Welcome to CZ-Mail, the monthly electronic newsletter from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). Each issue provides information on major CZM initiatives, available tools and publications, upcoming workshops and events, grants, contracting opportunities, job openings, coastal legislation, and other news of interest to people working on coastal issues. Additional information about CZM's programs, publications, and other coastal topics can be found on the CZM website. To subscribe to CZ-Mail, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please feel free to share CZ-Mail with colleagues and friends—and if you have any suggestions for future editions, or would like make a change to your CZ-Mail subscription, please email your request to CZ-Mail@state.ma.us. For daily updates from CZM, please follow us on Twitter.
Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Awards Announced
On August 3, EEA announced $500,000 in funding through CZM’s Coastal Pollution Remediation (CPR) Grant Program for projects to protect coastal water quality in Massachusetts. The CPR grant recipients are the communities of Barnstable, Everett, Kingston, Melrose, Plymouth, and Yarmouth. Projects include local efforts to assess, design, and implement infrastructure to intercept and treat contaminated stormwater runoff from roadways and parking areas. These local water quality improvement projects will reduce pollutants such as nutrients, sediment, and bacteria in the coastal watershed—helping to keep beaches and shellfish harvesting areas open and protecting wildlife habitat. The grants are being matched by $380,749 from municipal sources, further extending the power of the program. For more information, see the EEA Press Release.
Advancing Nature-Based Coastal Flood Protection
In July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management announced an award of $999,999 to The Nature Conservancy, the state coastal zone management programs in New England, and the Northeast Regional Ocean Council to increase the effective use of nature-based infrastructure (or “living shorelines”) for flood protection. The NOAA Coastal Resilience Grant Program seeks to address local impacts of coastal storms and sea level rise. Building on a previous NOAA coastal resilience award, CZM will continue to work with regional partners over the next three years to develop information on suitable natural infrastructure types and benefits. This regional effort will support implementation and monitoring of a range of projects to increase natural resilience of coastal banks, beaches, and marshes. For more information, see the NOAA press release.
Students Bring Our Maritime Past into the Present this Summer
In July, the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR)—in collaboration with maritime archaeologists from SEAMAHP and the PAST Foundation and supported by a grant from the NPS Maritime Heritage Program—embarked on a new collaborative education initiative. In this first-ever hands-on program for middle schoolers in Massachusetts, students and teachers from Salem’s Collins Middle School learned maritime archaeology. During the weeks of July 10-14 and July 24-28, students were instructed with problem-based skills as they investigated the shipwreck of schooner Ada K. Damon at The Trustees of the Reservations’ Crane Estate in Ipswich. The program met Massachusetts Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) standards, and several Collins teachers participated for Professional Development credits. In addition to basic archaeological recording and mapping, students built ship models, visited the NPS Salem Maritime National Historic Site to learn about local maritime history, sailed the schooner Fame, flew drones to record the wreck, and created 3D images of the site. For their capstone project, students presented their research and demonstrated their skills to faculty and administrators and created a Weebly site webpage highlighting aspect of their learning experience and showing a student produced documentary video.
CZM Spotlight: Characterizing Offshore Sand Resources
Erosion is a problem on many Massachusetts beaches, endangering coastal property and degrading important habitat for wildlife. One potential way to combat this erosion problem is beach nourishment—the process of depositing sand from offsite sources onto an eroding beach. This summer, to help develop the data and information to determine if this is a viable option in Massachusetts, CZM is working with a contractor to characterize five potential offshore sand resource areas identified in the 2015 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan. The data gathered will be used to determine whether sand and other sediment in the borrow sites is a good match for area beaches. Specialized sediment sampling equipment will be used to collect sediment cores beneath the seabed. The cores will be analyzed for sediment type, size, and depth of sediment layers below the surface to help determine whether the sand is “compatible,” or similar to the size and color of the natural beach. In addition to cores, the contractor will collect videos and photos of the nearby seafloor to characterize the species living in the area, including commercially important groundfish and lobsters. The five potential sand areas were selected based on a number of criteria, including the type of surface sediment, bathymetry, and sidescan sonar images of the seafloor collected as part of the ongoing CZM-USGS Seafloor Mapping Cooperative. When complete, the characterization will include estimates of the amount of sand available, sand grain size distributions, and a summary of the biological resources. Work is expected to be complete by late fall 2017.
