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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Statewide No Discharge Area - Boat Waste Discharge Now Banned in All State Coastal Waters
On June 27, the approval of Massachusetts’s statewide No Discharge Area (NDA) designation was announced. With this approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), commercial and recreational vessels are now prohibited from releasing sewage anywhere along the Massachusetts coast. NDAs protect water quality and aquatic life from pathogens, nutrients, and chemical products contained in discharged sewage—even boat waste that has been treated—and also reduce the risk of human illness, making it safer to swim, boat, fish, and eat shellfish from protected waters. NDAs can also help reduce the growth of harmful algae that occurs due to high nutrient levels in sewage discharge and protect shellfishing areas. This designation caps years of extensive work by CZM and coastal communities and their partners to develop NDA applications and ensure the necessary waste pumpout facilities are available for boaters to use. See the CZM No Discharge Areas website for information on the Massachusetts requirements and see Pumpout Facilities for Boat Sewage Disposal in Coastal Massachusetts for pumpout locations.
Proposed Leasing Notice for Offshore Wind Project Development
On June 17, the Massachusetts Governor joined U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Acting Director Walter Cruickshank to announce the availability of more than 742,000 acres offshore Massachusetts for commercial wind energy leasing. The Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) released by BOEM for review and a 60-day public comment period describes the leasing process and auction format for four lease areas within the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area, located approximately 12 miles offshore Massachusetts—from its northern boundary, the area extends 33 nautical miles southward and has an east/west extent of approximately 47 nautical miles. As a followup to the announcement, on June 23-24, officials from CZM, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and BOEM hosted public meetings in Tisbury and New Bedford and meetings of the Commonwealth’s Fisheries and Habitat Working Groups on Offshore Renewable Energy to present, answer questions, and discuss the PSN, recent and ongoing studies commissioned by MassCEC on transmission and marine mammals, and the current update of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan. For more information on the commercial wind leasing process offshore Massachusetts, including how to comment on the PSN, see the BOEM website.
Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Body Hosts Workshop and Holds Fourth Meeting
On June 25 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Body (RPB) convened scientists, managers, tribes, industry groups, and conservation organizations for a workshop on natural resource assessments for ocean planning. Agenda items included presentations and discussion on data, methods, and options for mapping the distribution and abundance of marine life and application for ocean management. On June 26, the RPB held its fourth face-to-face meeting deliberating on options for technical and stakeholder input and considering how ocean planning efforts can make the regulatory process more efficient. For more information, please see the RPB website.
Gulf of Maine Council Awards
On June 17, the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment presented its annual awards during a ceremony in Halifax, Nova Scotia, including awards to four environmental leaders from Massachusetts:
- Carol “Krill” Carson received the prestigious Longard Volunteer Award, which is presented to an outstanding volunteer within the Gulf watershed. As founder and president of the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance, Krill works tirelessly to educate people about the Gulf of Maine and motivate them to participate in a sighting network for basking sharks and the rescue of stranded ocean sunfish.
- The Town of Plymouth’s Department of Marine and Environmental Affairs was presented the Sustainable Communities Award for their exemplary work in restoring fish passage and in-stream and wetland habitat throughout the community. The removal of three dams along a 1.5-mile stretch of historic Town Brook restored viable fish passage, and their work in the Eel River resulted in restoration of 1.5 miles of degraded stream channel and 40 acres of cranberry bogs to native wetland habitat.
- The North and South Rivers Watershed Association received a Visionary Award for their role in protecting and enhancing the ecological value of a watershed encompassing 12 towns in Massachusetts. Through hard work and constant collaboration with partners, the Association has been instrumental in the re-opening of 313 acres of shellfish beds in Marshfield and has successfully restored viable estuarine habitat, currently working on the restoration of Third Herring Brook, a major tributary to the North River.
