February 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.

2015 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan Released

On January 6, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) released the first update to the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, which was originally released in 2009 as a landmark blueprint for the protection and sustainable use of state ocean waters. Authorized by the Oceans Act of 2008, the Ocean Plan protects critical marine habitat and important water-dependent uses and sets standards for ocean-based development. The Oceans Act requires that the plan be reviewed at least every five years. In January 2013, EEA initiated a review and update process, which was led by CZM and guided by input and advice from the Ocean Advisory Commission and Ocean Science Advisory Council. The review and update included a comprehensive assessment of ocean plan progress to date, as well as extensive public and expert participation efforts. The 2015 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan contains the following updates to the original plan: new data and trends on ocean habitats and ecosystems, human uses, economics, cultural and archeological aspects, and climate change; preliminary offshore wind transmission corridor routes for further investigation; initial planning and analysis for appropriate potential locations for offshore sand areas for beach nourishment; and a fee structure and guidance for required mitigation fees for ocean development projects. For more information on the review and update process, see the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan website, which also includes links to the final 2015 ocean plan, 2009 ocean plan, 2014 draft plan, data, and other relevant documents.

Draft Coastal Erosion Commission Report Released for Public Comment

On January 7, the Massachusetts Coastal Erosion Commission released its draft report for public comment. The commission was established by the FY 2014 Budget Bill 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 EEA, CZM chaired and staffed the commission. Since it convened in March 2014, the commission held five meetings, reviewed the work and findings of similar state- and national-level commissions on coastal shoreline and floodplain management, convened five regional public workshops, and created three working groups. The draft 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). As noticed in the January 7 and January 21 Environmental Monitor, the report is available for a 90-day public comment period. Five regional public hearings have been scheduled:

  • Cape Cod and Islands - February 12, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Barnstable Town Hall Hearing Room, 367 Main Street, Hyannis.
  • Boston Harbor - February 24, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, 100 Cambridge Street, 2nd Floor Rooms C and D, Boston.
  • South Shore - March 5, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Marshfield Senior Center, 230 Webster Street, Marshfield.
  • North Shore - March 9, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Ipswich Town Hall 2nd Floor Selectmen’s Meeting Room, 25 Green Street, Ipswich.
  • South Coast Region - March 19, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Buzzards Bay Coalition Croll Conference Room, 114 Front Street, New Bedford, MA 02740. NOTE: This meeting was rescheduled from February 5.

For more information, see the Coastal Erosion Commission Draft Report web page. Submit comments to erosion-commission@state.ma.us by April 7.

Storm Team Assesses Damage from the Blizzard of 2015

From January 27-28, members of the State Coastal Storm Damage Assessment Team (Storm Team) evaluated damage from the blizzard of 2015 on the east-, north-, and northeast-facing shorelines of the Massachusetts coast. The Storm Team is led by CZM and is comprised of trained personnel from state and federal agencies, and local government. CZM staff were stationed in the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) State Emergency Operations Center throughout the storm to coordinate Storm Team efforts and relay reports directly to emergency management personnel. Storm Team members observed widespread beach, dune, and bank erosion, flooding, and overwash of dunes and seawalls. 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, destroyed decks and beach access stairs, severe overwash of barrier beaches filling in tidal creeks and marshes, and leaning utility poles. Houses appeared to be significantly damaged as a result of coastal erosion and flooding in Hull, Scituate, Marshfield, Duxbury, Sandwich, and Nantucket. More than 175 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.

New Seafloor Mapping Initiative Reports Published

CZM and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) published two new seafloor mapping reports. Geological Sampling Data and Benthic Biota Classification—Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound, Massachusetts contains sample and photography data, including a classification of benthic biota observed in seafloor photographs and based on the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard. Shallow Geology, Sea-Floor Texture, and Physiographic Zones of Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts contains geologic, sediment texture, and physiographic zone maps that characterize the seafloor of Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. These data are derived from interpretations of the seismic-reflection profiles, high-resolution bathymetry, acoustic-backscatter intensity, bottom photographs, and surficial sediment samples. The reports were prepared as part of the 12-year, cooperative mapping program between CZM and USGS, which began in 2003 and has mapped more than 2,330 square kilometers (900 square miles) of the Commonwealth’s coastal waters. For more information, see CZM's Seafloor Mapping Program website and the recently updated USGS Geologic Mapping of the Seafloor Offshore of Massachusetts website, or contact CZM’s Dan Sampson at daniel.sampson@state.ma.us.

