November 2016

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.

Offshore Wind Public Information Meetings

On November 14-15, representatives from CZM and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center will host public information meetings in Vineyard Haven and New Bedford to present, answer questions, and discuss recent and upcoming planning and assessment activities related to future offshore wind projects in federal waters off Massachusetts. Topics include an overview of the new energy diversity law and updates on: marine mammal and bird studies, Metocean data collection, geological surveys, and transmission planning. Representatives of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will be in attendance. For more information on the offshore wind activities for Massachusetts, see the EEA website. The information meetings will be:

  • Monday, November 14, 2016, 5:00-7:00 p.m., at the Katherine Cornell Theater, 54 Spring Street, Vineyard Haven
  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 5:00-7:00 p.m., at the New Bedford Public Library, 613 Pleasant Street, New Bedford

Citizen Monitoring Coordinators’ Network

On September 29, the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays) held a summit for citizen monitoring coordinators to share resources and consider forming a network of coastal monitoring programs to address capacity-building needs. The resulting Citizen Monitoring Coordinators’ Network will connect organizations with scientists who can help them formulate their own questions and approaches to answering those questions; facilitate equipment exchange and joint training for volunteers; provide training on communicating results to local and state decision makers; and help to secure funding to sustain long-term programs and jump-start lapsed ones. Visit the MassBays website for more information and to join the effort.

COASTSWEEP 2016 Update

Since September, volunteers have been out combing the coast for trash during the 2016 COASTSWEEP, the state’s volunteer beach cleanup organized by CZM as part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. Dedicated volunteers collect marine debris and record what they find on dozens of shoreline sites. By the time COASTSWEEP wraps up in mid-November, over 3,000 volunteers will have cleaned more than 90 locations along the Commonwealth’s coast. And there’s still time to volunteer at a scheduled cleanup or to organize one of your own at a local beach or coastal site. All the supplies (bags, gloves, data cards, pencils, etc.) are provided free of charge, and cleanups can be scheduled at your convenience into mid-November. To find out more, see the COASTSWEEP website, especially the Get Involved page, or check out COASTSWEEP on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more on becoming a local cleanup coordinator, see this Mass.Gov Blog posting from CZM.

CZ-Tip - Turn to the Coast for Holiday Cooking Inspiration

Whether you live to eat or eat to live, 'tis the season to give thanks for the bounty of local seafood and locally grown produce. Impress your friends and family this year with great recipes using Massachusetts seafood and other local ingredients with this CZ-Tip: Recipes from Coastal New England.

Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities

Climate Stewards - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Stewards Education Project is seeking applications from educators for funding to support climate stewardship action projects. Selected educators who meet project requirements will be eligible for up to $2,000 to support their projects. For more information, sample projects, and to join the NOAA Climate Stewards 2017 Stewardship Community, see the NOAA website. Applications are due by November 20.

Reminders - These opportunities, listed in the last CZ-Mail, are still available:

  • Massachusetts Environmental Trust General Grants - The Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) is now seeking proposals for the Fiscal Year 2018 General Grants Program, which supports nonprofit organizations and municipalities in efforts to restore, protect, and improve water and water-related resources of the Commonwealth. Proposals are being accepted for programs and initiatives that address threats to the health of the state’s water bodies and watersheds. For more information, to view the Requests for Responses (RFR), and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Letters of inquiry are due by November 4 for projects that will begin in July 2017.
  • Marine Debris Research Funding - NOAA’s Marine Debris Program is seeking proposals to fund research directly related to marine debris through field, laboratory, and modeling experiments. Specifically, NOAA is looking to support research that explores the ecological risk associated with marine debris, determines debris exposure levels, and examines the fate and transport of marine debris in nearshore, coastal environments. For more information, see Grants.gov. Applications are due by December 19.
  • 2016 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 Recreational Trails Program - 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, 2017.

Products/Publications

Fact Sheet on the Repair and Reconstruction of Seawalls and Revetments - Recommended design practices for seawalls and revetments have advanced significantly over the last 50 years. Any repair or reconstruction project for seawalls and revetments—whether minor repairs or complete reconstruction—should therefore include design improvements based on the best available techniques to reduce impacts, improve structure longevity, and minimize maintenance costs. This new CZM fact sheet, StormSmart Properties Fact Sheet 7: Repair and Reconstruction of Seawalls and Revetments, discusses the history and impacts of seawalls and revetments and options for improving their performance and reducing impacts.

