December 2015

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.

Coastal Erosion Commission Final Report

On December 3, the Massachusetts Coastal Erosion Commission released its final report, which provides eight overarching strategies that seek to:

  • Advance science, data, and information for better decision making;
  • Enhance the legal, regulatory, and policy framework; and
  • Enhance shoreline management practices and approaches, technical and financial assistance to communities, and outreach and communication efforts.

The Commission was established by the Massachusetts Legislature to investigate and document levels and impacts of coastal erosion in the Commonwealth and develop strategies and recommendations to reduce, minimize, or eliminate the magnitude and frequency of coastal erosion and its adverse impacts on property, infrastructure, public safety, and beaches and dunes. On behalf of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), CZM chaired and staffed the Commission. Since it began its work in March 2014, the Commission held eight meetings, reviewed the work and findings of similar state- and national-level commissions on coastal shoreline and floodplain management, convened five regional public workshops, created three working groups, and held five regional public hearings and a 90-day public period on its draft report. The final report presents the work, findings, and recommendations of the Commission. Volume 1 contains the body of the report and Volume 2 contains the Working Group technical reports (Science and Technology, Legal and Regulatory, and Erosion Impacts).

Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Awards Announced

On December 3, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) announced $400,000 in funding through CZM’s Coastal Pollution Remediation (CPR) Grant Program for projects to protect coastal waters in Massachusetts. The CPR grant recipients are the communities of Fairhaven, Fall River, Kingston, Medford, Milton, and Salem. Projects include local efforts to assess, design, and implement controls for runoff pollution from roadways and parking areas and design of facilities to pump out boat waste. These local water quality improvement projects will help protect wildlife habitat, open shellfish beds to harvesting, and reduce bacteria levels at recreational beaches. The grants are being matched by $144,627 from municipal sources, further extending the power of the grant program. For more information, see the EEA press release.

Land Protection and Habitat Grants Awarded for Buzzards Bay Watershed

On November 20, EEA announced $147,000 in federal grant money to help towns in the Buzzards Bay watershed protect important habitat and drinking water resources. These land protection and habitat grants are being awarded by the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program through CZM with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Five grants have been awarded to the towns of Dartmouth, Mattapoisett (2), Rochester, and Wareham to appraise or purchase tracts of land that will be protected in perpetuity. The grants, which are being matched by $87,225 in municipal and private contributions, focus on permanently protecting or restoring wetlands or upland areas to protect habitat, wildlife, and water quality, as well as to promote conservation and outdoor recreation. For more information, see the EEA Press Release.

Massachusetts Receives an "A" on Climate Change Preparedness Report Card

Climate Central has launched States at Risk: America’s Preparedness Report Card, the first-ever quantitative assessment that summarizes the changing nature of key threats linked to climate change and the corresponding levels of preparedness for related risks in each of the 50 states. The goal of the Report Card is to help states improve preparedness by recognizing climate-change risks, building an action plan, and implementing this plan. Massachusetts was one of five states that received a grade of “A.” CZM’s work through its StormSmart Coasts program, information on its Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System (MORIS) tool, projects supported by the Coastal Community Resilience Grants Program (which provides municipalities with financial and technical resources), and the Sea Level Rise: Understanding and Applying Trends and Future Scenarios for Analysis and Planning guidance pdf format of Sea Level Rise Guidance
file size 3MB were all identified as key actions taken by the Commonwealth to prepare for a changing climate.

Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Initiative Advances

On November 17-18, the Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) held its seventh meeting in Portland, Maine, as it makes progress in the development of the nation’s first regional ocean plan. At the meeting, the RPB previewed and discussed many elements of a draft regional ocean plan, including a detailed plan outline, progress on data and data products being developed, federal agency guidance and management actions, monitoring and evaluation of plan performance and for ecosystem health, and science and research priorities. Much of the meeting’s agenda and topics were informed by the input and discussions from the October 20 Stakeholder Forum held in Durham, New Hampshire, and during the two-day RPB meeting, there were three separate public comment opportunities. For meeting materials and more information, see the November 2015 RPB Meeting page.

