June 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.

Green Infrastructure Grants Awarded

On May 30, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) announced nearly $1.3 million in funding through CZM’s Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Pilot Grant Program to support community-based efforts to reduce risks associated with coastal storms, erosion, and sea level rise through natural and nonstructural approaches called green infrastructure. The nine grant award recipients are Barnstable, Brewster, Chilmark, Duxbury Beach Reservation, Gosnold, Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, Newbury, Plymouth, and Scituate. Projects funded this year include building and enhancing dunes and beaches, planting beach grass and other erosion-control vegetation, building ribbed mussel reefs, and implementing bioengineering techniques that stabilize eroding shorelines. Results of these pilot projects will provide valuable information for ongoing implementation and evolution of living shoreline and green best practices.

Routine Review of the Massachusetts Coastal Program Underway

As required by Section 312 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) is in the process of conducting a routine review of the Massachusetts coastal program for the period of April 2007 through September 2013. OCRM staff are evaluating the performance, operation, and management of Massachusetts’s federally approved coastal management program and assessing how CZM is addressing the coastal management goals of the CZMA, as well as adhering to the terms of federal funding awards. The review includes a public meeting, consideration of written public comments, and consultations with interested federal, state, and local agencies, stakeholders, and members of the public. The public meeting will be held on June 5 at 4:30 p.m. at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, 2nd Floor Conference Room D, 100 Cambridge Street, Boston, Massachusetts. You can also submit written comments by June 13 to Carrie Hall at Carrie.Hall@noaa.gov.

New Grant Program to Restore Water Quality in Buzzards Bay Watershed

On May 15, EEA announced a new grant program to help improve water quality and habitat in Buzzards Bay and its watershed. Part of a broader U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) effort to address common water quality problems in the region, the Southern New England Coastal Watershed Restoration Program will focus on reducing nutrient pollution from fertilizers, septic systems, and other sources to both fresh and saltwater systems. The new program is administered by the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program and grants will be made available to nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, municipalities, and other government agencies. It is anticipated that between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in federal funds will be available. For details on how to apply (pre-proposals are due on June 9), see the Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities section below.

Coastal Erosion Commission Update

Following on its first meeting in March 2014, the Coastal Erosion Commission established three working groups (Science and Technical, Erosion Impacts, and Legal and Regulatory), which are working on specific tasks to support the Commission in completing its charge. (For details, see the Working Group Tasks .) The Commission also scheduled a series of five regional workshops, holding three in May and two upcoming in June (see below). The goals of the regional workshops are to introduce the Commission and its charge, present information related to coastal erosion and shoreline management approaches, seek public and stakeholder feedback, and communicate the Commission’s process and next steps. The remaining regional workshops are:

  • Cape Cod and Islands Region - June 3, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates Chamber, First District Courthouse, Route 6A, Barnstable.
  • South Shore Region - June 16, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Marshfield Senior Center, 230 Webster Street, Marshfield.

For more information, see the Commission's website.

Marine Invader Monitoring Collaborative Volunteers to Be Out in Force this Summer

This summer, volunteers from CZM’s Marine Invader Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC) will continue to collect important data about the distribution of marine invaders in New England waters. Established in 2006, MIMIC seeks to understand distributional patterns of marine invasive species, enable timely data collection to inform managers and rapid response efforts, and provide education about marine invasive species and how to control their spread. For more information about the program, see the MIMIC web page.

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.

Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins

June 1 marks the start of hurricane season, and forecasters have predicted a below-average year for the Atlantic. On April 10, the updated annual prediction from the Colorado State University forecast team called for 9 named storms forming in the Atlantic between June 1 and November 30. Three of these storms are expected to turn into hurricanes with only one predicted to be a major hurricane (i.e., Saffir/Simpson category 3, 4, or 5 with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater). For all the latest hurricane information, see the NOAA National Hurricane Center website. For the definitions of watches and warnings for hurricanes and tropical storms, see the National Weather Service's Warning and Product Changes Associated with Post-Tropical Cyclones web page. To prepare your property and family for these dangerous storms and to reduce your risks, see the CZM Hurricane Preparedness Kit and CZM's 2002 Coastlines magazine pdf format of Coastlines 2002 - Hurricanes
file size 4MB. For the best tracking information for storms heading toward Massachusetts, along with information on potential flooding and disaster recovery, see CZ-Tip - The Complete Guide to Online Hurricane Tracking for Massachusetts.

