarine resources of the region. The following five grants were awarded:

  • Center for Coastal Studies - $31,986 to conduct an extensive assessment of contaminants of emerging concern in Cape Cod Bay estuaries to evaluate ecological health risks and provide a more complete understanding of how land use patterns affect water quality beyond nutrient contamination.
  • MIT Sea Grant College Program - $28,500 to conduct surveys to identify specific river herring habitat preferences and resource use that will inform ongoing restoration efforts to convert cranberry bogs to natural wetland and restore fish passage in Fresh Pond in Plymouth.
  • The Association to Preserve Cape Cod - $15,010 to prioritize restoration projects and identify two top-priority projects to develop for planning and construction, including submission of proposals for funding.
  • Town of Braintree - $16,000 to conduct comprehensive wetland delineation and develop a sediment management plan for the restoration of a fish passage to the 180-acre Great Pond Reservation.
  • Town of Wellfleet - $8,640 to use an existing hydrodynamic tide-height model to assess various culvert configurations for the Mayo Creek Restoration.

For more information, see the EEA Press Release.

Federal Funds to Support Coastal Resilience Awarded in New England - In February and March, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management announced $9 million in recommended grants under the Regional Coastal Resilience Grants Program. Grants will fund comprehensive regional projects that are designed to make coasts and communities more resilient, and that rely on science-based solutions and collaborative partnerships. Two projects in the Northeast received awards. The Cape Cod Commission was awarded $522,348 to undertake a public planning process to improve community understanding of climate change impacts, sea level rise scenarios, and various adaptation strategies. The Northeast Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERCOOS) in partnership with the five coastal New England states was awarded $891,243 to document and predict coastal storm impacts and increase the implementation of sustainable, nature-based infrastructure approaches (living shorelines). CZM will be working with the coastal programs, the Nature Conservancy, the Northeast Regional Ocean Council, and other partners to develop state-of-the-practice information on living shorelines; examine, identify, and address regulatory issues associated with natural infrastructure practices; develop and implement a series of training program workshops; and advance community-based living shoreline planning and assessment pilot projects. For more information, see the NOAA press release.

New Report on Climate Change Impacts to Coastal Stormwater BMPs - CZM, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), has released Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Stormwater BMPs and Recommended BMP Design Considerations in Coastal Communities. Developed by the Horsley Witten Group, Inc., with support from the Woods Hole Group, this report is intended to help municipalities address the unique challenges of siting, designing, and constructing stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) in coastal areas that are subject to flooding, storm damage, and salt and wind exposure and are expected to experience increased impacts due to sea level rise, higher groundwater levels, and increased frequency and intensity of storm impacts due to climate change.

Buzzards Bay NEP Launches Stormwater Website - In February 2016, the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (NEP) launched a new website, stormwater.buzzardsbay.org. The purpose of the website is to support the activities of the Buzzards Bay Stormwater Collaborative, which consists of five towns (Dartmouth, Acushnet, Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, and Wareham) that are working with the Buzzards Bay Action Committee (BBAC) and the Buzzards Bay NEP to map stormwater networks and monitor stormwater discharges that are contributing to shellfish bed closures and other pollution-caused impairments. This work began in the fall of 2015 when the BBAC received a $200,000 Healthy Communities Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Buzzards Bay NEP, which is partnering with the BBAC on the grant, has hired a new staff member to support the municipal effort. The BBAC will be hiring a stormwater specialist and interns to collect dry and wet weather stormwater samples. This work will also support municipal efforts to meet the goals of their municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) stormwater management plans.

Buzzards Bay NEP Awards Water Quality Grants - On January 11, the Buzzards Bay National Estuary (NEP) Program awarded six grants totaling $794,478 to address nutrient and pathogen pollution in Buzzards Bay. The following grants, which are funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and administered by CZM through the Buzzards Bay NEP, will help the towns protect important habitat and drinking water resources:

  • Buzzards Bay Coalition - $200,000 to work with the towns of Wareham, Bourne, and Plymouth and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy to evaluate the feasibility of relocating the Wareham Wastewater Treatment Facility discharge from the Agawam River to a well-flushed area near the Cape Cod Canal.
  • Marine Biological Laboratory - $175,918 to collaborate with the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Barnstable County Department of Health to quantify the nitrogen removal benefits from innovative alternative (I/A) systems being installed in West Falmouth Harbor. The work will also determine whether the addition of a carbon source will increase nitrogen removal in I/A systems.
  • Town of Marion - $200,000 to coordinate with Mattapoisett and the Buzzards Bay Coalition in hiring a consultant to design an expanded sewage collection system from Marion's Wastewater Treatment Facility into the existing densely developed neighborhoods of Indian Cove (Marion) and Harbor Beach (Mattapoisett) on Aucoot Cove.
  • Town of Falmouth - $53,950 to expand an oyster reef to reduce nitrogen loads to West Falmouth Harbor near Mashapaquit Creek in the Snug Harbor area. The project will inform the extent to which oyster reefs can effectively improve water quality, and can contribute to watershed nitrogen reduction for West Falmouth Harbor and other similar estuaries.
  • Town of Fairhaven - $58,350 to prepare designs and permit applications for green infrastructure stormwater best management practices at four high priority outfalls on Sconticut Neck. The effort will reduce pathogen and nutrient loading and other stormwater pollutants to Little Bay and Nasketucket Bay.
  • Town of Dartmouth - $106,260 to work the city of New Bedford to treat stormwater runoff from two outfalls located at the end of Rodgers Street discharging to Clarks Cove and contributing to shellfish bed closures there.

