March 2014

Welcome to CZ-Mail, the monthly electronic newsletter from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). Each issue provides information on major CZM initiatives, available tools and publications, upcoming workshops and events, grants, contracting opportunities, job openings, coastal legislation, and other news of interest to people working on coastal issues. Additional information about CZM's programs, publications, and other coastal topics can be found on the CZM website. To subscribe to CZ-Mail, send a blank email to join-env-cz-mail@listserv.state.ma.us. Also, please feel free to share CZ-Mail with colleagues and friends—and if you have any suggestions for future editions, or would like make a change to your CZ-Mail subscription, please email your request to CZ-Mail@state.ma.us. For daily updates from CZM, please follow us on Twitter.

All links on this web page were current and working on the date of publication.

CZM Announces New Grants for “Green” Coastline Protection Projects

On February 27, CZM announced a new grant program to support local efforts to reduce or eliminate risks associated with coastal storms, erosion, and sea level rise through natural and nonstructural approaches, called green infrastructure. The Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Pilot Grant Program will offer $1.3 million in grant funding to coastal cities, towns, and nonprofit groups to reduce or eliminate risks associated with coastal storms, erosion, and sea level rise. As part of Governor Deval Patrick’s $50 million investment in comprehensive climate change preparedness initiatives, the program will provide funding and technical resources for natural approaches to address coastal erosion and flooding problems. Grants can be used for planning, feasibility assessment, design, permitting, construction, and monitoring of green infrastructure projects that use natural approaches instead of hard structures such as seawalls and revetments. Applicants may request up to $500,000 in funding and all 78 coastal communities in the Commonwealth as well as non-profit organizations with vulnerable coastal property that is open and accessible to the public, are eligible. For details on how to apply, see the “Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities” section below. For more on the announcement, see the EEA press release.

Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan Amendment Public Workshops

The Oceans Act requires the review and update of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan at least once every five years, and in January 2013, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) initiated this review. CZM has led this effort on behalf of EEA and has been working with the Ocean Advisory Commission and Ocean Science Advisory Council on the plan update. As a key part of this process, six technical work groups (focusing on habitat, fisheries, sediment resources, recreational and cultural services, transportation and navigation, and energy and infrastructure) were convened to provide expert input and to assist in the compilation and analysis of data and information that will help inform the plan revision process. A fundamental principle of the ocean planning process is to promote extensive public involvement in decision making. As with the development of the 2009 plan, to achieve this goal, CZM will hold two public workshops in March focused on the data, products, and recommendations of the work groups. Workshop attendees will: 1) find out more about the plan revision process, 2) learn about the findings and recommendations of the technical work groups, and 3) provide input to help inform the ocean plan update. SeaPlan (formerly the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership) is providing significant support and assistance of for these workshops, and all are welcome to participate. The workshops will be held on:

  • March 10 from 3:30-6:00 p.m. at Third Sector New England, 89 South Street, Boston
  • March 11 from 3:30-6:00 p.m. at the Falmouth Public Library, Hermann Room, 300 Main Street, Falmouth

For more information, see EEA’s Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan website.

Municipal Harbor Plan Decision for the City of Everett

On February 10, the Decision on the City of Everett Central Waterfront Municipal Harbor Plan pdf format of everett-mhp-decision-2014.pdf was issued by the Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). The focus of the city of Everett’s Municipal Harbor Plan (MHP) is to redevelop vacant industrial land along the Mystic and Malden Rivers to accommodate mixed use development as envisioned in the city’s Lower Broadway Master Plan. The City has identified the former Monsanto Chemical site as a development parcel that should be redeveloped in a way that encourages public use of the waterfront and provides connections along the water’s edge to adjacent open space. Two development scenarios are outlined in the MHP, specifically the Wynn Casino scenario and a future build out that is consistent with the Lower Broadway Master Plan. The MHP contains baseline requirements along with substitutions and offsets for building height, lot coverage, water-dependent use zone, and setbacks for facilities of private tenancy.

CZM Is Now on Flickr

Winter, spring, summer, and fall—the coastal views of Massachusetts have it all. Beaches, bays, the Blizzard of ’78, sunsets over skylines, boats, buoys, and more. All photos are available for public use—i.e., you can download them and use them in web and print publications (we just ask that you please credit the source). Check CZM’s Flickr page and if you like what you see, bookmark us. New photos will be added regularly.