CZ-Tip: Discover the Uniquely Weird World of Tide Pools this Summer

Predators with razor sharp tongues that drill holes in the shells of their prey to pulpify its innards. Creatures with deadly tentacles that fire paralyzing toxins at the slightest touch. Living things that grow anew from a single arm. Creatures that release tough sticky threads that tether, immobilize, and starve an enemy. Beings that consume their own brain. While these sound like descriptions of aliens from a bad science fiction movie, in reality, they are Massachusetts tide pool creatures. Read CZ-Tip - Learn What Lurks in a Massachusetts Tide Pool to learn more about these strange marine organisms and the creative characteristics that allow them to survive this harsh intertidal environment. This tip will also help you identify invasive species that are a real threat to marine ecosystems and guide you to destinations where you can make your own tide pool discoveries.

Be the First to Know - Follow CZM on Twitter

CZM’s Twitter feed provides late-breaking job and grant postings, comment opportunities, calendar items, and other time-sensitive updates that hit between CZ-Mail editions. Some top tweets from CZM in May included:

To check out CZM’s tweets, see http://twitter.com/MassCZM. Signing up is easy—create a free Twitter account and just click “follow” on the CZM Twitter page.

CZM Staff and People

Coastal Ecology Summer Interns - CZM’s Coastal Water Quality and Habitat staff are pleased to welcome Kathryn Hanrahan and Kylie Hasegawa to the team this summer. Kate and Kylie will be assisting with a project to document invasive green crab pdf format of c_maenas.pdf
Carcinus maenas burrowing behavior and impacts in salt marshes. In addition to getting muddy in the marsh, they will be on the prowl for marine invasive species at floating docks and piers. Kate is in the process of attaining a Masters degree in Environmental Science at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and Kylie is entering her junior year at Boston College pursuing a Bachelors degree with a concentration in Environmental Geoscience. Welcome aboard!

MassBays Intern - The MassBays program is pleased to welcome Sarah Stanley as a summer intern. Sarah will be supporting a number of projects including updating the MassBays fact sheets, preparing a wealth of embayment research for inclusion on the program’s website, and laying the groundwork for an upcoming inventory and assessment of tide gates in the region. Sarah joins the team after graduating Clark University with a Bachelors in Environmental and Conservation biology. Sarah will return to Clark in the fall to begin work on a Masters in Environmental Science and Policy. Welcome Sarah!

Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities

Southern New England Coastal Watershed Restoration Program - The new Southern New England Coastal Watershed Restoration Program will focus on reducing nutrient pollution from fertilizers, septic systems, and other sources to both fresh and saltwater systems. Administered by the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, grants will be made available to nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, municipalities, and other government agencies. Nutrient management projects addressing either nitrogen pollution to coastal waters or phosphorus pollution to freshwaters will be considered. Both large and small proposals are encouraged. It is anticipated that between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in federal funds will be available for this program. The maximum award for a single project will be $400,000. For more information, including application details, see the COMMBUYS website. Pre-proposals are due on June 9.

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.
  • Parks and Conservation Grants – EEA’s Division of Conservation Services is seeking applications for the fiscal year 2015 Parkland Acquisition and Renovations for Communities (PARC), Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND), Conservation Partnership, and Landscape Partnership grants. PARC grants help communities to acquire parkland, develop new parks, and renovate existing parks. LAND grants provide funds to municipal conservation commissions for the purchase of conservation land and conservation restrictions. Conservation Partnership grants provide funds to nonprofit organizations for land acquisitions. Landscape Partnership grants provide funds to municipalities, nonprofits, and EEA agencies for large land acquisitions (greater than 500 acres). PARC and LAND grants applications are due by June 18, Conservation Partnership applications are due by June 20, and Landscape Partnership applications are due by July 31.


