August 2014

Welcome to CZ-Mail, the monthly electronic newsletter from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). Each issue provides information on major CZM initiatives, available tools and publications, upcoming workshops and events, grants, contracting opportunities, job openings, coastal legislation, and other news of interest to people working on coastal issues. Additional information about CZM's programs, publications, and other coastal topics can be found on the CZM website. To subscribe to CZ-Mail, send a blank email to Also, please feel free to share CZ-Mail with colleagues and friends—and if you have any suggestions for future editions, or would like make a change to your CZ-Mail subscription, please email your request to For daily updates from CZM, please follow us on Twitter.

All links on this web page were current and working on the date of publication.

Round 2 of Climate Resilience Grants Coming this Fall

As part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s continued efforts for coordinated climate preparedness, two new grant programs that were piloted by CZM this winter and spring on behalf of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) will be offered again this fall. The Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program and the Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience 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 similar funding levels to the first grant rounds. Proposals will be due around mid-October. For more information, contact one of CZM’s five Regional Coordinators.

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Completed

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.

CZ-Tip: Learn Some Beach Basics from Sand Sources to Signs of Shipwrecks

August is arguable the best time to get out and enjoy the Massachusetts coast. Last month’s tip, CZ-Tip - Identifying Animals and Plants on the Massachusetts Coast, focused on beach flora and fauna. This month’s features the beach itself, with information on where the sand comes from, what gives the beach its color, and why this coastal landform looks so different from day to day. Also featured are the relics and remnants that can be found in the sand and how they may be indicators of past landscapes and life—such as ancient Native peoples, old coastal forests, or even sunken ships. For all this and more, check out CZ-Tip - Discover Fascinating Features, Forms, and Even Fossils at the Beach.

Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities

Coastal Pollution 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.


Report on Water Quality at Vacation Beaches - The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released its annual beach water quality report, which provides a compilation of water quality data on U.S. beaches. Testing the Waters 2014: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches identifies the best and worst beaches for protecting beachgoers from contaminated water. The data finds that for the state of Massachusetts and the nation as a whole, 10 percent of samples collected in 2013 had bacteria levels that exceeded the national standards for safety. In the 2014 report, the NRDC recommends a long-term approach to address the sources of beach water pollution and to develop strategies for reducing contamination carried by stormwater runoff.

Danger in the Reeds - The MassBays Upper North Shore regional coordinator, Peter Phippen, in collaboration with a local videographer, local scientists, and decision makers, has developed Danger in the Reeds, a series of short informative videos describing how the invasive reed, Phragmites australis, is threatening the natural diversity of the Great Marsh and what local scientists are doing about it.

Economics of Coastal Restoration - The Center for American Progress and Oxfam America have released The Economic Case for Restoring Coastal Ecosystems, a report that discusses the ongoing economic contributions provided by healthy, restored coastal ecosystems such as wetlands, seagrass beds, and oyster reefs. An analysis of three federally-funded projects reveals that investing in well-designed coastal restoration projects can be highly cost effective and offer significant returns. The study found that each dollar invested returns more than $15 in net economic benefits, including those gained from buffering storm surges; safeguarding coastal homes and businesses; sequestering carbon and other pollutants; creating nursery habitat for commercially and recreationally important fish species; and restoring open space and wildlife that support recreation, tourism, and the culture of coastal communities.

Cape Coastal Conference Presentations - The Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve has released the conference presentations from their 2nd Annual Cape Coastal Conference. The presentations, which focused on the implementation of strategies to protect water quality and improve coastal resilience to climate change and sea level rise, can be found on their conference website.

Benthic Habitat Use in the Gulf of Maine -The NOAA Fisheries’ Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office has released Shallow Water Benthic Habitats in the Gulf of Maine: A Summary of Habitat Use by Life Stages of Common Marine and Estuarine Species. This report describes the importance of shallow water habitats (0-10 meters) for spawning, feeding, and growth to maturity for 16 fish and invertebrate species in the Gulf of Maine.

Watershed Science Bulletin—Call for Papers - The Watershed Science Bulletin is the peer-reviewed journal of the Center for Watershed Protection that features practical, science-based solutions to important watershed and stormwater management issues. The journal is seeking short (5,000 words or less) articles that illustrate the practical application of science to the broad topic of best practices in stormwater and watershed management.