Gulf of Maine Watershed Status - The Gulf of Maine Council has released Watershed Status, a State of the Gulf of Maine Report theme paper that focuses on the current status of the region’s watersheds, exploring some of the many forces, pressures, and impacts affecting watershed health. The report highlights how aquatic ecosystems link communities and habitats inland with the Gulf’s estuarine, coastal, and offshore environments. For more information, or to see other theme papers, see the State of the Gulf of Maine web page.

Climate Change Indicators in the United States - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released Climate Change Indicators in the United States 2016, a report that presents evidence of long-term changes to the climate and highlights impacts on human health and the environment in the nation and around the world. This is the fourth report in the series featuring observed trends of 37 climate indicators, including U.S. and global temperatures, ocean acidity, sea level, river flooding, droughts, and wildfires.

Nonpoint Source News-Notes - The October 2016 issue of Nonpoint Source News-Notes, an EPA newsletter, explores new and innovative programs, tools, and resources that are available to help manage polluted runoff. This issue features articles on smart growth in rural communities, the Greening America’s Communities Program, and other nonpoint news.

Marine Ecosystems and Management Information Service - The October 2016 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, includes articles on investing for ocean ecosystems, tools for collaborative mapping, and other notes and news

Sound Waves - The August/September 2016 issue of Sound Waves, the newsletter from U.S. Geological Survey, features articles on gas hydrate in the Indian Ocean, South Carolina earthquakes, and other coastal and marine research news.

Beneath the Surface - The October 2016 issue of Beneath the Surface, a newsletter from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), feature articles on shipwreck finds, using free-swimming ocean gliders to measure storm intensity, and other news and updates from WHOI.

Marine Protected Areas Connections - The September 2016 issue of Marine Protected Areas CONNECTIONS, news from the National Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Center, includes articles on newly created marine monuments, report from the recently held Our Oceans Conference, and other MPA news.

Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The October 2016 issue of MPA News features articles on the role of MPAs in combating climate change, reports from the World Conservation Congress, and other MPA news and notes.

Web-Based and Mobile-User Resources

Massachusetts Clean Water Toolkit - Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has launched the Massachusetts Clean Water Tool Kit, a website that is designed to be the Commonwealth’s primary public education resource on nonpoint source pollution. The Toolkit, developed by Geosyntec Consultants, includes sections focused on the major categories of nonpoint source pollution, 127 fact sheets on best management practices to reduce pollution, and a collection of interactive scenarios based on Massachusetts landscapes that allow users to explore ways to reduce pollution and improve water quality in a variety of highly detailed landscapes including residential, agricultural, urban, roads, construction, and shoreline restoration.

Cape Cod Shipwreck Interview - Victor Mastone, the Director of the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources, was recently interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) about a shipwreck find off Cape Cod. The Lutzen, nicknamed “the Blueberry Boat,” sank in 1939 during a trip from New Brunswick, Canada, to New York City. For details and to listen to the interview, see the CBC website.

Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool Updated - The Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) is a software tool that can assist drinking water and wastewater utility owners and operators in understanding potential climate change threats and their related risks at their respective utilities. The tool also helps users evaluate adaptation options to address these impacts. CREAT 3.0 is now web-based and features a series of modules designed to help utilities complete a climate change risk assessment.

Climate Change Adaptation Resource Center - EPA has launched the Climate Change Adaptation Resource Center (ARC-X), a new online portal that provides local leaders with information and tools to increase resilience to climate change. Using a self-guided format, ARC-X provides users with information tailored specific user needs, based on location.

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.

Plan for Ocean Research in the Coming Decade - The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology is seeking input on the overall framing and content of A Plan for Ocean Research in the Coming Decade. This research plan will describe the most pressing research questions and most promising areas of opportunity within the ocean science and technology enterprise for the coming decade. It will set the stage for agency-specific and interagency coordinated actions across federal agencies and with non-federal sectors to address societal needs and issues of national importance. For details on providing input, see the NSF website. Comments are due by January 1, 2017.