Thank You COASTSWEEP Volunteers!

CZM offers our heartfelt thanks to the thousands of volunteers who turned out for the 2015 COASTSWEEP, the annual statewide coastal cleanup sponsored by CZM. Cleanups were held from September to mid-November and results are still flowing in. Data have been compiled from most of the cleanups so far, showing that 2,455 volunteers cleaned 119 locations, covered over 142 miles of coastline and removed 12,522 pounds of trash. The final tally, which will continue to grow as the rest of the cleanups are tabulated, will be reported in the January CZ-Mail. While this year's cleanups are now complete, stay tuned to marine debris issues year round on COASTSWEEP's Facebook page or by following the Twitter or Instagram feeds.

CZ-Tip: Follow CZM on Twitter and Never Miss a Grant or Job Posting!

The next CZ-Mail is the annual year-in-review edition, which focuses on accomplishments from 2015 rather than announcements. So this a perfect time to start to follow the CZM Twitter feed to ensure that over the next couple of months you don’t miss any important information on requests for proposals, job postings, events, comment opportunities, and other time-sensitive items. For CZ-Mail readers who are considering trying Twitter, CZ-Tip: Twitter for People Working on Coastal Issues explains what Twitter is and how useful it can be in providing important updates on coastal management in Massachusetts. See the CZM Twitter feed to read tweets and to sign up to follow CZM.

Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities

MassDEP Watershed-Based Plans - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) 319 Grant Program is seeking volunteers to participate in demonstration projects to assist with the development of a Massachusetts Watershed-Based Planning Tool. MassDEP will select nine watersheds and three areas subject to federal stormwater permitting to participate. For more information, see the MassDEP website. Responses are due by December 11.

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. Approximately $2.45 million in total funding will be available. For details, see the Five Star Restoration Program website. Applications are due by February 3, 2016.

Land and Water Conservation Fund Grants - EEA’s Division of Conservation Services is seeking proposals for Land and Water Conservation Fund Grants, which provide up to $250,000 in matching funds to states and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. Applications are due by February 11, 2016.

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

  • 2015 Massachusetts Trails Grants - The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is currently seeking applications for the Recreational Trails Program, which provides grants from $2,000 to $50,000 for a variety of trail protection, construction, and stewardship projects throughout Massachusetts. DCR is also accepting applications for Statewide Trails Education Grants, which provide funding for statewide trail education initiatives. For more information on these grant programs, contact Amanda Lewis at amanda.lewis@state.ma.us. Applications are due by February 1, 2016.

Products/Publications

Strategies for a Plastic-Free Ocean - The Ocean Conservancy has released Stemming the Tide: Land-Based Strategies for a Plastic-Free Ocean, a report that outlines a path toward reducing ocean plastic waste by 45 percent by 2025. In the short and medium term, the report calls for accelerated development of better waste collection mechanisms, ending post-collection leakage (mismanagement of waste that causes “leaks” into oceans), and development and implementation of commercially viable treatment options. In the long term, the report identifies the critical need for innovations in recovery and treatment technologies, development of new materials, and product designs that better facilitate reuse or recycling.

Northeast Coastal and Marine Recreation Study - The Northeast Regional Planning Body in coordination with Point 97, SeaPlan, and the Surfrider Foundation have released the results of the 2015 Northeast Coastal and Marine Recreation Study, a study to characterize coastal and marine recreational activity in New England in support of the Northeast regional ocean planning process. This study collected information on a variety of recreational uses, such as beach going, wildlife viewing, surfing, and non-motorized boating (e.g., kayaking). Spatial data layers from the survey will soon be incorporated into the Northeast Ocean Data Portal.