Seeking Local Cleanup Coordinators for COASTSWEEP 2017
COASTSWEEP 2017, the annual statewide beach cleanup sponsored by CZM, kicks off in September—and now is the time to sign up to be a local cleanup coordinator for your favorite beach, marsh, dive site, and riverbank. Volunteers throughout Massachusetts turn out in large numbers each year for this event, which is part of an international campaign organized by the Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC. Participants all over the world collect trash and other marine debris and record what they find. This information is then used to help reduce future marine debris problems. Cleanups will be scheduled throughout September and October. To get involved, see the COASTSWEEP website.
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants - The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) are inviting communities, state agencies, and tribal governments and territories to submit applications for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program and the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program. These grants fund development of hazard mitigation plans and the implementation of hazard mitigation projects to reduce or eliminate the loss of life and property due to natural hazards. To explain applicant eligibility requirements, the types of projects that are eligible, and the non-federal cost-share, DCR and MEMA will hold several briefings and webinars in August for potential applicants. After attending a briefing or webinar, interested applicants can schedule a technical assistance meeting. CZM strongly encourages all potential applicants to attend one of these sessions. For complete grant details, see the PDM and FMA pages on the MEMA website. Applications for PDM and FMA grants are due by October 16. Email email@example.com to get more details.
Coastal Program - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking proposals for the Coastal Program, which provides direct technical and financial assistance in the form of cooperative agreements to coastal communities and landowners to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat on public and private lands. For more information, see the Grants.gov website. Applications are due by September 30.
Sea Level Rise Report - The Union of Concerned Scientists has released When Rising Seas Hit Home: Hard Choices Ahead for Hundreds of US Coastal Communities. This report provides a first-of-its-kind analysis of the entire lower-48 state’s coastlines and identifies areas of expected chronic inundation where high tide flooding of such frequency makes business-as-usual in affected areas impossible. Also included are state-by-state fact sheets and lists of communities expected to see flooding impacts based on different emissions scenarios.
2017 Boaters’ Guide to Tides and Pumpout Facilities - This wallet-sized pamphlet from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Clean Vessel Act (CVA) program contains information on the locations of pumpout facilities along the Massachusetts coastline and a June-September tide chart. Download a free copy from the CVA website. Limited hard copies are also available. Email your request and mailing address to Cecil French at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portuguese Man-of-War Signs - Woods Hole Sea Grant has released Portuguese Man-of-War Warning/Awareness Signs in response to the recent return of the species to area waters. These 11”x17” signs are printed on water-resistant paper and are designed for beach departments, municipal officials, or local property owners to post when these poisonous creatures are spotted. It also includes a blank area for local authorities to write messages specific to their location in permanent marker. To get some free signs, contact Jeffrey Brodeur at email@example.com or (508) 289-2665.
Beneath the Surface - The July 2017 issue of Beneath the Surface, a newsletter from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), includes articles on a mortality event for an endangered whale species, understanding clinging jellyfish, along with other news and updates from WHOI.
Marine Ecosystems and Management Information Service - The July-August 2017 edition of Marine Ecosystems and Management (MEAM), the bimonthly information service on marine ecosystem-based management (EBM) from the University of Washington School of Marine Affairs, features articles on optimism, pessimism, and ocean conservation and other notes and news.
Web-Based and Mobile-User Resources
MORIS and OLIVER User Survey - MORIS, the Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System (part of MassGIS’ OLIVER), is CZM’s online mapping program, which allows users to view and query any of the hundreds of map layers related to the Massachusetts coastal zone. The technology that drives MORIS and OLIVER has become obsolete and MassGIS is considering a remake of the program. Please help this effort by completing MassGIS’ brief survey and providing comments to help the state envision new versions of MORIS and OLIVER. In addition to MORIS, users of CZM’s other interactive mapping tools: Massachusetts Shoreline Change Browser; Boston Harbor Habitat Atlas; and Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan are encouraged to take the survey since these viewers are also based on the same underlying technology.
Green Infrastructure Effectiveness Database - NOAA’s Digital Coast has developed the new Green Infrastructure Effectiveness Database, which provides information on how to effectively use nature-based practices to protect people, property, and infrastructure from storms and sea level rise. This database provides a means of searching for source information and studies and also illuminates gaps in information and areas for enhanced study.