Job Postings

Sea Rovers Summer Internship - The Boston Sea Rovers, a volunteer organization dedicated to increasing awareness and appreciation of the marine environment, are accepting applications for the 2017 Sea Rovers Annual Summer Internship. The internship—open to qualified graduating high school seniors and college freshman and sophomores interested in pursuing underwater careers—will provide advanced dive training courses and opportunities to dive and train with a variety of dive professionals in a broad cross section of environments. Opportunities will include hands-on work with professionals, underwater photographers and filmmakers, educational specialists, marine engineers and scientists, equipment manufacturer’s representatives, and dive shop owners. Applications are due by November 15.

Calendar

MS4 Program - On November 3, the Environmental Business Council (EBC) will hold The Ongoing Saga of the Massachusetts Small MS4 Stormwater General Permit - What's Next? in Boston. This program will focus on the EPA general permit that authorizes stormwater discharges from small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) located in Massachusetts.

Marine Debris Symposium - On November 4, Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island will host Legal and Policy Approaches to Reduce Marine Debris in New England, a symposium that will discuss the adequacy of U.S. law and policy to prevent the creation of new marine debris and to remove debris once it is created. Each year, derelict fishing gear, plastic bottles, plastic bags, cigarettes, abandoned vessels, and other debris wash ashore in New England. This debris causes negative social, environmental, and economic impacts, such as decreased aesthetic value, harm to coastal ecosystem health, and damage to vessels and gear. This symposium will include keynote presentations, case studies from coastal New England states, and a facilitated discussion to identify effective legal and policy strategies to prevent and manage marine debris.

NSRWA Annual Meeting - On November 4, the North & South Rivers Watershed Association (NSRWA) will hold its 46th Annual Meeting in Norwell. The winners of the Barbara Anne Pearson Memorial Award as well as the Volunteer of the Year will be presented.

State of Wellfleet Harbor Conference - On November 5, the 14th annual State of Wellfleet Harbor Conference will be held at Wellfleet Elementary School. The goal of this free annual conference is to distribute information about current and ongoing research, monitoring projects, and issues related to Wellfleet Harbor and its watershed.

EPA Grants Webinar - On November 9 from 2:00-3:00 p.m., EPA will present a Grants Award Process Webinar, which will provide information about finding and applying for EPA grants and managing those grants once awarded. Registration is not required. To attend, launch the webinar a few minutes before it starts.

Digging into the Past - On November 13, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, as part of its Digging into the Past lecture series, will present Shipwrecks of Cape Cod with writer and filmmaker Don Wilding. In this new presentation of shipwrecks and rescues of the outer beaches of Cape Cod, Wilding will cover the earliest days of the U.S. Lifesaving Service to the early years of the U.S. Coast Guard in the first half of the 20th century.

Massachusetts Climate Strategy Program - On November 15, EBC will present Implementation of Governor Baker's New Climate Change Strategy Executive Order with Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Undersecretary Ned Bartlett. Undersecretary Bartlett will review key aspects of the Governor’s executive order and discuss major implementation issues.

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 Building the Case for Green Infrastructure: Outreach and Education on November 15.

Stormwater Finance Forum - From November 15-16, the New England Environmental Finance Center will host a free Stormwater Finance Forum at the University of New Hampshire for municipal officials, public works and water sector professionals, community leaders, technical assistance providers, and regional funders. Forum topics will address smart stormwater management for municipalities including: financing strategies that leverage a variety of funding sources, practical steps to accurately estimate municipal stormwater costs, and approaches for maximizing the economic value of water resources and minimizing stormwater control costs.

Great Marsh Coalition Sea Level Rise Symposium - On November 17, the Great Marsh Coalition will hold the fifth Great Marsh Sea Level Rise Symposium, Implications for Quality of Life in our Communities, at Woodman’s of Essex. This full-day workshop allows coastal decision makers, business leaders, and stakeholders from the region to discuss the implications of climate change and sea level rise for Great Marsh communities, from economic impacts to consideration of transportation challenges and safety issues. Coffee and lunch will be provided. Pre-registration is required by November 16. Discounted registration of $15 is available until November 4 and will increase to $20 after that date. For more information, contact Kathryn Glenn at kathryn.glenn@state.ma.us.