Boston Living with Water—Vote for Your Favorite Design

On February 6, Boston Living with Water will reveal the first round of entries in this design competition for ideas on responding to sea level rise in Boston. Submissions featuring adaptation solutions at the building, neighborhood, and infrastructure scale were due in January and will be available for viewing on the Boston Living with Water website beginning February 6, when people can visit the website and vote for the People’s Choice Award. The Boston Living with Water Jury, comprised of local and international experts, will announce the finalists at a special Finalist Review and Exhibit event on February 25. Funded through CZM’s Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program and the Barr Foundation, this design competition is hosted by Boston Harbor Association, City of Boston, Boston Redevelopment Authority, and Boston Society of Architects.

CZ-Tip - When the Weather Outside Is Frightful, Here's Where to Track the Storm

The Massachusetts coast is often hit by some serious northeasters (often spelled "nor'easters"). Northeasters are named for their predominant winds, which come from the northeast. Although they can occur all year long, October through April is prime northeaster season, when cold arctic air from the north combines with warm, moist air from the south and forms strong areas of low pressure. The resulting storms can pack a real punch to the shoreline, with battering waves, storm surges, and winds that sometimes reach hurricane force. And don't forget the precipitation—rain, sleet, freezing rain, snow, or sometimes all of it together! For information on how to track these storms and stay safe this winter, see CZ-Tip - Tracking Northeasters and Staying Safe in the Storm.

CZM Staff and People

Coastal Habitat and Water Quality Manager - Adrienne Pappal, who has served at CZM’s Coastal Habitat and Water Quality Specialist and Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator since 2007, has been selected as the new Coastal Habitat and Water Quality Manager. Adrienne has extensive experience in a wide variety of coastal ecology and water quality issues, including the lead roles she has played for CZM in the Coastal Pollutant Remediation grant program, the Marine Invader Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC), rapid assessment surveys for marine invasive species, wetland assessment, and seafloor mapping. Her enthusiasm for marine science extends from the mud of the marsh and the muck on the docks to hours spent sorting invertebrate samples and classifying seabed photographs. She has developed numerous science communications products and has demonstrated experience working with the public to communicate technical information. Prior to CZM, Adrienne worked in the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Division of Watershed Management as a water quality analyst and quality assurance/quality control specialist. Congratulations Adrienne!

Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator - In January, CZM’s Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator Valerie Gingrich left CZM to accept a position as Director of Planning and Conservation with the town of Wilmington. During her three years at CZM, Valerie fulfilled a wide variety of crucial functions, including the development of the Downtown Boston and Everett Municipal Harbor Plans, updating the Municipal Harbor Plan and Designated Port Area regulations to allow for increased flexibility, and serving on a number of technical committees on dredging, wetland and eelgrass restoration, and facilities of public accommodation. CZM will miss her sense of humor and stories from the farm. Good luck on your new adventure Valerie!

Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities

National Coastal Condition Assessment - The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays) is seeking proposals for a contractor to conduct water quality and sediment monitoring along the entire Massachusetts coast. This monitoring is for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2015 National Coastal Condition Assessment, a nationwide monitoring effort that takes place every five years. MassBays is managing the current effort. The selected contractor will collect water column and benthic grab samples from 52 stations along the Massachusetts coast during the summer of 2015. All training and most supplies will be provided and sample analysis will be conducted by EPA. For more information, to view the Request for Responses, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Applications are due by February 20.

Woods Hole Sea Grant Omnibus Request for Proposals - Woods Hole Sea Grant (WHSG) is seeking proposals for the 2016-2018 Omnibus Request for Proposals to fund projects beginning February 1, 2016. Based at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, WHSG supports research, education, and extension projects that encourage environmental stewardship, long-term economic development, and responsible use of the nation’s coastal and ocean resources. The theme areas for the 2016-2018 request are healthy coastal ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, resilient communities and economies, and environmental literacy and workforce development. However, pre-proposals representing other areas will be considered. An informational meeting will be held at 2:00 p.m. on February 17 in the Redfield Auditorium in Woods Hole. For more information, contact Judy McDowell at jmcdowell@whoi.edu or (508) 289-2557. Submit pre-proposals to seagrant@whoi.edu by February 27.