New England Coastal Mapping Fact Sheet - FEMA has released New England Coastal Mapping, a fact sheet that explains the methodologies used to update Flood Insurance Rate Maps in Massachusetts over the past few years. The fact sheet also features explanations of the benefits of the studies, links to additional resources, and definitions of key terms.

Third National Climate Assessment - The U.S. Global Change Research Program has released the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA), a comprehensive examination of peer-reviewed science on climate change impacts in the United States. The NCA echoes the findings of the latest reports from the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change, which state with high certainty that emissions from human activities are causing global climate change. The NCA reveals that climate change is already impacting Americans across the country, and its effects are predominantly negative.

Value of Coastal Restoration - The Center for American Progress and Oxfam America released Estimating the Change in Ecosystem Service Values from Coastal Restoration, a report on the long-term economic benefits of restoring coastal ecosystems. The report finds that each dollar invested returns more than $15 in net economic benefits for three restoration projects funded in 2009 by NOAA stimulus grants.

Contaminants in the Gulf of Maine - The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment's EcoSystem Indicator Partnership (ESIP) has released Contaminants in the Gulf of Maine (PDF, 5.8 MB), a fact sheet that summarizes data from the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy for three key indicators: chemical contaminants in mussels, sediment contaminants and toxicity, and shellfish beds approved for harvesting.

Gulf of Maine Climate Reports - The Gulf of Maine Council’s Climate Network has launched the Gulf of Maine Region Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook (GOM Outlook), a new quarterly product collaboratively developed by American and Canadian meteorologists. The GOM Outlook offers a two-page snapshot of recent weather events and anomalies, discusses regional weather impacts on the region’s ecosystems and economy, and offers a forecast for the coming three months.

Gulf of Maine Shallow Water Benthic Habitats - 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, a report that 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 based on a literature review.

Natural Hazards Observer - The May 2014 issue of the Natural Hazards Observer, the bimonthly periodical of the Natural Hazards Center in Boulder, Colorado, features articles on the Antarctic glaciers, climate change news, and other natural hazards news and information.

The Sandbar - The April 2014 issue of The Sandbar, a quarterly publication reporting on legal issues affecting the U.S. oceans and coasts by the National Sea Grant College Program, features articles on tourism in South Carolina, property owners’ rights in coastal North Carolina, and other ocean- and coastal-related legal issues.

Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The May-June 2014 issue of MPA News features articles on sustainable financing for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), climate change in marine planning, and other MPA news and notes

Web-Based and Mobile-User Resources

Storm Surge Maps - In 2014, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) will begin issuing new potential storm surge flooding maps for those areas along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the United States at risk of storm surge from a tropical cyclone. These maps are an experimental National Weather Service product that provides valuable new information on what is often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane. Surge maps will be part of an interactive display made available on the NHC website when hurricane watches and warnings are in effect. For more information on storm surge, see the NHC Storm Surge web page.

Sesame Street Hurricane Kit - Hurricanes, storms, and other natural disasters can be difficult for young children who may not fully understand what's going on around them. The Sesame Street Hurricane Kit provides tips, activities, and videos that can help kids feel safe and cope with their emotions.

Historical Hurricane Tracks - NOAA’s Historical Hurricane Tracks website is an online tool that helps users get a quick picture of those coastal areas with the greatest frequency of hurricanes and tropical storms. As the U.S. coastal population continues to grow, so do the hazards when big storms approach. This tool can provide a historical "snapshot" to help community members and local emergency managers develop better plans for storm preparation and recovery.

