News

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
.

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 throughout September and October. To get involved, see the COASTSWEEP website or check out COASTSWEEP on Facebook or Twitter.

Joe Costa Receives EPA Environmental Merit Award - On April 22, the New England Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented its 2015 Environmental Merit Awards. Along with dozens of other awardees, Joe Costa (executive director of the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, which is administered by CZM), Tom Borden (program director of the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program), and Heather Radcliffe (project officer for the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission) were recognized for their dedicated and efficient collaboration to launch EPA’s Southeast New England Coastal Watershed Restoration Program. The program’s goal is to facilitate the collaboration of public and private groups to protect, enhance, and restore southeast New England watersheds. Part of a broader EPA effort to address common water quality problems in the region, the program has resulted in the funding of 12 projects at $1.5 million. These projects will reduce nutrient pollution from fertilizers, septic systems, and other sources to both fresh and saltwater systems. For more information, see the EPA Press Release.

MEMA Briefings on Federal Disaster Funding for January Blizzard Impacts - As a result of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts receiving a major disaster declaration due to the severe blizzard on January 26-28, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will be conducting nine Applicant Briefings on the availability of federal funding from May 4-8. The assistance was authorized by President Barack Obama after a review of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) analysis of Governor Charlie Baker’s request for federal assistance. The purpose of the briefings is to explain the application and reimbursement process for receiving federal funds for eligible expenses incurred by state and local governments, as well as eligible nonprofit organizations in Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester Counties. This major disaster declaration does not apply to individuals, residents, or businesses. Communities are strongly encouraged to send representatives from local emergency management, public works, and finance departments because the briefings will explain the application and reimbursement process in detail. For more information, please visit the MEMA website.

Boundary Review Completed for the Beverly Designated Port Area - On April 6, CZM issued the Designation Decision for the Beverly Harbor Designated Port Area (DPA), concluding the comprehensive DPA boundary review process initiated in April 2014 at the request of the city of Beverly. The decision affirms the findings in CZM’s January 5, 2015, report that determined the Beverly DPA does not meet the suitability requirements for water-dependent industrial use pursuant to 301 CMR 25.00 pdf format of CMR 25.00: Designation of Port Areas
. Consequently, the area will no longer be subject to the DPA requirements of Chapter 91 specific to the protection and promotion of water-dependent industries. For more on the Beverly decision, see the designation decision pdf format of Designation Decision for the Beverly Harbor DPA - 2015
. For more information on DPAs, see CZM’s Port and Harbor Planning Program - Designated Port Areas website.

MassBays Launches New Estuary Viewer - The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays) Estuary Delineation and Assessment Viewer is now available. Each of the 47 embayments in the MassBays planning area, from the Merrimack River estuary to Provincetown Harbor, are depicted in interactive maps that locate resources—tidal flats/shellfish habitat, shorebird habitat/nesting sites, anadromous fish runs, salt marsh, and eelgrass beds—and stressors—impervious area, stormwater discharge, land use change, population density, 303(d) impairments, fish barriers/impoundments, wastewater discharge, shellfish area classifications, and stream crossings.

Spatial Data for Volume 2 of 2015 Ocean Plan Now in MORIS - The spatial data presented in the Baseline Assessment Five-Year Update in Volume 2 of the 2015 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan are now available in the Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System (MORIS), CZM’s online mapping tool. In MORIS, users can interactively view various data layers over different backdrops (aerial photographs, political boundaries, bathymetry, or other data including Google basemaps), create and share maps, and download the data for use in GIS. A stand-alone version of MORIS that contains the data in the ocean plan can be viewed on the MORIS: Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan Data web page.

Governor Baker Submits Request for Major Disaster Declaration - On March 27, Governor Charlie Baker submitted a request to President Barack Obama for a Major Disaster Declaration based on the impacts of an unprecedented 28-day weather event, starting January 26, that brought record snowfall, bitter temperatures, and coastal storm damage to the Commonwealth. This declaration would make federal aid available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance Program to 10 Massachusetts counties: Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester. During storm events on January 27-28 and February 15-16, CZM provided support in the state’s Emergency Operations Center, acquiring and compiling reports from the Coastal Storm Damage Assessment Team. CZM also assisted with the preliminary damage assessments led by FEMA and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. See the Governor’s Office press release for more on the disaster declaration request.

Boundary Review for the Chelsea Creek Designated Port Area - As noticed in the March 11 Environmental Monitor and the Boston Globe, CZM is seeking comments on the notice of intent to review the Chelsea Creek Designated Port Area (DPA) boundary. The purpose of the boundary review is to determine whether the DPA boundary 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 pdf format of CMR 25.00: Designation of Port Areas
, CZM is responsible for mapping, interpreting, and periodic review of DPA boundaries. A public meeting was held on March 31 to describe the DPA boundary review process. See the presentation from the March meeting pdf format of Boundary Review of the Chelsea Creek DPA
file size 2MB. Please submit comments by April 24 (comment period extended by 2 weeks from April 10) to: Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Brad Washburn, Assistant Director, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 800, Boston MA 02114 or email bradford.washburn@state.ma.us.

Jobs

There are currently no employment opportunities at CZM. Please check back later or see the Job Listings in Massachusetts for additional state opportunities.

Grants and Requests for Responses

Buzzards Bay Municipal Grants - The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program is seeking proposals for the Buzzards Bay Municipal Grant program. The Fiscal Year 2016 grant round will fund projects in eligible Buzzards Bay watershed communities that help meet its goals of protecting and restoring wetlands, wildlife habitat, and water quality, and safeguarding open spaces in Buzzards Bay and its surrounding watershed. An anticipated total of $154,000 in federal funds will be available. For more information, to view the Request for Responses (RFR), and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by August 31.

Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program - 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. For more information, to view the RFR, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by September 4.

Southeast New England Program Water Quality Management Grants - The Buzzards Bay and Narragansett Bay National Estuary Programs (NEP) are seeking proposals for nutrient, pathogen, and stormwater management projects within the Buzzards Bay watershed under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Southeast New England Program. Each NEP will award up to $900,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, municipalities, and other government agencies. Nutrient management projects addressing either nitrogen pollution to coastal waters or phosphorus pollution to freshwaters will be considered. Both large and small proposals are encouraged. For more information, including links to each RFR, see the Buzzards Bay NEP website. Pre-proposals are due by September 15.

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.

Southeast New England Program Water Quality Management Grants - The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program is seeking comments on its Draft Request for Proposals for the Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Water Quality Management Grants. This grant program supports the EPA’s SNEP mission to protect and restore the southeast New England ecosystem by connecting communities through collaboration and partnerships throughout the region; fostering and promoting innovative approaches; and engaging public stewardship. This grant round is focused on nutrient and pathogen water quality issues. Although certain elements of this draft Request for Proposals may change, potential applicants should use this notification as an opportunity to formulate potential projects. For more information, including commenting instructions, see the SNEP website. Comments are due by July 22.

Calendar

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 throughout September and October. 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.