Products/Publications

Q & A on Buying Real Estate along Commonwealth’s Coast - Woods Hole Seagrant has published Questions and Answers on Purchasing Coastal Real Estate in Massachusetts PDF Document , a brochure that focuses on the questions that should be asked as a potential purchaser of coastal real estate, and where to find answers. This resource provides information about permitting, erosion and erosion control structures, flood insurance, and much more. To receive a hard copy of the brochure, email seagrant@whoi.edu.

Climate Change and Wastewater Infrastructure Report - The Center for American Progress has released Rising Waters, Rising Threat: How Climate Change Endangers America’s Neglected Wastewater Infrastructure, a report that recommends taking steps to keep waters clean and protect public health from disruptions and overflows in wastewater treatment systems. These steps include integrating methods to address climate risk into all new wastewater infrastructure, financing resilience improvements through state infrastructure banks, prioritizing resilience in state revolving-fund investments, and investing in green infrastructure and the protection and restoration of wetlands and coastal ecosystems to protect and supplement wastewater treatment systems.

Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands Report - EPA has released Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence, a new scientific report on how small streams and wetlands play an important role in the health of larger downstream rivers, lakes, and waterways. Researchers conducted an extensive review of more than 1,200 peer-reviewed, published scientific studies to learn how small streams and wetlands connect to larger, downstream water bodies.

Marine Debris Reduction Plan - The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has released the Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan, which discusses ways to reduce the amount of marine debris from land-based and water-based sources in Virginia through leadership, prevention, interception, innovation, and removal.

Plastic Pollution in the Oceans - The new research paper, Plastic Pollution in the World's Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea, by Marcus Eriksen et al. describes how plastic pollution is ubiquitous throughout the marine environment. Prior estimates of the amounts of plastics around the globe have lacked substantive data. Researchers compiled data from 24 expeditions from 2007-2013, and with the use of an oceanographic model, developed an estimate that five trillion plastic pieces weighing more than 250,000 tons pollute the world’s oceans.

Evaluating Marine Spatial Plans Guide - The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, Green Fire Productions, and OpenChannels has released A Guide to Evaluating Marine Spatial Plans, which outlines steps for monitoring and evaluating the performance of marine spatial plans.

Ebb & Flow - The December 2014 issue of Ebb & Flow pdf format of Ebb and Flow Newsletter #22 December, 2014
file size 3MB, the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration eNewsletter, features articles on using college students in survey efforts, dam removal projects, and other updates, grant opportunities, events, and resource links.

Buzzards Bay Coalition Newsletter - The December 2014 issue of The Bay Buzz from the Buzzards Bay Coalition features articles on a large land conservation project on Buzzards Bay, a grant to Westport from CZM’s Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Grant Program to restore a barrier beach, and other Buzzards Bay news and events.

Stellwagen Bank E-Notes - The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary has released the November-December 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 the proposed Stellwagen Dedicated Habitat Research Area, the marine art contest, and other sanctuary stories, news, and notes.

WHOI Newsletter - The January 2015 issue of the WHOI newsletter, a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) monthly e-newsletter, features articles on toxic fish, a marine robotics grant, and other ocean science news, research, and events at WHOI.

Marine Protected Areas Connections - The December 2014 issue of Marine Protected Areas CONNECTIONS, news from the National Marine Protected Areas Center, features articles on a new cultural resources toolkit for marine protected area (MPA) managers, a new research reserve in Hawaii, and other MPA news.

Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The November-December 2014 issue of MPA News features updates from the World Parks Congress meeting in Sydney, Australia, and other MPA news and notes.

Marine Ecosystems and Management Information Service - The December 2014-January 2015 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 the ocean tipping points project, ocean planning suggestions for 2015, and other notes and news.

Sound Waves - The September/October 2014 issue of Sound Waves, the newsletter from USGS, features articles on natural methane seepage along the U.S. Atlantic Ocean Margin, Hurricane Sandy impacts on Long Island, and other coastal and marine research news.

Web-Based and Mobile-User Resources

2014 Great Marsh Symposium Presentations - On November 13, 2014, the Great Marsh Coalition held the 2014 Sea Level Rise Symposium: Case Studies in Local Adaptation. Speaker presentations are now posted on the Great Marsh Coalition website. To view, select the Resources tab along the top, then 2014 Symposium Presentations, and then the presenter’s name to view their presentation.