Climate Commons - An interactive map-based platform, Climate Commons contains layers of news and information on climate change in the United States. The map combines recent data on climate change indicators and emissions with geo-tagged stories on climate change.

Surging Seas - Users of this an online sea level rise analysis tool, Surging Seas, can search or navigate an interactive map tool to view maps of areas with various amounts of sea level rise and flooding, down to neighborhood scale.

Climate Analysis Tool - A group of NOAA collaborators have developed OpenClimateGIS, an open-source tool that helps experienced GIS users access and interpret complex climate data. Users can access data for specific regions and sectors and outputs from climate models.

Wetlands Mapper - The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Wetlands Inventory Mapper provides digitally mapped wetlands in the lower 48 states, Hawaii, dependent territories, and 35 percent of Alaska. It can be a useful decision tool for landowners, developers, permitting authorities, conservation organizations, and others to ensure wetland conservation and inform economic development.

Red Cross Mobile Apps - The Red Cross Mobile Apps website provides links to multi-platform mobile applications for all types of emergencies—from finding shelters to weathering hurricanes to giving your pet first aid.

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.

Reminder - This public comment opportunity, listed in the last CZ-Mail, is still open:

  • Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations: Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop - FEMA is seeking comments on the proposed Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for communities in Suffolk County (Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop). 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-1356, by June 4 to Luis Rodriguez at Luis.Rodriguez3@fema.dhs.gov.


Aquarium Lecture Series - On June 3, the New England Aquarium will host the final session of the Aquarium Lecture Series, with The Immortal Life of Nitrogen by Robinson Fulweiler from Boston University.

Cape Coastal Conference and Summit - From June 5-6, the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR) will host the 2nd Annual Cape Coastal Conference, State of the Cape: Implementing Strategies to Improve Water Quality & Coastal Resilience, at Cape Cod Community College in Barnstable. Also on June 5, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) will host the 2nd Cape Environmental Summit in conjunction with the conference. The Summit will be an opportunity for the nonprofit environmental organizations on Cape Cod to discuss collaboration strategies for improved data collection and sharing.

Botany of Desire Screening - On June 7, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (CCMNH) will host two screenings of the PBS documentary film, The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World, based on the best-selling book by Michael Pollan that takes viewers on an exploration of humans’ relationship with the plant world from the plants' point of view. For details, see the CCMNH website.

Summer Cinema by the Sea - This spring and summer, the Northeastern University's Marine Science Center in Nahant will hold a free film series of marine-related documentaries. The June 17 show is Live from the Bottom of the Ocean - Mission 31, which follows a month-long underwater mission by Fabien Cousteau. 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.

FEMA Community Rating System Workshop - On June 18, WBNERR will hold Preparing for Stormy Waters in Hyannis. This free workshop will introduce local officials to FEMA’s Community Rating System and the Coastal Construction Manual. FEMA and DCR staff will describe logistics and benefits of the Community Rating System and discuss better building practices to make construction stronger and less vulnerable to coastal storms. Registration is required through the WBNERR website.

Birdwatching for Beginners - Through August, CCMNH 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. The next session is on June 19.

Northeast Regional Planning Body Workshop and Meeting - From June 25-26, the Northeast Regional Planning Body (NE RPB) will hold a Natural Resources Workshop and the fourth NE RPB meeting in Cambridge. The June 25 workshop will include the NE RPB, scientists, managers, and other interested parties to discuss natural resource assessments for ocean planning that will inform NE RPB work in the months to come. For the June 26 meeting, the RPB and staff will provide an update on the ongoing planning activities, including efforts to identify options for interagency coordination and the use of regional data.

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 around the world to promote awareness and education of the global marine environment.

Rivers Month Calendar - June is Rivers Month. This online calendar , prepared by the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, lists related events in, on, and along the rivers of Massachusetts. These events extend through July 6.