Cape Cod Birding Excursions - This fall, the Thornton W. Burgess Society will offer birding excursions to a variety of habitats on the Cape Cod with naturalist and field leader John Hanlon. The next excursion is scheduled for November 19. These trips are open to all levels, especially beginners looking to develop birding skills. Advance registration is required. See the Society’s website for more information.

Climate Change Program - On November 22, EBC of New England will present Financing Resilience—The Big Challenge—Grants, Loans, Bonds, Insurance-Linked Securities and More in Norwood. This program will explore existing and emerging resilience financing mechanisms, ranging from grants to innovative new loan programs to investor-backed resiliency bonds and other tools to finance and manage risk. CZM’s Coastal Resiliency Specialist, Patricia Bowie, will discuss CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program, which provides funding and technical assistance for local climate adaptation efforts.

South Shore Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Symposium - On December 1, CZM, MassBays, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, North and South River Watershed Association, and other partners will hold the South Shore Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Symposium in Norwell. This one-day symposium will provide local officials, municipal staff, federal and state agency staff, nonprofit organizations, and consultants with current information on overarching climate change and sea level rise management and policy considerations, case studies on local and regional adaptation and resiliency initiatives, and strategies to promote coordinated and cost-effective resiliency planning and project implementation. Pre-registration is required by November 28. Discounted registration of $10 is available until November 22 and will increase to $15 after that date. For additional information, please contact Jason.Burtner@state.ma.us.

Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference—Call for Abstracts - From April 12-13, 2017, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission will hold the 28th annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference, Lessons Learned: What Worked, and What Didn’t?, in Northampton. This conference is the premier forum in the Northeast for sharing information and improving communication on nonpoint source pollution issues and projects. Abstracts are sought on stories of success, lessons learned, hurdles, and challenges. For details, see the Call for Abstracts, which are due by December 2.

Cape Coastal Conference - From December 6-7, the 4th annual Cape Coastal Conference, Our Coastal Future: Taking Action for a Prosperous and Healthy Cape Cod, will be held at the Hyannis Resort and Conference Center. This two-day conference will feature plenary sessions and mini-workshops on a variety of coastal topics.

International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species - From October 22-26, 2017, the 20th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida This comprehensive international forum will address new and emerging issues related to aquatic invasive species. Organizers are seeking abstracts for presentations and posters that address the broad range of aquatic invasive species issues affecting freshwater and marine environments. See the Call for Abstracts, which are due by December 15.

Cape Cod Field Schools - Through November, 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.

OneNOAA Science Seminars - The NOAA seminar series website provides listings and details on NOAA science and climate seminars and webinars that are available across the nation.

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.

Cape Cod Bird Club Walks - The Cape Cod Bird Club holds free bird watching walks throughout Cape Cod. The next scheduled walk will be held on November 6 at Sandy Neck Beach in Barnstable.

Birdwatching for Beginners - The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History’s Birdwatching for Beginners with Gretchen Moran Towers presents 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 November 17.

Tuesday Tweets - On several Tuesdays into December, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold Tuesday Tweets, bird watching 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 Sanctuary 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.

Joppa Flats Wildlife Sanctuary Programs and Activities - Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Wildlife Sanctuary in Newburyport provides numerous birding walks, field trips, and adventures. See the program catalog for event and schedule information.