Cyanobacteria Resources - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a suite of Cyanobacteria Resources that states and communities can use to protect public health during harmful algal bloom (HAB) outbreaks caused by cyanobacteria. Some blooms are capable of producing toxins, which can harm humans and animals, affect drinking water sources, and impact local economies. Public health officials and outdoor water recreational managers can use EPA’s online resources to develop a cyanotoxin monitoring program, communicate potential health risks to the public, and address HAB outbreaks.
Barnstable Water Lecture Series - In August, the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition will hold the Wonder of Waters Lecture Series at the Osterville Village Library. On August 8, Meg Materne, Science Manager, Barnstable Clean Water Coalition, will present Wings, Fins and Watery Wonders: Exploring Wildlife in the Three Bays Watershed. For more information, including details about future lectures, visit the Coalition website or email info@BCleanWater.org.
Coastal Explorer Van - On August 10, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will offer access to the Barnstable 4-H Coastal Explorer Van, a 31-foot, handicapped-accessible motor coach that provides visitors with a unique opportunity to learn about Cape Cod's coastal environment. On board, visitors will find saltwater aquariums with live animals, computer and interactive games, a TV/VCR for viewing marine life videos, microscopes to view marine life, blue shark and dolphin models displaying both external and internal anatomy, and a hands-on exhibit. The van will be parked in the museum parking lot in Brewster from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Summer Institute on Maritime Archaeology - From August 14-18, the Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources Director Victor Mastone will co-lead a Salem State University Summer Institute on Maritime Archaeology on the North Shore with the Seafaring Education and Maritime Archaeological Heritage Program and the Nautical Archaeology Society (UK) at the Crane Estate in Ipswich. Participants will learn how to survey, map, and record shipwrecks with a hands-on experience recording the Ada K. Damon wreck site at the Crane Estate. This is an ongoing effort to provide formal citizen-scientist training to further BUAR’s mission. To register, see the Salem State Search for Classes and search for “Maritime Archaeology” in the 2017 Summer Term. For more information, contact Victor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Swim & Fin - On August 20, Salem Sound Coastwatch will host the 12th annual Swim & Fin Race for Salem Sound at Forest River Park in Salem. People of all ages and levels may join the event for open-water swimming races of three different distances: 500 meters, 1 mile, and 5K. Proceeds from this event support Salem Sound Coastwatch's work to protect local beaches, streams, salt marshes, and coastal waters.
Floodplain Management Conference - From September 5-8, the Flood Management Association will hold the Floodplain Management Annual Conference, Creating Partnerships through Integration: Water, Environment, People, in Long Beach, California. The conference provides a forum for floodplain management experts and policy makers to address local, state, and federal regulatory and policy issues pertaining to flood risk management and planning.
Estuary Research Workshop - On September 13, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission and the Coastal Institute at the University of Rhode Island will co-host the 2017 Estuary Research Workshop, Limiting Factors Beyond Nitrogen, in Narragansett, Rhode Island. The workshop will focus on nutrients (emphasis on phosphorus) that are potentially limiting in, and detrimental to, the Northeast’s estuaries.
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 - The Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) offers a variety of specialized education programs. Visit the MACC Complete Education Catalog for 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 Community Calendar provides a schedule of programs.
Walk Inside the Inflatable Whales - In August, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will present two events that allow visitors to walk inside inflatable, life-like whales. Visitors can walk through a 50-foot gray whale and a 44-foot humpback whale. Learn all about the behaviors and habits of these magnificent whales from the inside out.
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 August 17.
Tuesday Tweets - On several Tuesdays into August, 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. The next session is on August 22.
Summer Classes for Kids - This summer, the Thornton Burgess Society will hold summer classes for children ages 3-12 at the Green Briar Nature Center in East Sandwich. Daily classes run through August 25 and incorporate E-STEM (Environment, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). For more information and to register, see the Society’s website.
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. The next course is Hatching Diamondback Terrapins from August 25-27.
Mudflat Mania - Through August 30, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold Mudflat Mania!, twice weekly hikes to Cape Cod Bay to explore the life on and below the Brewster sand flats.
