February 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 join-env-cz-mail@listserv.state.ma.us. 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 CZ-Mail@state.ma.us. 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.

New State Funding Available for Coastal Communities to Combat Climate Change

On January 23, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) announced a new grant program to support local efforts for climate preparedness. Administered by CZM, the Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program will offer $1 million in grant funding to coastal cities and towns to reduce or eliminate risks associated with coastal storms, erosion, and sea level rise. As part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts's $50 million investment in comprehensive climate change preparedness initiatives, the program will provide financial and technical resources to advance new and innovative local efforts to address climate change and sea level rise impacts. Specifically, the funds will finance city and town efforts to increase awareness of these issues, assess vulnerability and risk at the local level, and implement measures to respond, recover, and adapt to impacts to the coast. Applicants may request up to $200,000 in funding and all 78 coastal communities in the Commonwealth are eligible. For details on how to apply, see the “Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities” section below.

CZM Releases Fact Sheets to Help Coastal Property Owners Reduce Erosion and Storm Damage

CZM has launched the StormSmart Properties website with fact sheets for coastal property owners on shoreline stabilization options that effectively reduce erosion and storm damage while minimizing impacts to shoreline systems. The six techniques covered in this first round of fact sheets are: artificial dunes and dune nourishment, controlling overland runoff to reduce coastal erosion, planting vegetation to reduce erosion and storm damage, bioengineering - coir rolls on coastal banks, bioengineering - natural fiber blankets on coastal banks, and sand fencing. In the coming year, CZM will add additional fact sheets on topics such as repair/reconstruction of revetments, seawalls, and groins; beach nourishment; elevating and relocating buildings; sand-filled envelopes; salt marsh creation and restoration on coastal beaches; and design standards for new revetments, seawalls, and groins. CZM would like to thank the staff from sister EEA agencies who provided input and assistance, as well as the StormSmart Properties Technical Advisory Committee made up of coastal geologists, coastal engineers, and other environmental consultants with extensive local experience with these techniques who thoroughly reviewed each fact sheet.

Storm Team Assesses Damage from First Storm of 2014

From January 2-3, members of the State Coastal Storm Damage Assessment Team (Storm Team) were deployed to check the east, north, and northeast facing shorelines of the Massachusetts coast for damage from the first northeaster of 2014. The Storm Team is led by CZM, and CZM staff were stationed in the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) State Emergency Operations Center throughout the storm to coordinate Storm Team efforts and feed reports directly to emergency management personnel. Storm Team members observed beach and dune erosion and flooding—particularly in Salisbury, Newbury, Hull, Scituate, Marshfield, Plymouth, Sandwich, Dennis, Brewster, and on Nantucket. Erosion from the storm undermined houses, roads, seawalls, revetments, public parking areas, and utilities. Specific reports included extensive flooding of coastal neighborhoods, significant overwash of seawalls and other shoreline stabilization structures, damaged pavement on coastal roads and parking areas, exposed utility lines from erosion beneath damaged pavement, and destroyed decks and beach access stairs. Houses appeared to be significantly damaged as a result of coastal erosion and flooding in Newbury, Hull, Scituate, and Duxbury. More than 285 detailed reports were entered into the StormReporter online database, which helped inform decisions regarding state and federal resources needed to assist communities. The reports were also used by the National Weather Service to refine their forecasts during the event.

Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Body Approves Goals, Objectives and Workplan

At its January 22-23 meeting in Cambridge, the Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Body (RPB) received further public and stakeholder input and reviewed, revised, and approved a set of goals, objectives, and accompanying actions for a regional ocean planning initiative in the Northeast. The goals, objectives, outcomes and actions, were developed over a nearly year-long process, that included initial drafting after its inaugural meeting in November 2012, further vetting and development at its April 11-12, 2013 meeting, a series of public meetings held throughout New England in May and June 2013, input from state-based advisory groups—including the Massachusetts Ocean Advisory Commission and ocean Science Advisory Council—and formal public comment provided in writing at RPB meetings. Work continues on regional projects to gather data and information and to engage with scientists, fishermen, boaters, and environmental groups, as well as leaders in the shipping, aquaculture, and energy industries. For more information, see the new Ocean Planning in the Northeast website.