Storm Surge Inundation Map - EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative has released the Storm Surge Inundation Map, an interactive map that illustrates the current worst-case storm surge and inundation scenarios on the American Gulf and Atlantic coasts, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The map combines data layers from the Federal Emergency Planning Agency (FEMA) 100 and 500 year flood maps as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH), and National Hurricane Center's coastal county hurricane strike maps.

Scenario-Based Projected Changes Map - EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative has also released the Scenario-Based Projected Changes Map, an online map that provides easy access to localized scenarios of projected changes in annual total precipitation, precipitation intensity, annual average temperature, 100-year storm events, and sea level rise from EPA's Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool. To explore local climate change projection data across the United States, simply zoom in on a location of interest or type a location into the search field of the map. Climate change projection data within this map is provided by grid cell, illustrated as a square grid with 1/2-degree resolution—approximately 32 x 32 miles for the United States.

Sea Grant Resilience Toolkit - Sea Grant has launched the National Sea Grant Resilience Toolkit, a compilation of more than 100 tools and resources that have been developed over the years by the Sea Grant Network to help local communities become more resilient to a range of natural hazards, water quality challenges, severe weather, and the effects of climate change. This toolkit allows users to learn about tools from across the entire Sea Grant network. Each entry includes a description of the tools, a link for more information, and a point of contact.

Coastal Citizen - The Coastal Citizen is an eight-episode radio series that aims to illustrate and inform the connection of homes on the coast and the ocean beyond. Episode 1: The Ever-Changing Shoreline, Episode 2: The Cost of Oil and Gas, and Episode 3: The Endless Ocean Garbage Dump are now available online.

OceanAdapt - The Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences has developed OceanAdapt, a tool that delivers up-to-date information on changes in the distribution of marine species in each United States marine region over the last 40 years using data collected annually by NOAA Fisheries and others.

Ocean Topic Web Pages for Educators - NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research recently developed a series of ocean exploration themed web pages to provide educators with information on popular ocean science topics. Each page provides links to content essays, lessons, multimedia interactive activities, career information, and associated past expeditions. Current themes include: seamounts, deep-sea canyons, archaeology, deep-sea corals, mesophotic corals, and vents and volcanoes. More theme pages will be added periodically.

Climate Resilience Webinar - The EPA webinar, Climate Resilience: What to Expect, How to Prepare, and What You Can Learn from Others, is now available for viewing online. Viewers will learn more about Being Prepared for Climate Change: A Workbook for Developing Risk-Based Adaptation Plans, a workbook from the Climate Ready Estuaries program.

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.

Coastal Erosion Commission Report - The Massachusetts Coastal Erosion Commission is seeking public comment on its draft report, released on January 7. The commission has scheduled five regional public hearings to solicit input on the draft report. The dates and locations are:

  • Cape Cod and Islands - February 12, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Barnstable Town Hall Hearing Room, 367 Main Street, Hyannis.
  • Boston Harbor - February 24, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, 100 Cambridge Street, 2nd Floor Rooms C and D, Boston.
  • South Shore - March 5, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Marshfield Senior Center, 230 Webster Street, Marshfield.
  • North Shore - March 9, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Ipswich Town Hall 2nd Floor Selectmen’s Meeting Room, 25 Green Street, Ipswich.
  • South Coast - March 19, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Buzzards Bay Coalition Croll Conference Room, 114 Front Street, New Bedford.

For more information see the Coastal Erosion Commission Draft Report web page. Submit comments to erosion-commission@state.ma.us by April 7.

Draft Stormwater General Permit for Small Massachusetts Municipalities - EPA has reopened the public comment period for the draft general permit for small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) in Massachusetts. The draft permit combines the two previously issued draft permits for Massachusetts—the 2010 draft North Coastal Watershed permit and the 2010 draft Interstate, Merrimack, and South Coastal Watersheds permit. This permit requires regulated small MS4s to develop, implement, and enforce a stormwater management program designed to control pollutants to the maximum extent practicable, protect water quality, and satisfy appropriate requirements of the federal Clean Water Act. For more information, including links to the draft permit and updates to the public meeting schedule, see the EPA website. Comments are due by February 27.

Calendar

Underwater Archaeology Talk - On February 5, the Peabody West Branch Library will present Underwater Archaeology of Massachusetts, a talk by Victor Mastone, Director of the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources. This talk will cover the diverse submerged heritage of Massachusetts and the state agency that protects it.

