February 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.

Buzzards Bay NEP Awards Water Quality Grants

On January 11, the Buzzards Bay National Estuary (NEP) Program awarded six grants totaling $794,478 to address nutrient and pathogen pollution in Buzzards Bay. The following grants, which are funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and administered by CZM through the Buzzards Bay NEP, will help the towns protect important habitat and drinking water resources:

  • Buzzards Bay Coalition - $200,000 to work with the towns of Wareham, Bourne, and Plymouth and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy to evaluate the feasibility of relocating the Wareham Wastewater Treatment Facility discharge from the Agawam River to a well-flushed area near the Cape Cod Canal.
  • Marine Biological Laboratory - $175,918 to collaborate with the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Barnstable County Department of Health to quantify the nitrogen removal benefits from innovative alternative (I/A) systems being installed in West Falmouth Harbor. The work will also determine whether the addition of a carbon source will increase nitrogen removal in I/A systems.
  • Town of Marion - $200,000 to coordinate with Mattapoisett and the Buzzards Bay Coalition in hiring a consultant to design an expanded sewage collection system from Marion's Wastewater Treatment Facility into the existing densely developed neighborhoods of Indian Cove (Marion) and Harbor Beach (Mattapoisett) on Aucoot Cove.
  • Town of Falmouth - $53,950 to expand an oyster reef to reduce nitrogen loads to West Falmouth Harbor near Mashapaquit Creek in the Snug Harbor area. The project will inform the extent to which oyster reefs can effectively improve water quality, and can contribute to watershed nitrogen reduction for West Falmouth Harbor and other similar estuaries.
  • Town of Fairhaven - $58,350 to prepare designs and permit applications for green infrastructure stormwater best management practices at four high priority outfalls on Sconticut Neck. The effort will reduce pathogen and nutrient loading and other stormwater pollutants to Little Bay and Nasketucket Bay.
  • Town of Dartmouth - $106,260 to work the city of New Bedford to treat stormwater runoff from two outfalls located at the end of Rodgers Street discharging to Clarks Cove and contributing to shellfish bed closures there.

For additional information, see the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) press release.

Ocean Advisory Commission Reconvenes

On January 26, a meeting of the Commonwealth’s Ocean Advisory Commission was held with a slate of new and re-appointed commission members. The commission is made up of legislators; representatives from commercial fishing, environmental organization, and offshore renewable energy representatives from coastal Regional Planning Agencies, and the heads of CZM, Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), and Division of Marine Fisheries. Agenda items included an overview of the 2015 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan and discussion regarding next steps and future efforts for implementing key management and science elements of the plan. A summary of the process, findings, and recommendations of the state’s Coastal Erosion Commission report was provided. The Ocean Advisory Commission also heard updates on the work underway on ocean planning in the Northeast and discussed its role in providing input on feedback from Massachusetts stakeholders when the draft regional plan is released this spring. Finally, the commission reviewed the latest work on the development of a performance and evaluation framework for tracking and reporting progress on the 2015 ocean plan. The commission will look to convene again in early May 2016.

Coastal Construction Workshops

In March, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), MassDEP, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and CZM will co-sponsor a pair of one-day workshops on important state codes, regulations, and best practices for building and retrofitting homes and other buildings in coastal areas, to be held in Plymouth on March 9 and Gloucester on March 31. The morning will feature a discussion of best practices for the design of structures to withstand storm impacts such as erosion and flooding, as well as a session to provide guidance for town officials on interpreting the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program Maps and Studies to identify the most vulnerable areas. The afternoon will include sessions on available funding, State Building Code requirements, and reducing vulnerability in Land Subject to Coastal Storm Flowage under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act. All participants must register through the MEMA Training website for either Plymouth on March 9 or Gloucester on March 31. (Please note: It is not necessary to enter the last four digits of your Social Security Number as part of the registration process. Enter 9999 or any four digits.)

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

While this winter has been fairly mild in New England (compared to last year), one of the most notorious storms in history, a Northeaster known as the Blizzard of ’78, dumped 27.1 inches of snow on Boston on February 6 and 7, 1978, paralyzing the city and surrounding suburbs for a week. Northeasters are named for their predominant winds, which come from the northeast. Although they can occur all year long, October through April is prime northeaster season, when cold arctic air from the north combines with warm, moist air from the south and forms strong areas of low pressure. The resulting storms can pack a real punch to the shoreline, with battering waves, storm surges, and winds that sometimes reach hurricane force. And don't forget the precipitation—rain, sleet, freezing rain, snow, or, sometimes, all of it together! For information on how to track these storms and stay safe this winter, see CZ-Tip - Tracking Northeasters and Staying Safe in the Storm.

Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities

Environmental Literacy Grants - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Education is seeking applications for projects designed to strengthen the public’s and/or K-12 student’s environmental literacy to improve community resilience to extreme weather events and environmental changes. Eligible applicants include educational institutions, including nonprofits, museums, zoos, aquariums, along with state and local governments. Proposed projects should be between two and five years in duration and have a total budget of $250,000 to $500,000 for the complete project. For details, see the NOAA website. Applications are due by February 8.

319 Nonpoint Source Competitive Grants Pre-RFR Meetings - On March 9 and 15, MassDEP will hold two meetings to field questions and discuss the upcoming Request for Responses (RFR) for the next grant round for the §319 Nonpoint Source Competitive Grants. 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 the MassDEP website.

Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative Research Grants - The Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative (NBI) is seeking proposals for NBI Research Grants to conduct research that expands knowledge of understudied taxonomic groups and the overall biodiversity of Nantucket, Tuckernuck, and/or Muskeget Islands. The mission of the NBI is to conserve the native biodiversity of Nantucket through collaborative research, monitoring, and education. Proposals are due by March 15.

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

  • Land and Water Conservation Fund Grants - The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Division of Conservation Services is seeking proposals for Land and Water Conservation Fund Grants, which provide up to $250,000 in matching funds to state agencies and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. Applications are due by February 11.

Products/Publications

Sea Level Rise Bulletin - The Woods Hole Sea Grant Program and the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension have released The Effect of Sea Level Rise on the Barrier Beaches of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket, a four-page bulletin that describes how barrier beaches are formed and how they respond to the forces of sea level rise, tides, and storm events. Email seagrant@whoi.edu to order a free hardcopy.

National Coastal Condition Assessment - EPA has released the 2010 National Coastal Condition Assessment, the fifth in a series of reports assessing the condition of U.S. coastal waters. This latest report is based on sampling conducted at 1,104 coastal and Great Lakes nearshore sites during the summer of 2010. EPA and its state, tribal, and federal partners used the same sampling methods at all sites so that results would be comparable nationwide.

Marsh Migration Guidance - The Northeast Regional Ocean Council has released Make Way for Marshes: Guidance on Using Models of Tidal Marsh Migration to Support Community Resilience to Sea Level Rise, a report to advance the effective use of models of marsh migration to inform management and policy strategies to sustain tidal marshes.

National Flood Insurance Affordability - The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released Affordability of National Flood Insurance Program Premiums, a two-part report that examines recent changes to National Flood Insurance Program premiums which, although implemented to make the program more fiscally sound, ended up making flood insurance unaffordable for many homeowners. Together, the reports provide an overview of the program and offer alternatives for evaluating when premium increases make pricing unaffordable

Emergency Planning Tools for Students - FEMA has released Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) Program, a curriculum for 4th and 5th grade students that provides lessons and handouts to teach kids the basics of emergency planning, preparedness, and communication.

Graywater and Stormwater Use to Enhance Local Water Supply - The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released Using Graywater and Stormwater to Enhance Local Water Supplies: An Assessment of Risks, Costs, and Benefits, a report that explores the beneficial use of stormwater and graywater.

Flotsam & Jetsam - The winter 2016 issue of Flotsam & Jetsam, the quarterly journal of Massachusetts Marine Educators, focuses on marine archaeology. The lead article, Underwater Archaeology: A Window into the Hidden History of Massachusetts, was written by Victor Mastone, Director of the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources.

MassBays Newsletter - The winter 2016 issue of the MassBays Newsletter, the quarterly update from the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays), highlights results of a salt marsh migration study on Cape Cod and work on the North and South Shores to document green crab populations and impacts. Consider subscribing to receive updates directly in your inbox.

DER Annual Report - The Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) has released the 2015 Annual Impact Report: Resiliency, which focuses on the work of DER and its partners to restore vitality to salt marshes and other aquatic ecosystems that protect the communities and economies of the Commonwealth.

WHOI Newsletter - The January 2016 issue of the WHOI newsletter, a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) monthly e-newsletter, features articles on the origins of the Earth’s oceans, North Atlantic Right Whale entanglements, and other ocean science news, research, and events at WHOI.