CZ-Tip: Coastal Reading List 101

‘Tis the season for curling up with a book, ideally next to a fireplace with a fierce snowstorm swirling outside and a hot mug (or chilled glass) of your favorite winter beverage at hand. For books to read, give, or download that all have one thing in common—the ocean is a main character—check out CZM's Coastal Reading List 101. Even if you don’t make it to the shore for a few more months, you can dive into these now!

Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities

Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program - CZM is seeking proposals for the new Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program. Up to $1 million ($200,000 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 February 28.

Reminders - This opportunity, listed in the last CZ-Mail, is still available:

  • Five Star Restoration Grants - The Five Star Restoration Program is seeking applications for financial assistance to support community-based wetland, riparian, and coastal habitat restoration projects that integrate meaningful education and produce measurable results. For details, see the Five Star Restoration Program website. Applications are due by February 5.


Northeast Recreational Boater Survey Technical Report - SeaPlan has released the 2012 Northeast Recreational Boater Survey: A Socioeconomic and Spatial Characterization of Recreational Boating in Coastal and Ocean Waters of the Northeast United States Technical Report, which provides a comprehensive description of the 2012 survey, methodology, and partners, as well as the complete survey results. Results include economic impact estimates, maps displaying boater activity, and demographic information.

Coastal Wetlands Status Report - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have released Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Conterminous United States 2004 to 2009, a report that shows the United States is losing wetlands in coastal watersheds at a significant rate. It concludes that more than 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands are being lost on average each year, an increase from a previous study.

Legal Tools for Managing Coastal Retreat - Columbia Law School’s Center for Climate Change Law has released Managed Coastal Retreat: A Legal Handbook on Shifting Development Away from Vulnerable Areas, which describes legal principles and precedents that can serve as useful guides for the creation of new policies. The handbook also includes case studies and makes recommendations based on experiences of those who have implemented managed retreat. Featured legal tools include coastal planning, setbacks and rolling easements, prohibiting coastal armoring, rebuilding restrictions, and acquisition.

Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure Report - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released Case Studies Analyzing the Economic Benefits of Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure, a new technical report developed to help utilities, state and other municipal agencies, and other stormwater professionals understand the potential benefits of low impact development and green infrastructure (LID/GI) programs. The report highlights 13 case studies of selected public entities throughout the United States that have conducted economic evaluations of their LID/GI programs.

Sea Level Rise Effects on Barrier Island Groundwater - The Northeast Climate Science Center has released Effects of sea-level rise on barrier island groundwater system dynamics - ecohydrological implications, a paper that examines the impacts of sea level rise on groundwater and vegetation on barrier islands, demonstrating the interdependence of groundwater response with island morphology.

Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Guidelines - The NOAA Marine Debris Program has released Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment: Recommendations for Monitoring Debris Trends in the Marine Environment, which provide standard techniques for assessing debris on shorelines, on water surfaces, at-sea, and in benthic environments.

Marine Protected Areas Report - The NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center has issued a new report on the state of marine protected areas in the United States. Marine Protected Areas of the United States: Conserving Our Oceans, One Place at a Time provides a detailed snapshot of the coverage, level of protection, resources protected, and ecological representativeness of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in waters of the United States. The report also features brief case studies in MPA management from around the country.

World Ocean Journal - The World Ocean Observatory has launched World Ocean Journal, a new bi-annual online magazine on ocean culture and solutions to today's ocean issues. The inaugural volume includes essays, interviews, art, exhibits, and performances that profile some of the vital impacts of oceans.

Division of Ecological Restoration 2013 Report - The Department of Fish and Game's Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) has released 2013 Annual Report: The Value of Restoration pdf format of DER Annual Report 2013
file size 2MB, which highlights many DER-supported restoration projects and activities across Massachusetts that benefit local communities and the state’s economy. This report also introduces DER’s new report on the economic value of restored ecosystem services, such as increased flood protection and improved water quality.