Land Development Report - Mass Audubon has released the fifth edition of the award-winning series Losing Ground. Losing Ground: Planning for Resilience reports on the pace and patterns of land development and land protection in Massachusetts between 2005 and 2013. Over the past 40 years, the landscape of Massachusetts has been transformed by new residential and commercial development. Starting in 1991, Mass Audubon has analyzed these changes every five years using the most up-to-date technology and methods.

Flood Resilience Checklist - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a Flood Resilience Checklist, which helps communities determine whether they are prepared for a flood. The checklist offers strategies that communities can consider, such as conserving land in flood-prone areas, redirecting new development to safer areas, and using green infrastructure approaches, such as installing rain gardens, to manage stormwater.

Coastal Services Magazine - The July/August/September 2014 issue of Coastal Services, a NOAA Coastal Services Center magazine, features articles about adaption planning in San Francisco, educating coastal property owners in North Carolina, and other coastal news and notes.

Marine Protected Areas Connections - The July 2014 issue of Marine Protected Areas CONNECTIONS, news from the National Marine Protected Areas Center, features articles on expansion of the Pacific Marine Monument, managing recreational uses in marine protected areas (MPAs), and other MPA news.

WHOI Newsletter - The July 2014 issue of the WHOI newsletter, a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) monthly e-newsletter, features articles on listing the emperor penguin as endangered, phytoplankton survival with scarce nutrients, and other ocean science news, research, and events at WHOI.

Stellwagen Bank E-Notes - The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary has released the June 2014 edition of Stellwagen Bank E-Notes, a newsletter that provides the latest information about sanctuary research, education, and resource conservation. This issue includes articles on new processes for sanctuary designations, marine art contest winners, and other sanctuary stories, news, and notes.

Sound Waves - The May/June 2014 issue of Sound Waves, the monthly newsletter from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), features articles on the impacts of Hurricane Sandy and future flooding, the response of estuaries to storms, and other coastal and marine research news.

Web-Based and Mobile-User Resources

Great Marsh Tour - The Great Marsh Tour offers visitors to the North Shore an on-the-go way to learn about New England’s largest continuous coastal marsh habitat. Developed by MassBays and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, through a grant from the Essex National Heritage Foundation, the tour educates visitors by using a smart phone application to view Quick Response (QR) codes. These QR codes, found on signs throughout the marsh system, link to short informational videos describing the marsh’s environmental and cultural importance. The QR coded signs are located in Gloucester, Essex, Ipswich, Rowley, Newburyport, Newbury, Amesbury, and Salisbury. For details and a map of QR sign locations, see the Great Marsh Tour web page.

Coastal Hazards Tool - The USGS has created the USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal, an online tool designed to aid decision-makers, organizations, or the general public make decisions that involve emergency preparedness, ecosystem restoration, and where and how to develop coastal areas. Users can explore the interactive portal to find information about historical or future potential storm impacts for a specific coastal area. The portal also includes a feature to show potential susceptibility of coastlines to sea-level rise.

iCoast Application - USGS has launched iCoast - Did the Coast Change?, a new crowdsourcing, citizen science application that asks volunteers to identify changes to the coast by comparing and tagging aerial photographs taken before and after storms. Contributions help USGS scientists improve the accuracy of coastal-erosion prediction models and vulnerability assessments that support pre-storm planning and post-storm rescue, recovery, and mitigation efforts. It can also be an effective educational tool for educating the public about the vulnerability of coastal communities to coastal storms.

FEMA Flood Map Service Center - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has launched an overhauled FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC), which features a streamlined design and interface, significant technical improvements, and new user features. The updated site will serve as both an intuitive and user-friendly source of information for the general public and a powerful flood hazard product portal for those working in flood insurance, hazard mitigation, and floodplain management. All FEMA flood maps and associated products will now be free for downloading through this site.

Interactive Water Quality Maps - The Northeast Ocean Data portal has posted new interactive maps of water quality in the Northeast. Based on data provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the maps display No Discharge Zones, impaired waters, and wastewater discharges. Also shown on the maps are boundaries of watersheds and subwatersheds in the region.