- Phil Colarusso of the U.S. Environment Protection Agency received a Visionary Award for his work as a recognized leader on eelgrass conservation in New England. For more than 20 years, he has organized an annual eelgrass symposium that brings together scientists and managers to share the latest research on eelgrass and other sea grasses, review the status of eelgrass in New England, and discuss conservation and management issues.
For a complete list of winners and more information on the awards, see the Gulf of Maine Council website.
Report on the 2013 Rapid Assessment Survey
During August 2013, an expert team of taxonomists were on the hunt for marine invasive species throughout New England as part of a periodic Rapid Assessment Survey. The survey, coordinated by CZM and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sea Grant College Program, has occurred roughly every three years since 2000 and provides an opportunity to discover new marine invaders through a close inspection of flora and fauna. (See these ID cards for examples of established and potential invaders in Massachusetts coastal waters.) The Report on the 2013 Rapid Assessment Survey of Marine Species at New England Bays and Harbors file size 53MB provides an overview of the invasive, cryptogenic (species with as of yet unresolved origins), and native species found at 18 sites from Maine to Rhode Island during the 2013 survey. Thirty-nine invasive species in total were found during this survey, an increase of 10 species from the last survey conducted in 2010.
Resources to Help You Get to the Coast
CZM maintains a variety of online tools to help the public get to and enjoy Massachusetts beaches and other coastal public access sites. From interactive maps of areas open to the public, to descriptions of coastal trails, to information about public rights along the shoreline, CZM’s Public Access Program website can help connect you to the coast.
CZ-Tip: Discover what Lives at the Shore this Summer
July is a prime time to head to the beach and stroll the shore, lounge on the sand, or splash in the waves. While enjoying these summer staples, have you ever paused to ponder the wildlife around you? Well, wonder no more. Identify shorebirds, marine mammals, seaweeds, dune plants, and more with the new CZ-Tip - Identifying Animals and Plants on the Massachusetts Coast.
CZM Staff and People
Coastsweep Intern - CZM’s COASTSWEEP team is pleased to welcome Steven Pilis as the 2014 Social Media and Marketing Intern. Steven will be doing educational outreach and working with volunteers and vendors to make CZM’s annual beach cleanup a success. While getting his undergraduate degree in sociology and environmental studies at Suffolk University, Steven worked as a Development Intern for the Rose Kennedy Greenway. In the fall, he will begin his Masters of Public Administration at Northeastern University. Welcome aboard Steven!
Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program RFR Coming Soon - CZM anticipates the release of the Fiscal Year 2015 Request for Responses (RFR) for the Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program in mid-July. CPR grants provide funds for a variety of projects that address local nonpoint source pollution issues, including assessment, design, and construction of Best Management Practices and the design and implementation of commercial boat pumpout facilities. Technical assistance on potential proposals is available from CZM central and regional staff and MassBays Program regional staff up until the RFR is issued. After its release, CZM staff can only respond to general questions, but MassBays regional staff will continue to be available to assist with proposal development. For more information about CPR, including regional staff contacts, past projects, and RFR details when available, see the CPR website.
Regional Conservation Partnership Program - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking proposals for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. This new conservation initiative will provide private companies, local communities, and other non-government partners a way to invest in clean water start-up operations with a goal to increase the restoration and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife, and related natural resources on regional or watershed scales. Anticipated first year funding is $400 million. Pre-proposals are due by July 14. NRCS will select applicants to submit final proposals, which will be due by September 26.
Reminders - These opportunities, listed in the last CZ-Mail, are still available:
- FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants - The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) are inviting communities, state agencies, and tribal governments and territories to submit applications for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. These competitive grants assist applicants with hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of hazard mitigation projects to reduce or eliminate the loss of life and property due to natural hazards. For complete grant details, see the MEMA website. Full applications are due by July 9.
- Landscape Conservation Grants - The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Division of Conservation Services is seeking applications for the fiscal year 2015 Landscape Partnership grants for large land acquisitions (greater than 500 acres) by municipalities, nonprofits, and EEA agencies. Applications are due by July 31.