Ebb & Flow - The December 2013 issue of Ebb & Flow pdf format of Ebb and Flow Newsletter #18 December, 2013
file size 1MB, the DER eNewsletter, features articles on a dam removal project, a streamflow restoration in Pittsfield, and other updates, grant opportunities, events, and resource links.

MassDEP eNewsletter - The winter 2014 issue of EnviroMatters from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) features articles on greenhouse gas reduction efforts in Massachusetts, the proposed food waste ban, and other recent MassDEP efforts, achievements, news, and updates.

Stellwagen Bank E-Notes - The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary has released the December 2013 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 the ship speed limit renewal, the whaleship Charles W. Morgan, and other sanctuary stories, news, and notes.

WHOI Newsletter - The January 2014 issue of the WHOI newsletter, a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) monthly e-newsletter, features articles on collecting ocean temperature information in Greenland, the world's most advanced deep-diving robotic vehicle, and other ocean science news, research, and events at WHOI.

MIT Sea Grant Newsletter - The January 2014 newsletter of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sea Grant College Program features details on the 2014 rapid assessment survey for marine invasives species, robots and the exploration of deep sea corals, and other MIT Sea Grant updates and marine-related news.

Natural Hazards Observer - The January 2014 issue of the Natural Hazards Observer, the bimonthly periodical of the Natural Hazards Center in Boulder, Colorado, features articles on taking the ‘naturalness’ out of natural disasters, Typhoon Haiyan, sea level rise estimates, and other natural hazards news and information.

Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The November-December 2013 issue of MPA News features articles on MPA governance in Australia, MPA certifications, and other MPA news and notes.

Marine Ecosystems and Management Information Service - The December 2013/January 2014 edition of Marine Ecosystems and Management, the bimonthly information service on marine ecosystem-based management from the University of Washington School of Marine Affairs, features articles on fisheries catch shares, mobile apps for fisheries, and other notes and news.

Sound Waves - The November/December 2013 issue of Sound Waves, the monthly newsletter from the U.S. Geological Survey, features articles on exploring the undersea north Atlantic coast, shallow water surveys with an autonomous kayak, and other coastal and marine research news.

Web-Based Resources

Ocean Environment and Human Uses Maps - The Northeast Ocean Data Working Group has released a major upgrade of the Northeast Ocean Data Portal, a source of data and information on the ocean environment and human uses of the ocean. The new interactive maps make it simpler to visualize data for key themes and provide additional information describing each map and dataset. Users can also move seamlessly from the simpler thematic maps to the more comprehensive data explorer, where the entire data catalog is available along with access to a range of external data sources.

Hazard Mitigation Planning - Beyond the Basics is designed to help practitioners develop or update a local hazard mitigation plan to meet Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements. Based on FEMA’s Local Mitigation Planning Handbook, the website offers practical step-by-step approaches and several examples of completed plans.

Marine Debris Program - NOAA’s Marine Debris Program has relaunched its website with a new design to improve navigation and make information easier to find. Users can learn about marine debris basics, download educational resources, find multimedia, and get the latest on program activities.

SeaHarmony - The National Science Foundation’s Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence, COSEE Island Earth, has launched an expanded seaHarmony website. SeaHarmony is an online collaboration tool that matches ocean science researchers, educators, managers, and traditional practitioners based on compatibility of interests and collaboration preferences. Previously only available in Hawaii, seaHarmony is a social networking site for ocean science professionals that allows members to find potential collaborators, post announcements, ask questions, and share resources about specific ocean science topics.

BASINS Update - EPA has released an updated version of the environmental model BASINS (Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources). BASINS version 4.1 includes numerous enhancements in the underlying GIS software, such as the use of TauDEM software to better sketch watershed boundaries from topographic information, the use of DFLOW to better estimate stream flow, and updated data management and analysis tools. BASINS was developed by EPA to assist states, local governments, and watershed groups in their efforts to manage their watersheds and develop total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) by integrating environmental data, analysis tools, and watershed and water quality models.


Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Curriculum Workshop - On February 5, 12, and 26, the Ocean Explorium in New Bedford will host Answering Real World Questions with Satellites, a workshop that will focus on building students’ abilities to formulate research questions and interpret authentic data, essential skills for meeting secondary level science and math standards. Attendees will use the Science on a Sphere exhibit to explore data from NASA Earth Observations, learn how to scaffold student learning with satellite data, and explore how to use the technology in earth, life, or physical science classes.

Water Watch Lecture Series - On Wednesdays through March 19, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association will hold the Water Watch Lecture Series at the South Shore Natural Science Center. On February 5 at 7:00 p.m., Peter Cooke from the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences will present How Green Is Your Grocer? Lectures are free and open to the public.

Marine Science Lectures - In 2014, the Northeastern University Marine Science Center is continuing its series of monthly marine science lectures through March. On February 11, Karen Ristuben, Artist/Educator, Rocky Neck Art Colony, will present Marine Science through the Eyes of an Artist. On March 11, the Graduate Student Research Showcase will feature the work of PhD students from the Marine Science Center. These lectures are free and open to the public. Lectures are held at the Nahant Village Church, 27 Cliff Street, Nahant at 7:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m.

National Conference on Beach Preservation - On February 12-14, the 2014 National Conference on Beach Preservation Technology will be held in Stuart, Florida. The conference will present the latest beach preservation technology with a goal to provide a technological transfer to coastal decision makers.

Smart Growth Conference - From February 13-15, the 13th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, Building Safe, Healthy, Equitable, and Prosperous Communities, will be held in Denver, Colorado. The three-day conference program includes more than 80 breakouts, workshops, and trainings and will feature cutting-edge policies and programs, projects, and best practices, as well as strategies and implementation tools that address the challenges of implementing smart growth development principles.

Climate Change Lectures - Every other Thursday through March, the Jones River Watershed Association, North and South Rivers Watershed Association, and the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program will hold the Climate Change in Your Backyard Lecture Series at Jones River Landing in Kingston. The February 13 lecture topic is Ecological Restoration, Coastal Stabilization, and Invasive Species Management.

AWRA Summer Conference—Call for Abstracts - From June 30-July 2, the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) will hold the 2014 Summer Specialty Conference: Integrated Water Resources Management - From Theory to Application in Reno, Nevada. This conference will provide researchers, practitioners, and academicians a forum to discuss the latest refinements in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) concepts, and to assess the efficacy of using IWRM principles in water resources planning and management activities. Abstracts are being sought for oral presentations and posters covering a wide range of topics. See the Call for Abstracts, which are due by February 17.

Ocean Waves of Nature - From February 17-21, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and NOAA Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary will present Ocean Waves of Nature, a school vacation program that spotlights the world under the sea, from underwater archaeology to turtles and sharks.

New England Aquarium Professional Development Workshops - This winter, the New England Aquarium will offer two three-day professional development workshops. Introduction to Ocean Science will be offered from February 18-20 and Changing Oceans: Challenges, Impacts & Solutions will be offered on three Saturdays—March 1, 15, and 29. For details and to register, see aquarium website.

Walk Inside the Inflatable Whale - On February 19, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will present Walk Inside the Inflatable Whale. Learn all about the magnificent whale’s behavior and habits from the inside out in a 44-foot inflatable whale. Registration is recommended.

Boating Safety Course - From February 24 through June 28, the Massachusetts Environmental Police will offer Boat Massachusetts, a free, state and nationally approved boating safety course for boaters age 12 and older, which concentrates on the equipment and operating guidelines needed to enjoy boating in a safe and responsible way. All graduates ages 12-15 will receive a safety certificate that allows operation of a motorboat without adult supervision, as required by state law. All graduates ages 16-17 will also be allowed to operate a personal watercraft (jet ski, wave runner, etc.).

Coastal Summit - From February 25-27, the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association will hold the 2014 Coastal Summit, Advocating for Healthy Coastlines, in Washington, DC. Those involved in beach preservation—including elected officials, scientists, engineers, planners, government officials, and interested beach users—will share concerns over future management of the nation's beaches and shores and get an in-depth look at critical issues affecting beach preservation and management.