SPLASSH - SPLASSH (Student Programs Like Aquatic Science Sampling Headquarters) is a socially driven network that crowdsources the condition of waterways. The goal of the network is to inspire water conservation and serve as a platform where students, teachers, citizen scientists, and researchers can post water projects and connect with other water investigators.

Coastal Land Cover Atlas - The Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) Land Cover Atlas provides user-friendly access to regional land cover and land cover change information. The tool summarizes general change trends, such as forest losses or new development, and can highlight specific changes such as salt marsh losses to open water.

Green Infrastructure - EPA recently launched a Green Infrastructure Collaborative to promote investments in green infrastructure. To support the collaborative, EPA also developed a Green Infrastructure website that includes a set of tools to demonstrate how green infrastructure can be used as an important strategy for building community resilience to climate change impacts.

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. Available opportunities for public comment from other agencies and organizations are provided below.

New England General Permit - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New England District, is seeking comments on the proposed New England General Permit, which will authorize certain activities that require USACE permits. This permit would approve activities in waters of the U.S. within the boundaries of and/or off the coasts of the six New England State that have no more than minimal adverse effects on the aquatic environment. Once implemented, this new permits will supersede existing permits for each individual New England state. For more information, see the USACE website. Comments are due by September 15.

Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations: Acushnet, Berkley, Dighton, Freetown, Marion, and, Seekonk - FEMA is seeking comments on the proposed flood hazard determinations, which may include additions or modifications to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and supporting Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports for communities in Bristol County (Acushnet, Berkley, Dighton, Freetown, Marion, and, Seekonk). The FIRMs and FISs are the basis for the floodplain management measures that a community must adopt to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. The preliminary FIRMs and the FIS for the proposed Base Flood Elevations are available on the FEMA website and at each community's city/town hall. Submit comments, identified by Docket No. FEMA-B-1415, by October 7 to Luis Rodriguez at

Job Postings

Buzzards Bay Coalition Event Manager - The Buzzards Bay Coalition is seeking applications for an events manager. The selected candidate will be responsible for all aspects of planning and implementation for the Coalition’s diverse mix of outdoor fundraising events. The Event Manager drives all event marketing, participant recruitment, fundraising support, and sponsorship solicitations, as well as all levels of planning, scheduling, and logistics coordination for events that engage hundreds of athletes, volunteers, and spectators. For details, see the Coalition’s position description.


MACC Education - The Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) offers a variety of specialized education programs for the summer. Visit their workshops page to see an overview of upcoming wetland delineation and soil science courses, shrub identification workshops, and their soil erosion and sediment control training program, and to view their online education calendar for a schedule of programs.

Science Made Public - Through August, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is sponsoring Science Made Public, a series of public talks by WHOI scientists and engineers on the human-occupied submersible Alvin. On August 5, the first talk will be Autonomous Underwater Robots: How They Work by Dana Yoerger, Ocean Engineer.

Naturescape Gallery - In August, the Naturescape Gallery at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will feature scenic and nature photographer, Mark Preu. Visit the exhibit to see Cape Cod shorelines, ocean beaches, bays, salt marshes, ponds, lakes, rivers, dunes, hills, and woods through the eye of Preu’s lens.

Fish Talks - On Tuesdays in August the Cataumet Schoolhouse will host a series of free, public talks on Fish, Fishing, and Fisheries. Topics will include New England fisheries management and misconceptions on August 5; the ocean, its processes, and marine fish on August 12; sustainable aquaculture of oysters on August 19; and sargassum and its relationship to fish habitat in the Sargasso Sea on August 26. All talks are held at 7:00 p.m.

Cape Cod Bird Festival - From September 19-22, the second annual Cape Cod Bird Festival will be held in Hyannis. Bird watching trips are offered on Saturday and Sunday to many locations around the Cape. Also, two boat trips will be held to look for pelagic seabirds off the coast of Chatham. On Monday, there will be a post-festival trip to Cuttyhunk Island for a full day of birding. The festival will also include workshops on topics including planting for birds, birding for storm-blown seabirds during storms in the Cape Cod Bay, and using your cell phones apps to be a better birder. Registration closes on August 7.