2014 International Coastal Cleanup Report - Ocean Conservancy has released Turning the Tide on Trash: 2014 Report, which provides the data and details of the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup. Overall, nearly 650,000 volunteers in 92 countries collected more than 123 million pounds of debris from the world’s beaches and waterways. In Massachusetts, 2,660 COASTSWEEP volunteers collected more than 150,000 items, for an average of 56 items per volunteer! What was the number one item collected? Cigarette butts. To get involved, see the COASTSWEEP website or check out COASTSWEEP on Facebook or Twitter.
Climate Change Indicators Report - EPA has released the third edition of Climate Change Indicators in the United States, a report that pulls together observed data on key measures of the environment, including United States and global temperature and precipitation, ocean heat and ocean acidity, sea level, length of growing season, and many others. With 30 indicators that include more than 80 maps and graphs showing long-term trends, the report demonstrates that climate change is already affecting the environment and society.
Guide to Climate-Smart Conservation - The National Wildlife Federation has released Climate-Smart Conservation: Putting Adaptation Principles into Practice, a guide that provides practical steps for conservation practitioners and natural resource managers on carrying out conservation in a changing climate. Developed by a collaboration of experts from federal, state, and non-governmental institutions, the guide offers practical steps for crafting conservation actions to enhance the resilience of the natural ecosystems on which wildlife and people depend.
MassBays Annual Report - The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays) has released its first Annual Report, Partnering for Coastal Habitats - Annual Report of the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program file size 28MB. The report surveys MassBays' work in 2013 and highlights the significant progress made in collaboration with numerous partners from Provincetown to Salisbury.
MassBays Newsletter - The spring 2014 issue of the MassBays Newsletter, a quarterly update of the MassBays, offers opportunities to get involved in MassBays horseshoe crab surveys on the South Shore and eelgrass restoration work in the Great Marsh, summarizes recent seminar talks about conservation moorings in Salem Sound and sea level rise impacts on Cape Cod water resources, announces the MassBays summer intern, and provides information on upcoming conferences and activities occurring throughout the five Mass Bays regions.
Ebb & Flow - The June 2014 issue of Ebb & Flow file size 2MB, the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration eNewsletter, features articles on new fact sheets on riparian areas, a dam removal in Harwich, and other updates, grant opportunities, events, and resource links.
Natural Hazards Observer - The July 2014 issue of the Natural Hazards Observer, the bimonthly periodical of the Natural Hazards Center in Boulder, Colorado, features articles on Mexico’s earthquake warning system, reliability of disaster research, and other natural hazards news and information.
Stellwagen Bank E-Notes - The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary has released the April-May 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 minke whale behavior in the Sanctuary, an historic whaleship voyage, and other sanctuary stories, news, and notes.
Ocean & Coastal Management - A special Oceans and Climate Change issue of the journal Ocean & Coastal Management has been released online. The issue features articles on recent important work on the adaptation and mitigation of climate change impacts, with a special focus on oceans and coastal communities. New submissions to this special online issue are still welcome. For submission details, see the journal website.
Marine Ecosystems and Management Information Service - The June-July 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 ecosystem scale and management challenges, time horizons in planning, and other notes and news.
Newswave - The Spring 2014 issue of NEWSWAVE, the quarterly newsletter on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes activities from the U.S. Department of the Interior, features articles on coastal restoration, tsunami preparation, and other ocean and coastal news.
Web-Based and Mobile-User Resources
Water for Oysters - The Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) and UnderCurrent Productions have released Saving Paradise: Water for Oysters, the second in a series of short videos on Cape Cod's water resources. Water for Oysters takes a look at the potential for shellfish aquaculture to clean up Cape Cod's troubled estuaries, with a behind-the-scenes view of life on an oyster farm, input from experts, and a captivating oyster water filtration time lapse segment. The new video provides a comprehensive perspective on a little-known, yet promising, adaptive wastewater management strategy. To view the first in the series, Cape Cod’s Water at Risk and other videos, see the APCC website.