Environmental Connection Conference - From February 25-28, the International Erosion Control Association will hold the Environmental Connection Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. This conference is an educational event for the erosion, sediment control, and stormwater industry, combining intense, full- and half-day training courses with topic-focused technical sessions and a large vendor expo.

Underwater in Salem Sound Lecture Series - Through April, Salem Sound Coastwatch will hold free monthly Underwater in Salem Sound lectures at Marblehead's Abbot Public Library at 7:00 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month. The February 29 lecture is History Revealed by the Sea Floor by Dr. Brad Hubeny, Salem State University.

Ecological Landscaping Conference - From February 26-27, the Ecological Landscaping Association (ELA) will hold the ELA Conference and Eco-Marketplace, Sustaining the Living Landscape, in Springfield. The 2014 conference will explore topics ranging from soil structure and biology to veteran tree health and will discuss ways to design, build, and maintain more resilient landscapes.

STEM Education Conference - On February 27, the Center for the Advancement of STEM Education (CASE) at Bridgewater State College will hold the CASE Conference 2014: Advancing STEM Education. The conference will focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and will include two workshop sessions, a plenary session, and a keynote address by Dr. Julie Huber, Marine Biological Laboratory, who will speak on Microbial Life at Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents.

Restoration and Coastal Management Summit—Call for Proposals - From November 1-5, Restore America’s Estuaries and the Coastal Society will hold Summit 2014: Inspiring Action, Creating Resilience—the 7th National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and 24th Biennial Meeting of the Coastal Society—in Washington, DC. The 2014 summit will bring together the restoration and coastal management communities for an integrated discussion to explore issues, solutions, and lessons learned. See the Call for Proposals, which are due by February 28.

MACC Conference - On March 1, the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) will hold the 2014 MACC Annual Environmental Conference in Worcester. Join more than 1,000 Conservation Commissioners, local officials, state and federal officials, consultants, and attorneys for the largest regular environmental conference in New England.

Green Infrastructure Webcasts - EPA’s Green Infrastructure Program Webcast Series will feature bimonthly webcasts geared toward public officials and practitioners just beginning to implement green infrastructure, as well as those looking to enhance established programs. Leading academics and professionals from around the country will cover a range of topics and applications, from best practices in operations and maintenance to the intersection of green infrastructure and climate change. The next webcast, Case Studies: Implementing Green Infrastructure under Enforcement Orders, is on March 4.

NEERS Spring Meeting—Call for Papers - From May 1-3, the New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS) will hold its Spring 2014 Meeting in Salem. Meeting presentations will be on a variety of topics related to estuaries and coastal environments. For more information on abstract submission, which are due by March 5, contact Hilary Neckles at hneckles@usgs.gov.

Sea Rovers Clinic - From March 7-9, the Boston Sea Rovers will hold the 2014 Sea Rovers Clinic in Danvers. Each year, the clinic is held to increase the awareness and appreciation of the marine environment with a focus on diving. The 2014 Clinic will include more than 40 daytime seminars, workshops, an international film festival, and a large display of dive equipment and services in New England.

Benthic Ecology Meeting - From March 19-22, the 43rd annual Benthic Ecology Meeting will be held in Jacksonville, Florida. This meeting is one of the largest scientific meetings for marine biologists in the United States and has historically provided a venue for graduate and undergraduate students to present their work and interact with established researchers in all areas of marine biology and ecology.

Environmental Biologist Conference - From March 26-28, the New England Association of Environmental Biologists (NEAEB) will hold its 38th annual meeting in Burlington, Vermont. NEAEB 2014 is a three-day conference that provides a forum for presenting current work and research on pressing environmental issues relevant to the region.

Climate Change Symposium—Save the Date - From June 16-18, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant Program will convene Sustaining Coastal Cities under Future Uncertainties, a 3-day symposium on sustainability of coastal cities with increasing storms, flooding, precipitation, and surges. This interdisciplinary conference will address concerns for change in sea level, storm surges, extreme precipitation and flooding and support protecting our region’s economy and environment. For more information, contact Judy Pederson at jpederson@mit.edu.