Barnstable Land Trust Walks and Talks - The Barnstable Land Trust will hold numerous events as part of its Walks & Talks nature series from now into the fall. For details, see the Barnstable Land Trust website.
Waquoit Bay Reserve Programs and Activities - This summer, discover the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. For a full list of activities and programs for kids and adults, see the Waquoit Bay Reserve Brochure.
National Marine Life Center Programs - Through the summer, the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay offers daily educations programs on marine animals, strandings, rehabilitation, and conservation. For more information, see the National Marine Life Center website.
Family Field Walks - Through September, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold Family Field Walks. Naturalists will guide explorations focusing on the various plants, animals, habitats, and other ecological features along the John Wing Trail. These walks are approximately 90 minutes over somewhat challenging terrain. Walks are on Sundays through September 24 and various weekdays through September 1.
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:
- Bayside Estuary Exploration - On August 8, Three Bays Preservation in coordination with the Jr. Tech Summer STEM Program will hold Bayside Estuary Exploration for students entering grades 4-5. Kids will engage in hands-on water quality and marine ecology activities. Students participate in scientific marine explorations including seine netting, plankton tows, minnow traps, and water sample collection and analysis, all while building skills in stewardship knowledge and natural history lessons on the local marine ecosystem.
- Emerging Technologies Workshop - From August 22-23, NOAA will hold the second annual Emerging Technologies Workshop in College Park, Maryland. The goal of this workshop is to promote broader awareness of emerging technologies for observation of the ocean, atmosphere, land, and space. Examples of emerging technologies presented at last year’s workshop included underwater gliders, traffic camera analytics, and earth observing nanosatellites, all of which have the potential to expand NOAA’s ability to observe the environment, improve efficiency, or reduce costs.
- Annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival - From August 26-27, Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem will host the 35th annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival, where vessels of all sizes and shapes will be on display, including 1900s-60s motor yachts, mahogany speedboats, sloops, yawls, schooners, and a 19th century gold-leaf canoe. This celebration of maritime heritage also includes a craft fair, artists, old-time band music, children's activities, the Blessing of the Fleet, and a boat parade.
- Stormwater Conference - From August 27-31, StormCon: 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, advanced research topics, water-quality monitoring, and industrial stormwater management.
- Preparing Coastal Communities for Sea Level Rise - On several dates into the fall, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute will present Preparing Coastal Communities for Sea Level Rise in Portland, Maine. This 90 minute interactive experience will explore the data behind sea level rise and examine potential resiliency measures. The next session is on August 29; register online to reserve your spot.
Other Items of Interest
Stewardship Saturdays - Through September, the National Park Service and partner organizations invite volunteers to participate in Stewardship Saturdays on the Boston Harbor Islands. This program is an opportunity for volunteers to work alongside park rangers improving and restoring habitat for native plant species in the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park. Weekly programs include projects on Grape, Lovells, Peddocks, Thompson, and Bumpkin Islands. Registration is required and space is limited. Individuals, families and small groups (up to 7) are welcome. To learn more about what it is like to volunteer with us, see the A Day as a Park Steward story map. To register, see the Park Service Eventbrite page.
Campus RainWorks Challenge - The EPA Office of Water has announced the 6th 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 15.
Recycle Bowl - Keep America Beautiful will hold the 2017 Recycle Bowl, a friendly competition that helps K-12 schools promote the creation of new recycling programs, increase recycling rates in schools, and provide teacher/student educational opportunities about recycling and waste reduction. Schools and students can start planning now for the competition. This year's competition begins on October 13 and registration opens on August 1.
Mass Audubon Photo Contest - Mass Audubon is holding its 2017 Picture This: Your Great Outdoors photo contest, which is open to all participants and seeks digital images that highlight the beauty and diversity of Massachusetts wildlife, habitats, people in nature, and Mass Audubon Travel. Entries are due by September 30.
Straws - The new documentary, Straws, focuses on the threat that plastic straws pose to the environment and outlines how billions of these non-recyclable products litter streets, coastlines, and oceans. Narrated by Tim Robbins, Straws charts the history of straws and explores the modern dilemma of these one-time use products. DVDs are available for screenings by schools, libraries, community groups, etc.