Stellwagen Bank E-Notes - The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary has released the December 2015 edition of Stellwagen Bank E-Notes, a newsletter that provides the latest information about sanctuary research, education, and resource conservation. This issue includes articles on 2015 whale tagging, high school students in the sanctuary, and other sanctuary stories, news, and notes.

Natural Hazards Observer - The November 2015 issue of the Natural Hazards Observer, the bimonthly periodical of the Natural Hazards Center in Boulder, Colorado, focuses on homelessness and disasters and other natural hazards news and information.

Marine Ecosystems and Management Information Service - The December 2015/January 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 information on achieving regional EBM objectives, EBM reflections, and other notes and news.

Sound Waves - The October/November 2015 issue of Sound Waves, the newsletter from U.S. Geological Survey, features articles on sampling methane seeps on the Atlantic Margin, seafloor mapping of the Delmarva Peninsula, and other coastal and marine research news.

The Sandbar - The January 2016 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 Georgia Aquarium’s effort to import whales, organic aquaculture standards, and other ocean- and coastal-related legal issues.

Newswave - The Fall 2015 issue of NEWSWAVE, the quarterly newsletter on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes activities from the U.S. Department of the Interior, features articles on the nation’s first offshore wind farm, coastal erosion in Alaska, and other ocean and coastal news.

Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The October-November 2015 issue of MPA News covers assessing the state of the art in Marine Protected Area (MPA) management training programs, new MPA plans around the world, and other MPA news and notes.

MPA Connections - The December 2015 edition of MPA Connections, the newsletter of NOAA's National MPA Center, features articles on a National Park Service partnership with Cuba on marine parks, MPA training in Indonesia, and other MPA news.

Web-Based and Mobile-User Resources

2015 Great Marsh Symposium Presentations - On November 12, 2015, the Great Marsh Coalition held the 2015 Sea Level Rise Symposium: Great Marsh Communities in Action. Speaker presentations are now posted on the Great Marsh Coalition website. To view, select the Resources tab along the top, then 2015 Symposium Presentations, and then the presenter’s name to view their presentation.

Water and Wastewater Resilience Training - EPA’s has launched Water/Wastewater Utility All-Hazard Boot Camp Training, a comprehensive computer-based course that incorporates emergency planning, response, and recovery activities into an all-hazard management program for water utilities. The training covers topics including: identifying and funding potential hazard mitigation projects, developing and updating an emergency response plan, coordinating mutual aid and assistance during emergencies, conducting damage assessments, and much more. The training features clickable displays, testimonials from water utility professionals, knowledge checks, and recommendations for additional tools and resources to build all-hazards resilience.

Science of Natural Hazards Videos - NBC Learn with help from the National Science Foundation and the Weather Channel has posted When Nature Strikes: The Science of Natural Hazards, an online library of short, informative videos that provide an easy-to-understand glimpse of the science behind hazards that range from wildfire and flash floods to earthquakes and hurricanes.

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.

Public Review of the Designation of the First Underwater Archaeological Preserve off the Massachusetts Coast - At its public meeting on January 28, the Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources voted to designate the White Squall site as the first Underwater Archaeological Preserve in Massachusetts waters. Under Massachusetts General Law, the Board can designate underwater archaeological sites of substantial historical and/or archaeological value as Underwater Archaeological Preserves. The shipwreck site of the White Squall, a bark-rigged sailing craft made of iron built in 1864 and lost in 1867, is located in the Atlantic Ocean off Cahoons Hollow, Wellfleet, and adjacent to the Cape Cod National Seashore. See the White Squall nomination form for additional details. Under the Board’s procedures for nominating and approving Underwater Archaeological Preserves, a 90-day public review process began on January 29. The Board has scheduled a public meeting on Thursday, March 31, to allow for public testimony on the nomination. Those wishing to provide verbal and written testimony are encouraged to attend. Written comments may also be submitted by email to victor.mastone@state.ma.us or in writing to the Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA 02114. Written comments will be accepted through the close of business on Friday, April 29. After reviewing public comments, the Board will take its public vote on the designation approval at its regularly scheduled meeting on May 26.

Job Postings

Blue Ocean Society Summer Internships - The Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect marine life in the Gulf of Maine, is seeking applicants for summer internships. These internships are structured and designed to provide undergraduates and recent post-grads with hands-on experience with whale research, education, and marine conservation. Applications are due by March 1.