Walks, Lectures, and Events on Outer Cape Cod - Through winter, the Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary will offer a variety of educational programs for children and adults, including naturalist-led bird walks, nature adventures for preschoolers, and scenic cruises on Cape Cod Bay. For more information, search their calendar of programs, classes, and activities.

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

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

Wednesday Walks - On Wednesdays through February, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold a series of walks with naturalist Connie Boyce. For details, see the museum calendar.

Reminders - The following calendar item posted in the last CZ-Mail is still to come:

  • International LIDAR Mapping Forum - From February 17-19, the 2014 International LIDAR Mapping Forum will be held in Denver, Colorado. This three-day technical conference will feature sessions on ocean mapping, cultural heritage documentation, remote sensing data collection, use of laser scanners, extracting information from data to improve disaster response, and the use of maps post disaster to aid in recovery.

Other Items of Interest

Environmental Education Awards - EEA is now accepting applications for the 2014 Secretary Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education. All K-12 Massachusetts schools are eligible for cash awards for outstanding environmental and energy education projects. Winners will be notified in April and invited to attend a formal award ceremony at the State House. To apply, see the EEA website. Applications are due by March 28.

Gulf of Maine Council Award Nominations - The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment is seeking nominations for its annual Visionary, Longard, Susan Snow-Cotter Leadership, Industry, and Sustainable Communities Awards. Visionary Awards will be presented to one individual and one organization in each state and province bordering the Gulf. The Longard Award will be presented to an outstanding volunteer within the Gulf watershed. The Susan Snow-Cotter Award will recognize a coastal management professional who exemplifies outstanding leadership or exceptional mentoring in the Gulf of Maine watershed. The Industry Award will go to a business that has shown leadership in efforts to improve the well being of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem. The Sustainable Communities Award will go to a community or group within a community that exemplifies a sustainable environment and economy. Submit nomination forms by March 30 through the Council website.

Marine Policy Fellowships - The NOAA Sea Grant College Program is accepting applications for the 2014 Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program. This one-year program aims to provide a unique educational experience to students who have an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The program matches highly qualified graduate students with hosts in the legislative and executive branches, or appropriate associations/institutions, located in the area of Washington, DC, for a one year paid fellowship. Applications are due by February 14.

New England Fishery Management Council Nominations - The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is seeking nominations for four, open, at-large seats on the New England Fishery Management Council, one of eight regional councils that manage our nation’s marine fisheries seaward of state territorial waters. Candidates, by reason of their occupational or other experience, scientific expertise, or training, must be knowledgeable and experienced in ways related to fishery resources of New England. To request a nomination application kit contact Nichola Meserve at nichola.meserve@state.ma.us. Applications are due by February 14

Youth Preparedness Council - FEMA is seeking applicants for the Youth Preparedness Council, which is a unique opportunity for youth leaders to serve on a highly distinguished national council and participate in the Youth Preparedness Council Summit. Additionally, the youth leaders have the opportunity to complete a self-selected youth preparedness project and to share their opinions, experiences, ideas, solutions, and questions regarding youth disaster preparedness with the leadership of FEMA and national youth preparedness organizations. Once selected, members serve on the Council for one year, with the option to extend for an additional year, if formally requested by FEMA. Applications are due by February 24.

Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators - EPA, in partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, is seeking applications for the third annual Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. The award recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers and their local education agencies nationwide for excellence in integrating environmental education into their lessons and demonstrating the connection between health and the environment for their students. Successful applicants demonstrate creativity, innovation, community engagement, and leadership as students learn more about civic responsibility and environmental stewardship. Applications are due by February 28.

Marine Art Contest - Massachusetts Marine Educators and Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary are seeking entries from students in grades K-12 for the 2014 Marine Art Contest. Drawings should be based on the theme Amazing Ocean Creatures of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Winning entries will become part of a touring exhibition and will be used in a 2014-2015 calendar. Entries are due by May 2.

Ocean Awareness Student Contest - The From the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Student Contest promotes ocean stewardship among high school students and provides cash prizes for winning essays, art, and advocacy. This year's theme, Sea Animals Big and Small, focuses on current threats to the marine life of the Gulf of Maine. Entries are due by June 15.