Living Shorelines Guidance - Restore America’s Estuaries has released Guidance for Considering the Use of Living Shorelines, a new guidance document that outlines how to use living shorelines as a shoreline stabilization technique. Living shorelines are a suite of techniques that offer property owners techniques to protect and restore the shoreline using more natural systems like salt marsh and oyster reefs while also providing benefits to bays and estuaries.

Community Resilience Planning Guide - The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released Community Resilience Planning Guide for Building and Infrastructure Systems, a guide created to help communities better weather storms and disasters, with an emphasis on minimizing infrastructure disruption in the short and long term. Using a six-step approach, this guide can assist governments plan for resiliency during every stage of a disaster.

NOAA Marine Debris Strategic Plan - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program has developed a new 2016-2020 Strategic Plan to meet the program’s mission to investigate and prevent the adverse impacts of marine debris.

WHOI Newsletter - The November 2015 issue of the WHOI newsletter, a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) monthly e-newsletter, features articles on observing the rare Omura’s whale, tracking endangered sea turtles, and other ocean science news, research, and events at WHOI.

Marine Ecosystems and Management Information Service - The November 2015 edition of Marine Ecosystems and Management, the bimonthly information service on marine ecosystem-based management (EBM) from the University of Washington School of Marine Affairs, features articles on making EBM more dynamic, tools for ocean management, and other notes and news.

Web-Based and Mobile-User Resources

NOAA nowCOAST - NOAA has upgraded nowCOAST, a GIS-based online map service, to provide more frequently updated ocean observations along with coastal and marine weather forecasts. The new version offers visual point-and-click access to 60 NOAA data products and services and allows users to animate observations for the past four hours and forecasts for the next seven days. The update has added significant data from NOAA's National Ocean Service and National Weather Service, including watches, warnings, and advisories for hazardous marine weather conditions, and provides near-real-time lightning strike density data for land and over water.

Ocean Health Index Updated - The Ocean Health Index has launched a new revitalized website that includes a cleaner design, more seamless navigation, and introduction to an interactive data visualization tool called the "Data Explorer." The Ocean Health Index is the comprehensive framework used to measure ocean health from global to local scales.

Natural Hazards Library - The Natural Hazards Library has launched HazLib, a new online library catalog that provides a collection of hazards resources that focus on how society copes with natural hazards and catastrophic events. Features include access to full-text copies of certain documents, helpful search tips, and a streamlined ability to save, cite, and export search results.

Surging Seas Tool - The Surging Seas Mapping Choices tool provides a picture of post-2100 sea level rise threatened by different levels of carbon pollution. It is not meant as a planning tool or as a prediction for any precise location but to inform public and policy dialogues about energy and climate. These maps are based on peer-reviewed scientific research led by Climate Central and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

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.

Chelsea Creek Designated Port Area Boundary Review - As noticed in the November 23 Environmental Monitor and Boston Globe, CZM is seeking comments on the Boundary Review of the Chelsea Creek Designated Port Area, Chelsea MA. The purpose of the boundary review was to determine whether the portion of the Designated Port Area (DPA) boundary requested for review should remain as it is currently established or whether it should be modified in accordance with criteria governing the suitability of contiguous lands and waters to accommodate water-dependent industrial use. The Commonwealth’s DPA policy seeks to promote water-dependent industries as an important sector of the state’s economy and prevent the loss of areas that have certain key characteristics that make them particularly well suited to water-dependent industrial uses. Under the DPA regulations at 301 CMR 25.00 pdf format of CMR 25.00: Designation of Port Areas
, CZM is responsible for mapping, interpreting, and periodic review of DPA boundaries. Submit comments on the draft report to: Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Lisa Berry Engler, Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 800, Boston MA 02114-2136. Comments are due by December 23.