Coastal Marine Ecology Summer Internships - The Coastal Systems Group of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Dartmouth School of Marine Science is seeking applicants for summer internships in coastal marine ecology. Students accepted into this competitive 10-12 week program will participate in both field data collection and laboratory analyses. Research areas include estuarine water quality monitoring, nutrient cycling, and wetlands ecology. Applications are due by April 1.

Center for Coastal Studies Summer Internships - The Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown is seeking applicants for several summer internships to assist with the Center’s humpback whale research and environmental education programs. For more information, including application details, see the Center’s website.

Marine Wildlife Summer Internships - The New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance (NECWA) is accepting applicants for the Marine Wildlife Internship Program. NECWA accepts upper level high school, college, and graduate students who have an interest in the field of marine biology. NECWA interns work alongside staff members to conduct a variety of educational programs, research projects, and conservation activities. Internship positions are non-paid and can be coordinated privately or through a school or university program.

Calendar

Science Before Supper Talks - Through March, the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Associates will hold Science Before Supper Talks at the Falmouth Public Library. On February 4, MBL scientist Jerry Melillo will present Genie Out of the Bottle: Biological Feedbacks and the Acceleration of Climate Change. On March 24, MBL associate scientist Jennifer Morgan will present Lessons from the Lamprey on Spinal Cord Regeneration.

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 Greening Vacant Lots on February 9.

Marine Science Lectures - In 2016, the Northeastern University Marine Science Center is continuing its series of marine science lectures, which are scheduled through April. On February 9, Brandy Wilbur, STEM Coordinator at Swampscott High School, will present Keeping Current: Ocean Drifters in the High School Classroom. Lectures are free and open to the public. Check the Northeastern website for times and locations.

Environmental History Seminar - On February 9, the Massachusetts Historical Society will present The History of Ecological Restoration: From Bombs to Bac-O-Bits by Laura J. Martin of Harvard University. The seminar will be held at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston.

Marine Archaeology Lecture - On February 9, the Metro West Dive Club will present Hidden History-Maritime Archaeology in Massachusetts by Victor Mastone, Director of the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources. The talk will be held at the Courtyard Marriott on Speen Street in Natick. The lecture is free and all are welcome. For more information, see the Dive Club website.

Who Owns the Ocean - On February 11, Maritime Gloucester will host Who Owns the Ocean, a panel discussion on the Massachusetts Ocean Plan. Presenters will include Bruce Carlisle, CZM Director, and Jack Clarke, Director of Public Policy for Mass Audubon and Chair of the Massachusetts Ocean Advisory Commission. The Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan is the landmark blueprint to protect and sustainably use state ocean waters, safeguard critical marine habitat and important water-dependent uses, and set standards for new ocean-based development. This panel discussion will provide the background on how and why the plan was developed, explore the role of stakeholders, and provide an opportunity for questions and discussion.

Environmental History of Cape Cod - On February 11, Cape Cod Academy will host a presentation by John T. Cumbler, author of Cape Cod: An Environmental History of a Fragile Ecosystem, as part of the academy’s speaker series. This presentation will look at how Cape Codders have used the Cape's environment and how this use has changed over the last 300 years. The talk is free and open to the public.

Goldenrod Foundation Speaker Series - Through April, the Goldenrod Foundation will hold the Making Waves in Coastal Conservation Speaker Series at Brewster Hall in Plymouth. On February 13, Dorie Stolley will present O is for Osprey: A Conservation Success Story. All talks are free and open to the public.

Saturday Science - Through May, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster will host monthly sessions of Saturday Science, a hands-on look at scientific concepts through experiments for kids. On February 13, Strawberry DNA is for kids ages 6-10 who will separate the DNA out of strawberries.

Climate Science for Educators - From February 16-18, the New England Aquarium will hold the Teacher Workshop, Climate Science for Educators. During this three-part series, presenters will examine the use and distribution of natural resources, model the effects humans have on the climate, examine current natural disasters and predict effects of future disasters, and examine ways humans are developing solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

North Shore Resiliency Workshop - On February 18, CZM will partner with staff from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Salem Sound Coastwatch, NOAA Northeast Regional Office, 8 Towns and the Great Marsh, and the Saugus River Watershed Association to present a North Shore Resiliency Workshop at the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers. This workshop is for planners, conservation commissions, public works directors, engineers, municipal officials, and nonprofits who want to learn more about how to engage their communities in successful coastal resiliency planning and implementation. NOAA will be on hand to share their web-based tools, such as the Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper. Kathryn Glenn, CZM’s North Shore Regional Coordinator, will discuss lessons learned from CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grants and designing for successful resiliency projects. Information about potential sources of funding for coastal resiliency efforts will also be covered. This session is free and open to the public.