CZ-Tip - Calling All Kids to Help Protect the Coast!

Swimming in bay waters, searching for tide pool creatures, scampering over shoreline rocks, and sighting seals in the ocean and birds on the shore—the coast is the perfect place for any kid to explore, discover, and play. And when it comes to finding energetic volunteers to help preserve coastal resources, kids are naturals! Check out the CZ-Tip: Be a Coast-Conscious Kid! to help children of all ages learn everyday actions that positively impact the coast, including ways to keep waters clean, protect animals and their habitats, and more.

Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities

319 Grants Pre-RFR Meetings - On March 6 and 13, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will hold two meetings to field questions and discuss the upcoming Request for Responses (RFR) and new draft guidance for the §319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Competitive Grants Program. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend these pre-RFR sessions to be held at the MassDEP offices in Worcester. For more information on the grants, contact MassDEP's §319 coordinator, Jane Peirce, at jane.peirce@state.ma.us. For details about the program and past §319 projects, see MassDEP's website.

Marine Fauna Spatial Data - The Northeast Regional Ocean Council on behalf of the Northeast Regional Planning Body is seeking proposals from contractors to assist with development of spatial data products and other information characterizing marine mammal, sea turtle, bird, and fish distribution and abundance for use in regional ocean planning. For details, see the Request for Proposals. The deadline for proposals is March 27.

Water Quality Management Planning Program Grants - MassDEP is seeking proposals for the Fiscal Year 2014 Federal §604(b) Water Quality Management Planning Program Grants to fund nonpoint source assessment activities that support MassDEP's assessment efforts. Project applications are due by March 28.

Modeling the Effects of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Wetlands - CZM is seeking proposals to model the effects of global and local sea level rise on coastal wetlands in Massachusetts. This project will lay the groundwork to assess potential barriers to landward migration of salt/brackish marshes and support the advancement of robust adaptation strategies and policy change. The Marine Biological Laboratory/Plum Island Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research Program is the principal partner on the project, contributing biological and physical data on marsh processes and technical assistance. For more information, to view the RFR, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by March 31.

Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Pilot Grant Program - CZM is seeking proposals for the new Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Pilot Grant Program. Up to $1.3 million ($500,000 per project) will be awarded to coastal cities and towns and non-profit organizations with vulnerable coastal property that is open and accessible to the public. The goal of this program is to advance the understanding and implementation of natural or nonstructural approaches to mitigating coastal erosion and flooding problems. For more information, to view the RFR, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due to CZM by April 4.

Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program Regional Service Providers - The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (Mass Bays) is seeking proposals for Regional Service Providers (RSP) to serve four regions of the Mass Bays planning area: Upper North Shore, Lower North Shore (formerly Salem Sound), South Shore, and Cape Cod. RSPs will support the implementation and update of the Mass Bays Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. One-year grants of approximately $61,000 will be awarded for each region. For more information, to view the RFR, and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by April 4.

Sounds Conservancy Grants - The Sounds Conservancy Grants Program is dedicated to supporting the conservation and restoration of the sounds of Long Island, Fishers Island, Block Island, Rhode Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket and their adjacent coastlines in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island. The program encourages and supports projects that lead to improved marine and coastal resource management with funding up to $2,500 available to university, college, and high school students, private individuals, and nonprofit organizations. Applications must be postmarked by May 1.

Products/Publications

Estuary Restoration Report - Restore America’s Estuaries has released the findings of a study that confirms the climate mitigation benefits of restoring tidal wetland habitat. The study, Coastal Blue Carbon Opportunity Assessment for Snohomish Estuary: The Climate Benefits of Estuary Restoration, finds major climate mitigation benefits from wetland restoration and provides an approach for assessing carbon fluxes for historic drained and future restored wetlands. In addition to the climate benefits outlined by the study, healthy and restored estuaries act as spawning grounds and nurseries for commercially and recreationally important fish and shellfish species, provide storm buffers for coastal communities, filter pollutants, and provide habitat for numerous species of fish and wildlife, as well as recreational opportunities for hundreds of millions of Americans annually.