Summertime Oysters Walk, Talk and Taste - On August 8, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will present Summertime Oysters Walk, Talk & Taste, part of the local food series Putting it on the Table. Oysters from the Big Rock Oyster Company will be featured. The company, founded by Aaron Brochu, grows oysters in aquatrays on the tidal flats located off Crow's Pasture in East Dennis. Participants will enjoy a naturalist guided walk through the marsh and over Wing Island and Quivet Creek at low tide to meet Brochu and his farmers for an informative tour of Big Rock. A raw bar tasting is included.

Great River Race - On August 9, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSRWA) will hold the 2014 Great River Race, a seven mile race along the South Shore’s North River. NSRWA invites all to participate on a non-motorized vessel (canoe, kayak, paddleboard, row boat…). Proceeds from this event support NSRWA's work to protect and restore local streams, salt marshes, and the watershed.

Walk Inside the Inflatable Whale - On August 13 and 29, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will present Walk Inside the Inflatable Grey Whale. Learn all about the magnificent whale’s behavior and habits from the inside out in an inflatable whale. Registration is recommended.

Herring River Annual Program - On August 19 from 4:00-6:00 p.m., the Friends of Herring River will present the Herring River Annual Program at the Wellfleet Council on Aging in Wellfleet. The 2014 program will feature three speakers that will talk about efforts to restore the Herring River Estuary in Wellfleet and Truro. Dr. Barbara Brennessel, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Wheaton College, will present Return of the Natives: The Journey of River Herring. Engineering firm Fuss & O'Neill, will present the conceptual design for the replacement of the Chequessett Neck Road dike with a bridge and tide control gates. Lastly, Tim Smith, Cape Cod National Seashore Restoration Ecologist and member of the Herring River Restoration Committee, will talk about the importance of adaptive management to a return of the tides to the original estuary.

Annual Swim & Fin - On August 23, Salem Sound Coastwatch (SSCW) will host the 9th Annual Swim & Fin Race for Salem Sound at Forest River Park in Salem. People of all ages and levels may join the event for open-water swimming races of three different distances: 500 meters, 1 mile, and 5K. Proceeds from this event support SSCW's work to protect local beaches, streams, salt marshes, and coastal waters. Race coordinators are also seeking safety paddlers (kayaks and stand up paddleboards) to escort swimmers. The time commitment is approximately from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. If interested, contact SSCW at

Coastal Sediments Conference—Call for Abstracts - From May 11-15, 2015, the 2015 Coastal Sediments Conference, Understanding and Working with Nature, will be held in San Diego, California. This conference provides an international forum for exchanging information among coastal engineers, geologists, oceanographers, and others interested in the physical processes of coastal sediments and morphology changes. See the Call for Abstracts, which are due by September 1.

Flood Management Conference - From September 2-5, the Floodplain Management Association will host the 2014 Floodplain Management Annual Conference in Santa Clara, California. The topic, Keeping Our Heads Above Water, will provide a forum for floodplain management experts and policy makers to address local, state, and federal regulatory and policy issues pertaining to flood risk management and planning.

Green Infrastructure Webcasts - EPA’s Green Infrastructure Program Webcast Series features bimonthly webcasts geared toward public officials and practitioners just beginning to implement green infrastructure, as well as those looking to enhance established programs. The next webcast, Green Infrastructure and Smart Growth, is on September 3.

Coastal Issues in New England Conference - From September 17-18, the Northeast Shore and Beach Preservation Association (NSBPA) in cooperation with the Northeast Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association will hold the 2014 NSBPA Conference on New England Coastal Issues in Taunton. The conference will include presentations on CZM’s StormSmart Coasts Program, Rhode Island shoreline management planning, green/nature-based shore protection projects, beach nourishment, identifying offshore sand resources, aging coastal engineering infrastructure, sand-filled envelopes, and other coastal management strategies being implemented in New England. This conference is an excellent opportunity to meet with colleagues to discuss what is working, what is not, and how to meet the challenges ahead.

Northeast Aquaculture Conference and Exposition—Call for Abstracts - From January 14-16, the Northeast Aquaculture Conference and Exposition will be held in Portland, Maine. Meeting organizers are soliciting special session topics, technology transfer sessions, and workshop ideas. See the Call for Abstracts, which are due by October 1

Walks, Lectures, and Events on Cape Cod - Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary in Barnstable offer a variety of educational programs for children and adults, including naturalist-led bird walks and nature adventures for preschoolers. For more information, search the Wellfleet Bay’s calendar of programs, classes, and activities or the Long Pasture’s calendar of programs, classes, and activities.