Coastal Issue in New England Conference—Save the Date - 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 a conference on New England Coastal Issues in Taunton. The conference will focus on coastal protection strategies and policies being implemented in New England and will be an excellent opportunity to meet with colleagues to discuss what is working, what is not, and how to meet the challenges ahead. Stay tuned to the NSBPA website for more information.

Teachers on the Estuary - This summer, WBNERR will again offer the research and field-based teacher training program, Teachers on the Estuary. This program is designed to improve teachers' and students' understanding of the environment using local research examples. This year's program will focus on planning and carrying out investigations. The program will run from July 14-17, plus a follow-up session in November. For more information, see the WBNERR website.

Boating Safety Course - Through June, 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.).

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.

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

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

MACC Education - The Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) offers a variety of specialized education programs for the spring and 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 view their online education calendar for a schedule of programs.

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

  • World Oceans Day - World Oceans Day is June 8 and activities celebrating oceans and coasts are held across the world throughout June. The 2014 theme is Together We Have the Power to Protect the Ocean. See the World Oceans Day website to view or submit events.
  • Fish Passage Conference - From June 9-11, the International Conference on Engineering and Ecohydrology for Fish Passage will be held in Madison, Wisconsin. Fish Passage 2014 is a national forum on fish passage issues for researchers and practitioners with sessions in engineering, biology, management, and social issues.
  • Coastal Zone Canada Conference - From June 15-19, the Coastal Zone Canada 2014 Conference will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This conference is the leading interdisciplinary forum held for professionals from across Canada and around the world to meet and discuss all aspects of coastal and ocean management.
  • Climate Change Symposium - From June 16-18, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant Program, in coordination with CZM and Urban Harbors Institute, will convene Sustaining Coastal Cities under Future Uncertainties, a 3-day Climate Change Symposium on the sustainability of coastal cities with increasing storms, flooding, precipitation, and surges. This interdisciplinary conference will address concerns over changes in sea levels, storm surges, extreme precipitation events, and flooding and discuss options for adapting to these risks.
  • Low Impact Development Conference—Call for Abstracts - From January 17-21, 2015, the 2015 International Low Impact Development (LID) Conference will be held in Houston, Texas. This conference will highlight new and ongoing work including research, development, and community adoption of LID throughout the United States and across the globe. Abstracts are welcome that address the design, performance, and policy aspects of LID and Green Infrastructure use in Texas, and in low relief coastal areas. Submit abstracts by June 23 through the conference website.
  • Wetlands Restoration Workshop - From June 24-25, Mass Audubon’s Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary in Barnstable will host a Hands-On Wetland Restoration Workshop for Professionals. This workshop is designed for individuals interested in learning how to use practical, low-cost techniques for restoring naturally appearing and functioning wetlands.
  • Water Education Conference - From June 24-27, the Project WET Foundation will hold the 2014 Water Education Conference, Sustaining the Blue Planet, in Big Sky, Montana. The goal of the conference is to increase the knowledge and capacity of participants to effectively provide water education to children, parents, educators, and communities.
  • AWRA Summer Conference - 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.

Other Items of Interest

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, Ocean Plastic Pollution, focuses on current threats to the marine life of the Gulf of Maine. Entries are due by June 15.

Stellwagen Advisory Council - The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is seeking applicants for one alternate seat on its Sanctuary Advisory Council. For more information and to receive an application kit, see the Sanctuary website or contact Elizabeth.Stokes@noaa.gov. Applications are due by June 30.

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.

KidSummer - This summer, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will offer KidSummer, which provides a range of programs for 3-15 year olds to encourage learning and appreciation of the environment through age-appropriate, STEM-based curriculum and indoor/outdoor activities led by educators/naturalists. Registration is available for weekly sessions (June 30-August 15) through the museum’s FamilyID website.

Cape Cod Field Schools - Through December, Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is offering a variety of 2-, 3-, and 4-day field courses for adults that focus on the unique coastal environment and wildlife of Cape Cod. Cape Cod Field Schools emphasize active, outdoor, "in-the-field" experiences and are taught by professional naturalists and scientists.