Job Postings

Outreach and Development Coordinator - Salem Sound Coastwatch (SSCW) is seeking an Outreach and Development Coordinator to work closely with Executive Director, staff, board, and volunteers with event planning and fundraising. Applicants should have excellent time and project management skills, be current with new technology, marketing social media tools and trends, and be comfortable writing for a general audience. The coordinator represents SSCW to the community in many ways, which includes, but is not limited, to attending Earth Day events and other venues to conduct informational presentations on behalf of the organization. This position will begin as part-time and build to a full-time position within a year. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Policy Director - The Massachusetts Rivers Alliance is seeking a Policy Director to develop and implement strategies to advance legislative and other policy initiatives that advance the organization’s four main goals: protecting and restoring streamflow, improving water quality, conserving and enhancing wildlife habitats, and increasing public investment in environmentally sound water infrastructure. Applicants should have a strong interest in river protection, and relevant prior legal, science, policy, and regulatory agency experience. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Calendar

Wetlands Resilience Webinar - In December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will present the final two session of its Restoration Webinar Series. On December 3, Enhancing the Resilience of Riparian/Wetland Ecosystems in Light of Climate Change will be discussed and on December 10, MAPTITE: A Geospatial Tool for Estuary Restoration will be presented. To register, email matthew_patterson@fws.gov.

Birdwatching for Beginners - On December 5, 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. This session is followed by an outdoor venture to view birds in their natural habitat.

Climate Education Webinar - On December 7, the NOAA Climate Stewards Education Project will present Using Simple Models in Climate Education by Dr. Randy Russell, a science educator at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Dr. Russell will explore some fundamental concepts of climate science that allow students to use simple models to actively investigate these scientific concepts.

Green Infrastructure Webcasts - The EPA 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 is Ahead of the Curve - Implementing Green Infrastructure in Rural and Growing Communities on December 8.

Cape Coastal Conference - On December 10, the 3rd annual Cape Coastal Conference, Managing Coastal Risk: Enhancing Community Resilience in a Changing Climate will be held at the Cape Cod Resort and Conference Center in Hyannis. This full-day conference will feature two plenary sessions and mini-workshops on a variety of coastal resilience topics.

Building Resilience Conference - From December 10-11, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA will present the fifth annual Building Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 2015 conference will include interactive discussions on communities are applying lessons from past disasters to improve future planning. Attendees can explore the important roles of technology, philanthropy, and academia in driving resilience and innovation.

Biology of Marine Mammals Conference - From December 13-18, the 21st biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Bridging the Past Toward the Future, will be held in San Francisco, California. The goal of the conference is to enhance collaboration, share ideas, and improve the quality of research on marine mammals within the scientific community.

Smart Growth Conference - From February 11-13, 2016, the 15th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities, will be held in Portland, Oregon. The three-day conference includes more than 75 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.

Erosion and Sediment Control Conference - From February 16-19, the 2016 Environmental Connection Conference will be held in San Antonio, Texas. Environmental Connection is the largest gathering of erosion and sediment control professionals from around the world. Over four days, Environmental Connection provides peer-reviewed education and products and technology that address four educational tracks: erosion and sediment control, stormwater management, surface water restoration, and MS4 management.

Ocean Sciences Meeting - From February 21-26, the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Ocean Sciences Meeting presents a diverse program covering topics in all areas of the ocean sciences discipline.

International LIDAR Mapping Forum - From February 22-24, the 2016 International LIDAR Mapping Forum will be held in Denver, Colorado. This three-day technical conference will feature sessions on coastal zone mapping and lessons learned, modern hydrographic techniques, single photon LIDAR, and more.

2016 Annual Environmental Conference—Save the Date - On March 5, the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) will hold the 2016 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.

MACC Education - MACC offers a variety of specialized education programs. Visit the MACC workshops page to see an overview of upcoming wetland delineation and soil science courses and shrub identification workshops, along with the soil erosion and sediment-control training program. The MACC online education calendar provides a schedule of programs.