Ipswich River Wildlife Programs and Activities - Mass Audubon’s Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary provides numerous nature walks, talks, and adventures. See the program catalog for event and schedule information.

Family Field Walks - On weekdays through September 5, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold a series of 90-minute Family Field Walks. Museum naturalists will explain the various plants, animals, and other ecological features along the John Wing Trail.

Walks in Harwich - The Harwich Conservation Trust has posted its schedule of walks through the fall. All walks are free and open to the public. See the Trust's website for details.

Reminders - The following calendar items posted in the last CZ-Mail are still to come:

  • Coastal Explorer Van - On August 8 and August 13, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will present the Barnstable 4-H Coastal Explorer Van, a 31-foot, handicapped-accessible motor coach that provides visitors with a unique opportunity to learn about Cape Cod's coastal environment. On board, visitors will find saltwater aquariums with live animals, computer and interactive games, a TV/VCR for viewing marine life videos, microscopes to view marine life, blue shark and dolphin models displaying both external and internal anatomy, and a hands-on exhibit. The van will be parked in the museum parking lot in Brewster from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on these days.
  • Birdwatching for Beginners - On August 21, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold Birdwatching for Beginners with Gretchen Moran Towers, who will present basic skills designed to enable bird identification through sight and sound. Each session is followed by an outdoor venture to view birds in their natural habitat.
  • Annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival - From August 23-24, Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem will host the 32nd annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival, where vessels of all sizes and shapes will be on display, including 1900s-60s motor yachts, mahogany speedboats, sloops, yawls, schooners, and a 19th century gold-leaf canoe. This celebration of maritime heritage also includes a craft fair, artists, old-time band music, children's activities, the Blessing of the Fleet, and a boat parade.
  • Mudflat Mania - Through August 21, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold Mudflat Mania!, twice weekly hikes to Cape Cod Bay to explore the life on and below the Brewster sand flats.
  • Bayside Explorers - On Wednesdays through August 20, Three Bays Preservation will hold Bayside Explorers at Dowses Beach in Osterville. Explore tidal pools and aquatic life during these events for all ages. Sessions are held at 9:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m. at low tide each day.
  • New England Aquarium Professional Development Opportunities - In August, the New England Aquarium will offer a professional development course for educators to learn more about oceans and provide ideas for lesson plans This summer course equips participants with important science content information and hands-on activities.

Other Items of Interest

Boston Harbor Island Alliance Photo Contest - The Boston Harbor Island Alliance is hosting the annual summer photo contest for images that capture something special about the Boston Harbor islands. Submissions are due by Labor Day and can be submitted to For inspiration and a look at last year's entries, visit the Boston Harbor Island flickr photostream.

Mass Audubon Photo Contest - Mass Audubon is holding its 2014 Picture This: Your Great Outdoors photo contest, open to all participants. Striking digital images that highlight the beauty and diversity of Massachusetts wildlife, habitats, and people in nature are welcome. Judges will select up to 12 winners (two in each of six categories). Entries are due by September 30.

Gulf of Maine GeoTour - The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment has developed the Gulf of Maine Council GeoTour, a scavenger hunt type tour where participants collect points by answering specific site questions. The treasure, a limited edition Gulf of Maine Council 25th Anniversary Geocoin, is available to the first 100 participants who collect enough points and send in their responses for verification. Five sites are found in each of the five provinces and states. Sites were selected to highlight important natural, historic, cultural, and economic features of the region.

Coastal Attitudes Survey - Salem Sound Coastwatch is seeking participants for an anonymous online survey on attitudes and perceptions about coastal and marine governance and climate change-related issues. The 15-mintue survey is being conducted in collaboration with Salem State University and Queen University in Belfast, Ireland. Survey responses are requested by August 15.

Salem Sound Seeks Weeders - Salem Sound Coastwatch is seeking help to remove the invasive pepperweed plant, which is found on the edge of salt marshes and beaches. Pepperweed looks like a pretty wildflower, but is non-native, extremely invasive, and destroys critical habitat. If interested in helping to remove this weed from the North Shore, contact Salem Sound Coastwatch at