News

Coastal Resilience Grant Awards Announced - On August 17, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) announced over $1.8 million in funding through CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program to support local efforts to improve responses to and reduce the impacts from coastal storms and climate change, including storm surge, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise. Grants were awarded to Beverly, Boston, Dennis, Harwich, Ipswich, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Newburyport, Orleans, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Scituate, Swampscott, Truro, Wareham, Weymouth, and Winthrop. Funded projects include efforts to assess local vulnerability of public infrastructure to flooding and sea level rise, identify alternatives for beach nourishment and dune restoration projects, evaluate structural and non-structural shoreline protection approaches, study wave effects on sand movement, and develop strategies to adapt to sea level rise. For more information, see the EEA Press Release.

Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Awards Announced - On August 31, EEA announced $346,292 in funding through CZM’s Coastal Pollution Remediation (CPR) Grant Program for projects to protect coastal water quality in Massachusetts. The CPR grant recipients are the communities of Medford, Milton, Plymouth, Salem, and Yarmouth. Projects include local efforts to assess, design, and implement infrastructure to intercept and treat contaminated stormwater runoff from roadways and parking areas. These local water quality improvement projects will reduce pollutants, such as nutrients and bacteria, in coastal waters—helping to keep beaches and shellfish harvesting areas open and protecting wildlife habitat. The grants are being matched by $172,624 from municipal sources, further extending the power of the program. For more information, see the EEA Press Release.

Help Clean Your Favorite Beach during COASTSWEEP 2016 - On August 24, EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton joined local officials, campers, interns and volunteers from the Cape Ann YMCA and Maritime Gloucester at Gloucester’s Stage Fort Park to kick off COASTSWEEP, the statewide beach cleanup sponsored by CZM. Celebrating its 30th cleanup this September, COASTSWEEP is an annual effort where 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, 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 EEA Press Release, the COASTSWEEP website, especially the Get Involved page and the 2016 Cleanup List, or check out COASTSWEEP on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, for more on becoming a local cleanup coordinator, see this Mass.gov Blog posting from CZM.

Buzzards Bay Municipal Grants Awarded - On August 3, the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (BBNEP) announced more than $210,000 to fund seven projects that will help towns in the Buzzards Bay watershed protect important habitat and drinking water resources and provide passage for migratory fish species. All funded projects will assist these municipalities to meet the goals and objectives of BBNEP’s Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan. These grants were awarded to Acushnet, Fairhaven, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester, and Wareham. Funded projects include efforts to remove an obstruction to a fish passage, permanently protect several tracts of land that serve as important habitat for rare and protected species, and help protect drinking water sources. BBNEP is administered by CZM and provides funding and technical assistance to municipalities and environmental groups in their ongoing efforts to protect and restore water quality and living resources. For more information, see the EEA Press Release.

Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Conference - On June 6, CZM and Woods Holes Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) Sea Grant held the 2nd Martha's Vineyard Coastal Conference in Edgartown. At this day-long conference, where more than 95 people attended, Robert Thompson, Meteorologist-in-Charge at the Taunton Office of the National Weather Service, presented the key-note address about climate change impacts on weather. Topics of the conference focused on ongoing research on the dynamics of the Katama Bay system, impacts to natural resources, and updates on a variety of coastal projects around Martha's Vineyard, including a flood inundation methodology being developed by the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, the Squibnocket coastal resilience project in Chilmark, a living shoreline and saltmarsh restoration project in Oak Bluffs, a saltmarsh elevation monitoring project being conducted by the Martha's Vineyard Commission, and the Oak Bluffs Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The following day, CZM, WHOI Sea Grant, and the Trustees of Reservations took participants on a field trip to the Katama barrier beach to view the ongoing changes to this portion of the coast.

Gulf of Maine Council Awards - On June 7, the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment presented its annual awards during a ceremony in Fredericton, New Brunswick, which included awards to three environmental leaders from Massachusetts:

  • Glorianna Davenport and Evan Schulman of Tidmarsh Farm received a Visionary Award for their work on the ecological restoration of 250 acres of cranberry bogs and adjacent lands in Plymouth. With support from the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration and partners including the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program, this project—which includes a cutting-edge educational and monitoring component (The Living Observatory)—is the largest coastal freshwater wetlands restoration effort to date in the Commonwealth. Although primarily a freshwater wetland restoration effort, the site, which is less than a mile from the coast, will also be suitable for salt marsh migration as sea level rises, making this ecological restoration project a valuable example of strategies for promoting coastal resiliency and climate change adaptation.
  • William S. Spitzer, Vice President for Programs, Exhibits, and Planning at the New England Aquarium received a Visionary Award for his mentoring and professional development efforts in the marine education community. At the aquarium, Billy develops mission-driven exhibits and programs and oversees exhibit design, visitor experience, volunteer and education programs, and strategic planning. Since 2005, Billy has also served as Chair and then as Host Institution Liaison of the New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative (NEOSEC), a regional entity that brings together diverse marine education organizations around collective work and learning. As principal investigator of the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation, Billy is also a leader in climate change education in the Gulf of Maine and beyond. This effort has benefitted numerous local marine education organizations and their staff over the past five years, and brought national attention to New England-based resources and expertise on these critical issues.

For a complete list of winners and more information on the awards, see the Gulf of Maine Council website.