Seaweed Handbook - Connecticut Sea Grant has released New England Seaweed Culture Handbook: Nursery Culture, a new 92-page handbook for growing four species of economically and ecologically valuable native seaweeds. The handbook presents protocols for implementation of the technology to culture, maintain, and produce seaweeds beginning in a laboratory, with information on how to scale up for commercial production.

The Sandbar - The January 2014 issue of The Sandbar, a quarterly publication reporting on legal issues affecting the U.S. oceans and coasts by the National Sea Grant College Program, features articles on protection of groundwater in Hawaii, science in environmental reviews, and other ocean- and coastal-related legal issues.

Newswave - The February 2014 issue of NEWSWAVE, the quarterly newsletter on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes activities from the U.S. Department of the Interior, features articles on Hurricane Sandy recovery, sea turtle hatchlings, and other ocean and coastal news.

WHOI News - The February 2014 issue of WHOI News, the monthly eNewsletter from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), features articles on the new crowdsourcing and citizen science website How Radioactive Is Our Ocean?, Atlantic phytoplankton blooms, and other ocean science research news from WHOI.

Web-Based Resources

New Northeast Regional Planning Body Website - The Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) was established under the National Ocean Policy to develop an ocean plan for New England waters. Their new website provides information on ocean planning in the region, details on how to get involved in the regional ocean planning process, links to the Northeast Data Portal, and news and other information on the RPB. It also includes full descriptions of RBP projects covering the following topics: commercial fishing, recreation and tourism, energy, cultural resources, marine life and habitat, maritime commerce, aquaculture, and government coordination.

Climate Change Data for 21stCentury - The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed a new online tool that provides county-level maps with historical and projected climate change data for the 21st century. The maps and summaries are based on 33 climate models used in the 5th Climate Model Intercomparison Project and the current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report. The USGS leveraged this massive dataset and distilled the information into easily understood maps, 3-page summaries, and spreadsheet-compatible data files for each state and county in the United States.

Climate Assessment Update to National Stormwater Calculator - EPA has released Phase II of the National Stormwater Calculator and Climate Assessment Tool package, a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of stormwater runoff from a specific location. This tool now includes changes in seasonal precipitation levels, the effects of more frequent high-intensity storms, and changes in evaporation rates based on validated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change climate change scenarios. Users can enter any U.S. location and select different scenarios to learn how specific green infrastructure changes, including inexpensive changes such as rain barrels and rain gardens, can reduce stormwater runoff. This information shows users how adding green infrastructure, which mimics natural processes, can be one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce stormwater runoff.

Federal Adaptation Planning and Implementation - The U.S. Global Change Research Program has created the new website, Federal Adaptation Planning and Implementation Resources, which features an easy-to-access collection of resources to help federal agencies with planning and implementation for climate change adaptation. Resources include relevant federal executive orders and strategic plans, overview reports, and selected technical reports on adaptation research, frameworks, and other information to help agencies adapt their operations to changing climate conditions.

Natural Hazards Pop Quiz - Test your Natural Hazards knowledge with the USGS Science Pop Quiz: Natural Hazards Edition, which feature questions on everything from sinkholes to magnetic storms.

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.

Gloucester Designated Port Area Boundary Review - As noticed in the February 5 Environmental Monitor and Gloucester Daily Times, CZM is seeking comments on the Boundary Review of the Gloucester Inner Harbor Designated Port Area, Gloucester MA. The purpose of the boundary review was to determine whether the Designated Port Area (DPA) boundary should remain as it is currently established or whether it should be modified in accordance with criteria governing the suitability of contiguous lands and waters to accommodate water-dependent industrial use. The Commonwealth’s DPA policy seeks to promote water-dependent industries as an important sector of the state’s economy and prevent the loss of areas that have certain key characteristics that make them particularly well suited to water-dependent industrial uses. Under the DPA regulations at 301 CMR 25.00 pdf format of CMR 25.00: Designation of Port Areas , CZM is responsible for mapping, interpreting, and periodic review of DPA boundaries. Submit comments on the draft report by March 7 to: Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Kathryn Glenn, North Shore Regional Coordinator, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 800, Boston MA 02114-2136.