For additional information, see the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) press release.

Ocean Advisory Commission Reconvenes - On January 26, a meeting of the Commonwealth’s Ocean Advisory Commission was held with a slate of new and re-appointed commission members. The commission is made up of legislators; representatives from commercial fishing, environmental organization, and offshore renewable energy representatives from coastal Regional Planning Agencies, and the heads of CZM, Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), and Division of Marine Fisheries. Agenda items included an overview of the 2015 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan and discussion regarding next steps and future efforts for implementing key management and science elements of the plan. A summary of the process, findings, and recommendations of the state’s Coastal Erosion Commission report was provided. The Ocean Advisory Commission also heard updates on the work underway on ocean planning in the Northeast and discussed its role in providing input on feedback from Massachusetts stakeholders when the draft regional plan is released this spring. Finally, the commission reviewed the latest work on the development of a performance and evaluation framework for tracking and reporting progress on the 2015 ocean plan. The commission will look to convene again in early May 2016.

Coastal Erosion Commission Final Report - On December 3, the Massachusetts Coastal Erosion Commission released its final report, which provides eight overarching strategies that seek to:

  • Advance science, data, and information for better decision making;
  • Enhance the legal, regulatory, and policy framework; and
  • Enhance shoreline management practices and approaches, technical and financial assistance to communities, and outreach and communication efforts.

The Commission was established by the Massachusetts Legislature to investigate and document levels and impacts of coastal erosion in the Commonwealth and develop 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. On behalf of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), CZM chaired and staffed the Commission. Since it began its work in March 2014, the Commission held eight meetings, reviewed the work and findings of similar state- and national-level commissions on coastal shoreline and floodplain management, convened five regional public workshops, created three working groups, and held five regional public hearings and a 90-day public period on its draft report. The final report presents the work, findings, and recommendations of the Commission. Volume 1 contains the body of the report and Volume 2 contains the Working Group technical reports (Science and Technology, Legal and Regulatory, and Erosion Impacts).

Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Awards Announced - On December 3, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) announced $400,000 in funding through CZM’s Coastal Pollution Remediation (CPR) Grant Program for projects to protect coastal waters in Massachusetts. The CPR grant recipients are the communities of Fairhaven, Fall River, Kingston, Medford, Milton, and Salem. Projects include local efforts to assess, design, and implement controls for runoff pollution from roadways and parking areas and design of facilities to pump out boat waste. These local water quality improvement projects will help protect wildlife habitat, open shellfish beds to harvesting, and reduce bacteria levels at recreational beaches. The grants are being matched by $144,627 from municipal sources, further extending the power of the grant program. For more information, see the EEA press release.

Jobs

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

Coastal Resilience Grant Program - CZM is seeking proposals for the Coastal Resilience Grant Program. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 this program will provide up to $2 million in grants and technical assistance to coastal communities to advance innovative and transferable local coastal resilience initiatives to increase awareness and understanding of climate impacts, assess vulnerability and risk, conduct adaptation planning, and redesign vulnerable public facilities and infrastructure. Additionally, both coastal communities and certified 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations may seek funding for nature-based approaches (or green infrastructure) that enhance natural resources and provide storm damage protection. To view the Request for Responses (RFR) and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Applications are due by June 6.

Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program - CZM is seeking proposals for the Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program. For Fiscal Year 2017, 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. To view the RFR and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Applications are due by June 30.

Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program Regional Service Providers - MassBays is seeking proposals for Regional Service Providers (RSPs) for each of the five regions of the MassBays Planning Area: Upper North Shore, Lower North Shore, Metropolitan Boston, South Shore, and Cape Cod. RSPs will support the implementation of the MassBays Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. One-year grants of up to $61,000 will be awarded for each region. For more information, to view the RFR, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by May 27.

Buzzards Bay Watershed Municipal Mini-Grant Program - The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program is seeking proposals for the Buzzards Bay Municipal Minigrant Program. Projects must implement a recommendation(s) in the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan and be principally located within the Buzzards Bay Watershed. 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 June 2.

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.

Proposed Revisions to CZM’s DPA and MHP regulations and MassDEP’s Waterways Regulations - CZM and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) have proposed revisions to 301 CMR 23.00 - Review and Approval of Municipal Harbor Plans (MHP), 301 CMR 25.00 - Designation of Port Areas (DPA), and 310 CMR 9.00 - Chapter 91 Waterways Regulations. The purpose of these revisions is to provide greater flexibility to municipalities and businesses by (1) allowing for new and expanded economic development opportunities while ensuring the protection of current and future marine industrial uses in selected areas within DPAs and (2) providing increased flexibility, greater clarity, and predictability for the licensure of prospective activities and uses on the ground floors of non-water dependent buildings. CZM and MassDEP held three public hearings in April. The proposed regulatory amendments are available on the MassDEP website. Submit comments by May 9 via email to dep.talks@state.ma.us, or mail to:

MassDEP, Division of Municipal Services
Bureau of Water Resources-Regulatory Comment Box
1 Winter Street, Fifth Floor
Boston, MA 02108-4747

Calendar

There are currently no CZM calendar listings. Please check back later.

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