Draft Northeast Ocean Plan - On May 25, the Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) released the Draft Northeast Regional Ocean Plan for public review and a 60-day public comment period. The RPB is a group of representatives from six New England states, six federally recognized tribes, nine federal agencies, and the New England Fishery Management Council that was formed to better manage the ocean and coasts in the Northeast. The draft plan is the result of a federal Executive Order issued in 2010 that established a national ocean policy and tasked regional planning bodies with developing regional ocean plans. Several years of scientific study, data analysis, public participation, and collaboration have led to a comprehensive characterization of ocean ecosystems and human uses and the subsequent development of a regional ocean plan for the Northeast. Three public meetings will be held in Massachusetts to introduce the plan and solicit public comments. The meetings will be:

  • Gloucester - June 13, 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop, Gloucester
  • Boston - June 14, 2:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, 100 Cambridge Street, 2nd Floor, Rooms C and D, Boston
  • New Bedford - June 15, 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at the New Bedford Public Library, 613 Pleasant Street, New Bedford

The RPB invites comments and feedback from those interested in the future of New England’s ocean and its resources. Comments may be provided online or in writing, or by attending one of the public meetings. For more information, including commenting instructions, links to the Northeast Data Portal, and supporting documents, see the Northeast RPB website.

Little River Restoration Project Completed - On May 23, the City of Gloucester, state and local officials, and conservation advocates celebrated the completion of the Little River restoration and resiliency project, which involved day-lighting portions of buried waterway, replacing an aging concrete channel with a natural stream bed, and restoring sensitive coastal wetlands. These efforts have already dramatically improved ecological conditions, eliminated a public safety hazard, reduced flooding risks, and enhanced climate change resiliency in the small coastal stream that flows from Lily Pond to the Annisquam River. The project was funded through a variety of grant sources, the most significant of which was a $400,000 Coastal Resilience Grant from CZM. Additional funding was provided by the City of Gloucester, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and DFG’s Division of Ecological Restoration (DER). For details on the project and the event, see the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) press release.

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.

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

Design of Stormwater Infrastructure Retrofits Grants - CZM is seeking proposals for a one-time grant opportunity to provide funding to municipalities within the Massachusetts Coastal Watershed to support designs that lead to the construction of retrofits to stormwater infrastructure. Eligible communities should review Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Stormwater BMPs and Recommended BMP Design Considerations in Coastal Communities for an overview of possible impacts and retrofits. The goal of this grant is to produce designs that will lead to future implementation of retrofits of existing treatment structures to increase effectiveness and resiliency and provide water quality and habitat benefits over the long term. Applicants may request up to $15,000 and must provide a 25% match of total project costs. For questions, contact Adrienne Pappal, CZM Coastal Habitat and Water Quality Manager through October 14 at adrienne.pappal@state.ma.us or 617-626-1218. To view the RFR and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by October 28.

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.

CZM Proposed Revisions to Regulations - As part of Governor Baker’s Executive Order #562 regulatory review process, CZM has conducted a comprehensive analysis of all CZM regulations and is proposing to revise the following regulations and hold three public hearings in conformance with M.G.L. c.30A:

  • 301 CMR 28 - Ocean Management Plan - The Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan was revised and an amended plan was released in January 2015. Implementing regulations are being revised to reflect the updated plan.
  • 301 CMR 24 - Ocean Sanctuaries - These regulations are being revised and moved to reflect statutory changes made by Chapter 114 of the Acts of 2008, which amended the Ocean Sanctuaries Act to give CZM the legal care, oversight, and control responsibilities, previously held by the former Department of Environmental Management, now the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Reflecting this move from DCR to CZM, as well as other proposed revisions, the Ocean Sanctuaries Act regulations will be promulgated at 301 CMR 24, and regulations at 302 CMR 5.00 will be rescinded.
  • 301 CMR 26 - Coastal Pollution Remediation Program - The regulation is being amended to incorporate administrative updates and eliminate duplication of efforts currently performed in the grant procurement process.
  • 301 CMR 22 - Coastal Facilities Improvement Program - These regulations are proposed for rescission as resources for municipal grants are being provided through other grant programs and authorizations (such as the Seaport Economic Council).

Public hearings will be conducted on the following dates at the following locations to receive comments on the proposed revisions. Testimony may be presented orally or in writing at the hearings.

  • Wednesday, September 14, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Gloucester City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester
  • Monday, September 19, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., 100 Cambridge Street, 2nd Floor Conference Room A, Boston
  • Thursday, September 22, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., New Bedford Public Library, Third Floor Conference Room, 613 Pleasant Street, New Bedford

For more information, see the Proposed Amendments to Regulations web page.

Calendar

Seeking Local Cleanup Coordinators for COASTSWEEP 2016 - COASTSWEEP 2016, the annual statewide beach cleanup sponsored by CZM, kicked off last month—so now is the time to sign up to be a local cleanup coordinator to make sure your favorite beach, marsh, dive site, and riverbank is free of trash and other marine debris. 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.

MassBays Citizen Monitoring Network Summit - On September 29, MassBays invites citizen monitoring coordinators to Westborough to launch a network of Massachusetts coastal monitoring programs. The MassBays Citizen Monitoring Network Summit is a one-day Summit that will include networking time, opportunities to articulate program needs, practical presentations, and other resource materials. Expert panels and three concurrent breakout sessions will allow opportunity for participants to discuss the potential for connections among researchers, government agencies, and other monitoring programs to inform future monitoring and to collaborate on assessment efforts. Registration is required. For more information, see the MassBays website or contact Nicholas.Moreno@state.ma.us.

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