Job Postings

Coastal Resiliency Specialist - CZM is accepting applications for a Coastal Resiliency Specialist to join the StormSmart Coasts team in Boston. CZM seeks a talented professional with planning, outreach, and data analysis expertise to provide technical support for CZM efforts to develop and implement strategies that protect coastal resources and enable communities to better address erosion, flooding, and sea level rise. The full-time position serves on a multi-disciplinary team and will assist in all stages of coastal shoreline and floodplain management related data development, planning, and outreach. Applications are due by March 4.

Aquatic Biologist - The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Water Supply Protection is accepting applications for an Aquatic Biologist to work at the Wachusett Reservoir. DCR seeks an energetic candidate with field experience, good computer skills, and an understanding of aquatic systems to help protect and maintain the water quality in the Wachusett Reservoir. The full-time position will assist in all facets of water quality, phytoplankton, and aquatic plant monitoring. Applications are due by March 11.

Calendar

Sustainable Coastal Erosion Talk - On March 3, the Orleans Conservation Trust will present Sustainable Coastal Erosion Control: Is it Possible. Coastal geologist Jim O’Connell will show and describe many coastal erosion control projects along the Massachusetts shoreline with a discussion of what works, what doesn't, and what's next.

Training Decision Makers - In March and April, the Buzzards Bay Coalition will hold four free Training Decision Makers workshops for government, business, and agriculture workers. These workshops provide real-world solutions for people whose daily decisions affect the health of Buzzards Bay and the local environment. The first workshop on March 5 will be on Nitrogen-Reducing Septic Systems.

Water Watch Lecture Series - On Wednesdays through March 19, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association will hold the Water Watch Lecture Series at the South Shore Natural Science Center. On March 5 at 7:00 p.m., Bram Lutton, Professor at Endicott College will present Sharks in Our Waters. Lectures are free and open to the public.

MEES Conference - On March 5, the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society (MEES) will hold its 2014 conference, Environmental Literacy for the Next Generation, at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. Join fellow environmental educators and others who are dedicated to providing experiences that educate, excite, and commit all generations to conserving the environment and becoming responsible stewards.

Professional Development Workshop on Whales - From March 8-9, the New Bedford Whaling Museum will hold the professional development workshop, Schooling with Whales, which will provide educators with a variety of methods to use whales, dolphins, and porpoises to teach science, math, geography, and history concepts. The workshop is geared toward teachers in grades 3-6. Graduate and/or professional development credits are available. For more information, contact Robert Rocha at rrocha@whalingmuseum.org.

Frog Documentary - On March 9 from 2:00-4:00 p.m., the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will present Frogs: The Thin Green Line, a Nature documentary by Brewster native, Allison Argo. The film documents the threat of extinction to 1/3 of the world’s amphibians due to unraveling ecosystems. A question and answer period will follow the screening.

Field Guide Training Program - Starting March 11, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold its annual Field Guide Training for New Guides. This year's course will consist of six Tuesdays, March 11-April 15, and one session shadowing a veteran field guide. Field guides are trained to guide school groups in the spring and fall and lead tourists during the summer.

Flood Risk Webinar - On March 12, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will present NOW is the Time to Look at Future Flood Risk, which will discuss how events from mid-2012 through mid-2013 created an environment for the United States to launch an evaluation of future flood risk. NOAA staff will demonstrate tools and data to evaluate sea level rise and coastal flooding impacts. Also, a new interagency pilot effort to incorporate projected sea level rise into the National Flood Insurance Program mapping will be discussed.

Climate Change Webinar Series - Through April, the Northeast Climate Science Center will hold its Spring Webinar Series, Extreme Events and Climate Change: Adapting to an Uncertain Future. The next webinar on March 12 will be Hurricanes and Hurricane Risk in a Changing Climate.

Climate Change Lectures - Every other Thursday through April, the Jones River Watershed Association, North and South Rivers Watershed Association, and Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program will hold the Climate Change in Your Backyard Lecture Series at Jones River Landing in Kingston. On March 13, Marci Coke Ekberg will present Vulnerability of Salt Marshes to Sea Level Rise.

Water Words that Work - On March 14, the Waquoit Bay Reserve’s Coastal Training Program will hold a Communicate with Water Words that Work workshop in Hyannis. Attendees will learn the everyday language that is most effective when communicating environmental messages about rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceans.