Water Watch Lecture Series - On Wednesdays through March 18, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association will hold the Water Watch Lecture Series at the South Shore Natural Science Center. On February 4 at 7:00 p.m., Danielle Vollmar, WCVB Channel 5 Meteorologist, will present Watching the Weather. Lectures are free and open to the public.

Family Programs in Marion - In February and March, the Marion Natural History Museum will run several evening programs for families. On February 6, Michael Moore, Woods Hole Marine Biologist, will present The Right Whale Sedation Story. On February 27, Bugworks, an interactive program featuring live invertebrates, visits the museum. Finally, on March 6, Dr. Tom Burns, shark photographer, will present Beyond the White Shark - Sharks of New England.

Marine Science Lectures - In 2015, the Northeastern University Marine Science Center is continuing its series of monthly marine science lectures through March. On February 10, Dr. Loretta Fernandez, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University, will present Organic Pollutants in the Ocean: How Do They End Up on Our Dinner Plates? On March 10, Dr. Justin Ries, Associate Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences at Northeastern University will present Impact of Ocean Acidification on Marine Shell-Builders. These lectures, which are free and open to the public, are held at the Murphy Bunker Classroom at the Marine Science Center in Nahant. Lectures start at 7:00 p.m. and light refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m.

Ocean Conservation Film Series - In February, two films will be screened at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater in Wellfleet as part of the Ocean Conservation Film Series. On February 11, The Riddle in a Bottle, an engaging family film about how life on earth is connected by water, will be presented. On February 22, Trashed, a film that examines what happens to the billions of tons of waste that goes unaccounted for each year and its impact on marine life, will be screened followed by a panel discussion and question and answers.

Climate Change Adaptation Conference—Call for Abstracts - From June 15-17, the American Water Resources Association will hold the 2015 Summer Conference on Climate Change Adaptation in New Orleans. The focus of this conference is on applied adaptation to climate change and abstracts are sought that address this topic and will provide information that is relevant to practitioners and policymakers. See the Call for Abstracts, which are due by February 15.

Walk Inside the Inflatable Whales - In February, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will present two events that allow visitors to walk inside inflatable, lifelike whales. On February 17, walk through a 50-foot gray whale. On February 19, walk through a 44-foot humpback whale. Learn all about the magnificent whales’ behaviors and habits from the inside out. Registration is recommended.

New England Aquarium Professional Development Workshop - From February 18-20, the New England Aquarium will offer Introduction to Ocean Science, a three-day professional development workshop that will explore essential scientific concepts in the important context of ocean science through engaging investigations.

StormCon—Call for Abstracts - From August 2-6, StormCon, the North American Surface Water Quality Conference and Exposition, will be held in Austin, Texas. StormCon is an annual event on stormwater pollution prevention and surface water quality. Abstracts and posters are sought on a variety of agricultural and coastal topics. See the Call for Abstracts, which are due by February 20.

Climate Leadership Conference - From February 23-25, the Climate Leadership Conference will be held in Washington, DC. This annual conference addresses global climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions.

Coastal Summit - From February 24-26, the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association will hold the 2015 Coastal Summit, Advocating for Resilient Coasts, 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.

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.).

Cape Cod Clean Water Conference - From February 25-26, One Cape: Designing Solutions for Clean Water will be held in Hyannis. This two-day conference will provide a discussion of the §208 Water Quality Management Plan for Cape Cod. February 25 will feature a meeting of the selectmen and councilors on Cape Cod. February 26 will feature state and federal speakers and panel and breakout sessions on a variety of Cape water quality issues. Stay tuned to the Three Bays Preservation website for more details.

Ecological Landscaping Conference - From February 25-26, the Ecological Landscaping Association (ELA) will hold the ELA Conference and Eco-Marketplace, Sustaining the Living Landscape, in Springfield. The 2015 conference will explore topics ranging from mimicking forest symbiosis, designing within the rating systems, coping with water extremes, and more.

MACC Conference - On February 28, the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) will hold the 2015 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. The 2015 conference will feature a presentation by CZM staff and Wilkinson Ecological Design, Inc. on CZM’s StormSmart Properties Fact Sheet Series, developed to give property owners important information on techniques that can effectively reduce erosion and storm damage while minimizing impacts to shoreline systems and neighboring properties. The presentation will include an overview of the fact sheets and detailed information regarding the design considerations essential to developing effective bioengineering approaches, including the use of coir rolls, natural fiber blankets, and planting on coastal banks.