Tuesday Tweets - On several Tuesdays through February, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold Tuesday Tweets, birdwatching walks with Gretchen Moran Towers. Whether experienced or a beginner, bring binoculars, wear appropriate footwear, and come prepared to watch, study, and enjoy birds in their natural habitats.

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. For more information, search the calendar of programs, classes, and activities for Wellfleet Bay and Long Pasture.

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.

OneNOAA Science Seminars - See the NOAA seminar series website for listings and details on NOAA science and climate seminars and webinars available across the nation.

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

  • StormCon 2016—Call for Papers - From August 22-25, 2016, StormCon 2016, the North American Surface Water Quality Conference and Exposition, will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Conference organizers are seeking presentations in six program tracks: best management practice case studies, green infrastructure, stormwater program management, water-quality monitoring, and industrial stormwater management. See the Call for Papers, which are due by December 9.
  • Hazus Conference - From December 9-11, the eighth annual Hazus User Conference, Hazus and the Emergency Management Life Cycle: From Practice to Policy, will be held in Atlanta, Georgia. Hazus is a nationally applicable, standardized methodology that contains models for estimating potential losses from earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes.

Other Items of Interest

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program - NOAA is seeking applications for the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program, which recognizes outstanding scholarship and encourages independent graduate level research—particularly by female and minority students—in oceanography, marine biology, and maritime archaeology. Scholarship selections are based on academic excellence, letters of recommendations, research and career goals, as well as financial need. Up to $42,000 per student is available per year for graduate students. Depending on funding, approximately three to four scholarships are awarded each year. Applications are due by December 10.

Gulf of Maine King Tides Photo Contest Images - The second Gulf of Maine King Tides Photo Contest held on October 28-29 received more than 100 entries of images of the exceptionally high tide those days at locations from Cape Cod Bay to Nova Scotia. King tides are the highest predicted tides that occur over the course of a year when the gravitational pull of the sun and moon reinforce each other. See the winning submissions and many other images on the King Tides website.

Coastal and Marine Planning Survey - EcoAdapt is seeking participants for the Climate-Informed Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning Survey. The EcoAdapt project seeks to improve understanding of how, when, and where to integrate climate changes and impacts into spatial planning by providing guidelines, case study examples, and an online decision-support toolkit. The survey aims to assess the needs of professionals working on coastal and marine special planning initiatives to prepare for and respond to multiple stresses, including climate change.

Coastal Management Fellowship - NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management is seeking applications for the 2016 Coastal Management Fellowship, which provides on-the-job education and training opportunities in coastal resource management and policy for postgraduate students and project assistance to state coastal zone management programs. The program matches postgraduate students with state coastal zone programs to work on state projects selected by NOAA. This two-year opportunity offers a competitive salary, medical benefits, and travel and relocation expense reimbursement. Applications are due by February 12, 2016.

Coastal Studies for Girls - Coastal Studies for Girls is accepting applications for the spring 2016 semester. Coastal Studies for Girls is a science and leadership semester school for 10th grade girls located in Freeport, Maine. Students are immersed in experiential courses that draw inspiration from the beauty and intrigue of the Maine coast and explore the natural world, conduct marine science research, and expand their leadership potential. Students earn a full semester of academic credit and financial aid is available for families that qualify. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Beneath the Waves Film Competition - The Beneath the Waves - Youth Making Ripples Film Competition is an opportunity for K-12 students to use their creative talents and serve as a voice for the oceans. Elementary, middle, and high school students are encouraged to create marine related films (less than 5 minutes). Submissions are due by December 5.

Ocean 180 Video Challenge - The Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence Florida has launched the Ocean 180 Video Challenge, a nationwide opportunity for ocean scientists and middle school students. This fall, ocean scientists will submit 3-minute videos that explain their research, which are due by December 11. The top 10 videos, targeted for middle school students, will be viewed by registered middle school classrooms who will select the top three winners. Middle school teachers are invited to register their classrooms by December 15.