Cape Cod Natural History Conference - On March 15, the MassAudubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary will hold the 19th annual Cape Cod Natural History Conference at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable. This full-day conference will feature presenters from environmental organizations across Cape Cod speaking on a diversity of natural history topics.

Sea Semester Spring Lecture Series - Through May as part of its Spring Lecture Series, Sea Semester will hold monthly lectures in Woods Hole. On March 16 at 1:00 p.m., Dr. Amy NS Siuda will present Drifting Oases of Life on the Deep Blue Sea.

North Shore High School Marine Science Symposium - On March 20, Massachusetts Marine Educators will hold the North Shore High School Marine Science Symposium at Endicott College in Beverly. Presenters will include experts from Northeastern University, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, Seacoast Science Center, Massachusetts Bureau of Underwater Archaeology, and others.

Land Conservation Conference - On March 22, The Trustees of Reservations, the Putnam Conservation Institute, and the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition will hold the 2014 Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference, Healthy Land - Healthy Communities, in Worcester. This annual, day-long event provides land trust board members, staff, volunteers, and municipal commission members with information, skills, and connections for effective land conservation.

Underwater in Salem Sound Lecture Series - Through April, Salem Sound Coastwatch will hold free monthly Underwater in Salem Sound lectures at Marblehead's Abbot Public Library at 7:00 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month. On March 26, Dr. Michael Armstrong from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries will present Changing Climate - Changing Fishes.

BUAR Public Meeting - On March 27 at 1:30 p.m., the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR) will hold its bi-monthly public meeting in the CZM large conference room. The preliminary agenda includes discussion/approval of minutes for the January 30 meeting, renewal of five permits, and discussion of permittee, outreach, and research activities. For more information, contact BUAR Director Victor Mastone at victor.mastone@state.ma.us.

Massachusetts Marine Educators Conference - On April 12, the Massachusetts Marine Educators will hold its 38th Annual Meeting and Conference, Why Marine Microbes Matter, in the Redfield Building at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. For more information, contact Carolyn Sheild at csheild@rcn.com.

Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference - From April 13-15, the 70th Annual Northeast Fish & Wildlife Conference will be held in Portland, Maine. This annual conference attracts more than 500 natural resources professionals in the fields of wildlife biology, fisheries and fisheries management, information and education, and law enforcement. The event provides opportunities for education, discussion, and exchanging of ideas with more than 50 workshop sessions, keynote speakers, poster displays, and social networking events.

National Hurricane Conference - On April 14-17, the 2014 National Hurricane Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida. The primary goal of this conference is to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation to save lives and property in the United States and the tropical islands of the Caribbean and Pacific. In addition, the conference serves as a national forum for federal, state, and local officials to exchange ideas and recommend new policies to improve emergency management.

Global Marine Renewable Energy Conference - From April 15-18, the seventh annual Global Marine Renewable Energy Conference will be held in Seattle, Washington. This conference will explore how to create a more sustainable energy future with a diverse power generation portfolio that includes marine renewable energy technologies. Expert panelists will discuss their strategic visions, near-term objectives, and challenges faced with deploying these innovative technologies

Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference - From April 29-30, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission will hold the 25th annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference in Newport, Rhode Island. This conference is the premier forum in the Northeast for sharing information and improving communication on nonpoint source pollution issues and projects.

Ceres Conference - From April 30-May 1, the Ceres Conference 2014, The Future Is Now, will be held Boston. Attendees will connect with fellow leaders creating the innovative solutions that will build a more sustainable global economy. Ceres is a national network of investors, environmental organizations, and other public interest groups working with companies and investors to address sustainability challenges.

Climate Change Symposium—Save the Date - From June 16-18, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant Program will convene Sustaining Coastal Cities under Future Uncertainties, a 3-day Climate Change Symposium on sustainability of coastal cities with increasing storms, flooding, precipitation, and surges. This interdisciplinary conference will address concerns for change in sea level, storm surges, extreme precipitation, and flooding and options for adapting to these risks.