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.
Waquoit Bay Management Plan - The Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR) is seeking comments on revisions to its 2006 Management Plan. The revised management plan outlines the administrative structure; research and monitoring, education, training, and stewardship goals of the reserve; and plans for future land acquisition and facility development to support reserve operations. The revised management plan will serve as the guiding document for the 2,804-acre Waquoit Bay Reserve for the next five years. For more information, download the revised plan, and submit comments, see the WBNERR website. Comments are due by July 31.
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.
Mudflat Mania - July 1 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.
Boston Harborfest 2014 - From July 2-6, Boston will host an Independence Day festival that showcases the colonial and maritime heritage of the cradle of the American Revolution. Events include a fireworks cruise, the annual turn-around cruise by "Old Ironsides," Freedom Trail tours, scavenger hunts, and much more. For additional details and schedule information, visit the Harborfest website.
Bayside Explorers - On Wednesdays from July 9 to 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. and 3:00 p.m. each day.
Coastal Explorer Van - On July 10, 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.
Summer Cinema by the Sea - On July 15, the Northeastern University's Marine Science Center in Nahant will hold the Beneath the Waves Mini Film Festival, the final session of the Cinema by the Sea film series of marine-related documentaries. All screenings are open to the public and will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Murphy Bunker at the Marine Science Center, 430 Nahant Road, Nahant.
Sand Sculpting Festival - From July 18-20, the 2014 National Sand Sculpting Festival will be held at Revere Beach. Join the festival to stroll past giant sand sculptures, listen to free music at the bandstand, and watch Saturday night fireworks.
Birdwatching for Beginners - On July 24 and 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.
National Conference on Ecological Restoration - From July 28-August 1, the 2014 Conference on Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. This interdisciplinary forum entails five days of presentations in multiple program tracks, workshops, poster sessions, field trips, and discussions dedicated to both small- and large-scale ecological and ecosystem restoration programs.
Stormwater Conference - From August 3-7, the StormCon: The North American Surface Water Quality Conference and Exposition will be held in Portland, Oregon. This conference features sessions on green infrastructure, stormwater program management, water-quality monitoring, erosion control, and others. More than 180 exhibitors will be on hand to provide information on current stormwater technology.
Hazus Conference - From August 4-6, the seventh annual Hazus Conference, Translating Risk Assessment into Resilience and Policy, will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Hazus is a nationally applicable, standardized methodology that contains models for estimating potential losses from earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes.
Annual Swim & Fin—Save the Date - On August 23, Salem Sound Coastwatch 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 Salem Sound Coastwatch's work to protect local beaches, streams, salt marshes, and coastal waters.
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.
New England Aquarium Professional Development Opportunities - In July and August, the New England Aquarium will offer professional development courses for educators to learn more about oceans and provide ideas for lesson plans These summer courses equip participants with important science content information and hands-on activities.
Walks, Lectures, and Events on Outer Cape Cod - Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary offers a variety of educational programs for children and adults, including naturalist-led bird walks and nature adventures for preschoolers. 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 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.
Reminders - The following calendar items posted in the last CZ-Mail are still to come:
- National Marine Educators Conference - From July 21-25, the National Marine Educators Association 2014 Annual Conference: Sailing into Marine Education, from the Ocean to the Bay, will be held in Annapolis, Maryland. This conference brings together marine educators from around the world to promote awareness and education of the global marine environment.
Other Items of Interest
Summer Exploration Camp - The Summer Exploration Camp at the Ocean Explorium in New Bedford is offering week-long camp sessions for children ages 6-12. The exploration camp integrates learning through the Explorium’s exhibits, exploration of historic New Bedford, and field experience down by the shore.
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.