Ocean Academy Professional Development - On Wednesdays in March, Ocean Academy will offer a free professional development opportunity for high school science teachers at Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford. This program will cover the advanced placement and Massachusetts State Frameworks dealing with the interactions and cross connections of the biogeochemical nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon cycles. Participants will learn about current research on connections between biogeochemical cycles and the relevance to the local Buzzards Bay Ecosystem and global marine systems. The material will align best with advanced placement classes, however, all high school biology and marine science teachers will find valuable and relevant material for their courses. Participants will earn 10 professional development credits upon completion of the full program. The program is limited to 20 participants.

Benthic Ecology Meeting - From March 4-8, the 44th annual Benthic Ecology Meeting will be held in Quebec City, Canada. 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.

Sea Rovers Clinic - From March 7-8, the Boston Sea Rovers will hold the 2015 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 2015 Clinic will include more than 40 daytime seminars, workshops, a marine sciences career fair, an international film festival, and a large display of dive equipment and services in New England.

Environmental Biologist Conference - From March 18-20, the New England Association of Environmental Biologists (NEAEB) will hold its 39th annual meeting in Bartlett, New Hampshire. NEAEB 2015 is a three-day conference that provides a forum for presenting current work and research on pressing environmental issues relevant to the region.

Coastal Geotools 2015 - From March 30-April 2, Coastal Geotools 2015 will be held in North Charleston, South Carolina. This bi-annual conference focuses on the technical information needs of the nation's coastal programs.

Oyster Symposium—Call for Presentations - From October 21-23, the 6th International Oyster Symposium will be held in Woods Hole. The conference is designed to allow representatives from academia, industry, business, conservation, restoration, government, and cultural communities from around the world to share research, case studies, and projects relative to oysters. Abstracts are sought for a wide variety of oyster related topics.

Tuesday Tweets - Every other Tuesday through April, 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 feathered friends 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, including naturalist-led bird walks and nature adventures for preschoolers. 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.

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

  • Erosion and Sediment Control Conference - From February 15-18, the 2015 Environmental Connection Conference will be held in Portland, Oregon. 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.
  • International LIDAR Mapping Forum - From February 23-25, the 2015 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.

Other Items of Interest

Environmental Education Awards - EEA is now accepting applications for the 2015 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 27.

Storm Surge Art Exhibition - From March 6-28, the Newburyport Art Association will host a Storm Surge Art Exhibition in Newburyport. Artists are invited to submit works that use the creative power of art to inform, engage, and inspire local action on climate change. For more information, see the Call for Entries. Submit 150 word artist statements describing how the work is relevant to the theme to stormsurge9@gmail.com by February 6.

Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest - As part of the 10th annual Endangered Species Day on May 15, elementary, middle, and high school teachers and their students are invited to participate in the annual Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest. Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day is a celebration of the nation’s wildlife and wild places. The contest provides K-12 students with an opportunity to learn about endangered species and express their knowledge and support through artwork. Winners in four age categories will receive plaques and art supply gift packs and one grand prize winner will be honored at a reception in Washington, D.C. in May. Entries are due by March 1.

Coastal Studies for Girls - Coastal Studies for Girls is accepting applications for the fall 2015 and spring 2016 semesters. 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 who qualify. Applications are due by March 15.

Coastal and Marine Recreation Study for New England - The Northeast Regional Planning Body in coordination with Point 97, SeaPlan, and the Surfrider Foundation are seeking participants in the Coastal and Marine Recreation Study for New England. The survey will collect data about individual recreation use, such as sea kayaking, surfing, and general beach use. Anyone over 18 who has visited the New England coast at least once in 2014 is encouraged to participate. Take the survey, which is open until April 15.

Marine Art Contest - Massachusetts Marine Educators and Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary are seeking entries from students in grades K-12 for the 2015 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 receive cash prizes. Entries are due by May 1.

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, Our Oceans, Our Plastic, focuses on plastic pollution in the oceans. Entries are due by June 15.

KidSummer - This summer, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will offer KidSummer, which provides a range of programs for 3-15 year olds that encourages 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 29-August 14) through the museum’s FamilyID website.