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

  • North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium Annual Meeting - From November 2-3, the Annual Meeting of the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium will be held at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The meeting will discuss consortium business and will feature research, management, conservation, and education presentations.
  • Ocean Literacy Summit - From November 3-4, the New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative will hold the 2016 Ocean Literacy Summit in Portland, Maine. The focus of the 2016 summit will be the ocean and its influence on weather and climate.
  • Environmental Education Conference - From November 4-6, the New England Environmental Education Alliance will hold the 2016 New England Environmental Education Conference in Litchfield, Connecticut. The 2016 conference will explore what drives individual and collective involvement of environmental action through natural science, psychology, art, advocacy, faith, mindfulness, research, spirituality, and media.
  • Hazus User Conference - From November 7-9, the ninth annual Hazus User Conference, Achieving Disaster Resilience through Hazus Innovation, will be held in Charleston, South Carolina. Hazus is a nationally applicable, standardized methodology that contains models for estimating potential losses from earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes.
  • Water Resources Conference - From November 13-17, the American Water Resources Association will hold the 2016 annual Water Resources Conference in Orlando, Florida. Join 500 multidisciplinary water resource professionals for exhibits, field trips, workshops, and presentations on science, engineering, policy, management, fisheries, and economics as they relate to current water issues.
  • Shellfish Restoration Conference - From November 16-19, the 18th International Conference on Shellfish Restoration, Celebrating and Inspiring Healthy Coastal Communities, will be held in Charleston, South Carolina. The 2016 conference will feature invited speakers, panel sessions, contributed oral and poster presentations, and interactive workshops.
  • StormCon 2017—Call for Papers - From August 27-31, 2017, StormCon 2017, the North American Surface Water Quality Conference and Exposition, will be held in Bellevue, Washington. 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 7.
  • Youth Conservation Summit - On December 10, the 2016 Youth Conservation Summit will be held at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. This event will provide youth participants of all ages (upper elementary-college) the opportunity to learn from marine scientists and conservationists about the current threats facing marine ecosystems, both locally and globally.
  • Coastal Society Meeting and Coastal and Estuarine Restoration Summit - From December 10-15, the 25th Biennial Meeting for the Coastal Society and the eighth National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration, Our Coasts, Our Future, Our Choice, will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 2016 Summit will bring together the coastal restoration and management communities for an integrated discussion that will explore issues, solutions, and lessons learned.
  • Rising Seas Summit - From December 13-15, the 2016 Rising Seas Summit will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. This fourth annual summit will bring professionals together to highlight the interrelationships between sea level rise, climate change, and extreme events. The 2016 summit will feature plenary sessions, breakout panel discussions, off-site tours, and more.

Other Items of Interest

Marine Debris Art Contest - NOAA’s Marine Debris Program is seeking entries for the annual Keep the Sea Free of Debris Art Contest. The contest is for students in grades K-8 who are encouraged to show how marine debris impacts them and what they are doing about it. The winning artwork will be showcased in the 2018 NOAA Marine Debris Calendar. The entry deadline is November 30.

Teacher at Sea Program - NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program is now accepting applications for the 2017 season. The program provides pre-kindergarten through college-level teachers a hands-on, real-world research experience working at sea with NOAA scientists. Applications are due by November 30.

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.

Campus RainWorks Challenge - The EPA Office of Water is pleased to announce the fifth annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a green infrastructure design competition for undergraduate and graduate students. Student teams, working with a faculty advisor, will submit design boards, a project narrative, and a letter of support for a proposed green infrastructure project for their campus. This year, student teams are encouraged to incorporate climate resiliency and consider community engagement in the stormwater management designs. Winning teams will be awarded cash prizes. Registration opens September 1 and entries must be submitted by December 16.

Coastal Management Fellowship - NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management is seeking applications for the 2017 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 January 20, 2017.

Marine Policy Fellowships - The NOAA Sea Grant College Program is accepting applications for the 2017 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program. This one-year program aims to provide a unique educational experience to students who have an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The program matches highly qualified graduate students with hosts in the legislative and executive branches, or appropriate associations/institutions, located in the area of Washington, DC, for a one-year paid fellowship. To apply, see the grant opportunity on Grants.gov. Applications are due by February 10, 2017.

Ocean Awareness Student Contest - The Bow Seat 2017 Ocean Awareness Student Contest promotes ocean stewardship among middle and high school students and provides cash prizes for winning essays, art, and advocacy. This year's theme, Ocean Pollution: Challenges & Solutions, focuses on making meaningful connections between ocean health and human activity. Entries are due by June 19, 2017.

Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition - The new Bow Seat Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition challenges middle and high school students to implement real-world advocacy projects in schools and communities, with the goals of educating the public about marine debris, inspiring people to change their behavior, and engaging them in activities that reduce or prevent marine debris. Students need an adult sponsor to participate and cash prizes are awarded to winners. Entries are due by June 19, 2017.

Every Kid in a Park Pass - The Every Kid in a Park program provides fourth graders and their families free access to federal lands and waters nationwide for a full year. The pass is valid from September 1 through August 31, 2017, and provides free entry for fourth graders and up to three accompanying adults (or an entire non-commercial vehicle for drive-in parks) at more than 2,000 sites across the country.