Walks, Lectures, and Events on Outer Cape Cod - Through winter, the Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary will offer a variety of educational programs for children and adults, including naturalist-led bird walks and nature adventures for preschoolers. For more information, search their calendar of programs, classes, and activities.

Ipswich River Wildlife Programs and Activities - Mass Audubon’s Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary provides numerous winter nature walks, talks, and adventures. See the program catalog for event and schedule information.

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

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

Reminders - The following calendar item posted in the last CZ-Mail is still to come:

  • Green Infrastructure Webcasts - EPA’s Green Infrastructure Program Webcast Series will feature bimonthly webcasts geared toward public officials and practitioners just beginning to implement green infrastructure, as well as those looking to enhance established programs. Leading academics and professionals from around the country will cover a range of topics and applications, from best practices in operations and maintenance to the intersection of green infrastructure and climate change. The next webcast, Case Studies: Implementing Green Infrastructure under Enforcement Orders, is on March 4.
  • Sea Rovers Clinic - From March 7-9, the Boston Sea Rovers will hold the 2014 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 2014 Clinic will include more than 40 daytime seminars, workshops, an international film festival, and a large display of dive equipment and services in New England.
  • Benthic Ecology Meeting - From March 19-22, the 43rd annual Benthic Ecology Meeting will be held in Jacksonville, Florida. 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.
  • Environmental Biologist Conference - From March 26-28, the New England Association of Environmental Biologists (NEAEB) will hold its 38th annual meeting in Burlington, Vermont. NEAEB 2014 is a three-day conference that provides a forum for presenting current work and research on pressing environmental issues relevant to the region.
  • Boating Safety Course - 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.).

Other Items of Interest

Environmental Education Awards - EEA is now accepting applications for the 2014 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 28.

Gulf of Maine Council Award Nominations - The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment is seeking nominations for its annual Visionary, Longard, Susan Snow-Cotter Leadership, Industry, and Sustainable Communities Awards. Visionary Awards will be presented to one individual and one organization in each state and province bordering the Gulf. The Longard Award will be presented to an outstanding volunteer within the Gulf watershed. The Susan Snow-Cotter Award will recognize a coastal management professional who exemplifies outstanding leadership or exceptional mentoring in the Gulf of Maine watershed. The Industry Award will go to a business that has shown leadership in efforts to improve the well being of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem. The Sustainable Communities Award will go to a community or group within a community that exemplifies a sustainable environment and economy. Submit nomination forms by March 30 through the Council website.

National Groundwater Awareness Week - March 9-15 is National Groundwater Awareness Week, the National Ground Water Association's effort to highlight the value of this natural resource and promote protection strategies—from proper management of household hazardous substances to septic system maintenance. For more information, check out the National Groundwater Awareness Week website.

National Advisory Council Openings - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking applicants interested in serving on the National Advisory Council (NAC). The NAC is an advisory council established to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation for natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters. For more information, see the FEMA announcement. Applications are due by March 14.

Environmental Business Council Award Nominations - On May 21, the Environmental Business Council (EBC) will hold the 24th annual Meeting and Awards Celebration in Boston. Each year, EBC recognizes companies, organizations, and individuals for outstanding environmental/energy accomplishments in the promotion of a sustainable, clean environment through this awards celebration. Submit nominations by March 14.

Coastal Studies for Girls - Coastal Studies for Girls is accepting applications for the fall 2014 and spring 2015 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.

Flood Safety Awareness Week - March 17-21 is Flood Safety Awareness Week, the National Weather Service's effort to highlight some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what can be done to save lives and property.

Stellwagen Advisory Council - The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is seeking applicants for 7 seats on its Sanctuary Advisory Council. For more information and to receive an application kit, see the Sanctuary website or contact Elizabeth.Stokes@noaa.gov. Applications are due by March 31.

Nick Winter Memorial Scholarship Fund - The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) and the ASFPM Foundation will grant a $2,500 scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year to a full-time college junior or senior or graduate student currently enrolled in a field related to floodplain/stormwater management. For details see, the ASFPM website. Applications are due by April 1.

Science Without Borders Challenge - The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is seeking entries for the Science without Borders Challenge. Students, ages 14-19, are asked to submit videos (maximum of five minutes) on the theme, Protect Our Coral Reefs. Entries are due by April 28.