Birdwatching for Beginners - On February 18, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold Birdwatching for Beginners with Gretchen Moran Towers, who will present basic skills designed to enable bird identification through sight and sound. This session is followed by an outdoor venture to view birds in their natural habitat.

NEERS Spring Meeting—Call for Abstracts - From April 14-16, the New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS) will hold its Spring 2016 Meeting in York, Maine. Meeting presentations will be on a variety of topics related to estuaries and coastal environments. See the Call for Papers, which are due by February 22.

Coastal Summit - From February 23-25, the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association will hold the 2016 Coastal Summit, Healthy Coasts: A Wise Investment, in Washington, DC. Those involved in beach preservation—including elected officials, scientists, engineers, planners, government officials, and interested beach users—will share concerns over future management of the nation's beaches and shores and get an in-depth look at critical issues affecting beach preservation and management.

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 February 24, Keith Cialino, NOAA Northeast Region Marine Debris Coordinator, will present Talking Trash for Clean Oceans..or…The Turtle Ate My Grocery Bag. Keith will share NOAA’s work with local high school students on a service-learning project to prevent street trash from becoming marine debris. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Certified Floodplain Manager Workshop - On February 25, the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension will hold a Certified Floodplain Manager Workshop to introduce floodplain management and prepare attendees for the Certified Floodplain Manager exam, which will be administered on March 25. Registration is required by February 11.

Fish Passage Conference—Call for Abstracts and Posters - From June 20-22, the International Conference on River Connectivity Best Practices and Innovations will be held at UMass Amherst. Fish Passage 2016 is a national forum for researchers and practitioners to exchange findings and experiences on fish passage issues. This is a three-day conference with concurrent sessions in engineering, biology, management, and social issues. Oral presentation abstracts are due by February 24 and poster presentation abstracts are due by March 15.

CASE Conference - On February 25, the Center for the Advancement of STEM Education (CASE) with hold the 2016 CASE Conference at Bridgewater State University. This professional development event for teachers in grades K-12 will feature a Keynote Address by science journalist Heather Goldstone entitled All Climate Is Local: Lessons in Communicating Science to the Public.

CitiesAlive Conference—Call for Proposals - From November 1-4, the CitiesAlive: 14th Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference will take place in Washington, DC. Join sustainable building professionals and speakers from across the design, development, planning, and utility sectors for tours, training and plenary sessions, and a trade show to promote living architecture in support of urban resiliency to natural hazards, including hurricanes, fires, floods, and food shortages. See the Call for Proposals, which are due by February 26.

National Marine Educators Conference—Call for Proposals - From June 27-July 1, the National Marine Educators Association 2016 Conference,Making Waves: Current Connections in Marine Science, will be held in Orlando, Florida. This conference brings together marine educators from around the world to promote awareness and education of the global marine environment. See the Call for Presenter Proposals, which are due by February 29.

RES/CON Conference - From March 1-3, the 2016 RES/CON Conference will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. This conference, previously known as the International Disaster and Conference Expo, will focus on disaster and resiliency in a global environment. Topics include economic resilience, emergency management, coastal restoration and water management, homeland security, and business continuity.

Sea Rovers Clinic - From March 4-6, the Boston Sea Rovers will hold the 2016 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 2016 Clinic will include more than 20 daytime seminars, workshops, a marine sciences career fair, an international film festival, and a large display of dive equipment and services in New England.

MACC Conference - On March 5, the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) will hold the 2016 MACC Annual Environmental Conference in Worcester. Join more than 1,000 conservation commissioners, local officials, state and federal officials, consultants, and attorneys for the largest regular environmental conference in New England. CZM will be presenting workshops on regulating activities in Land Subject to Coastal Storm Flowage as well as how to interpret FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps and studies.

Cape Cod Natural History Conference - On March 5, the MassAudubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary will hold the 21st 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.

Boating Safety Course - From March 7 through May 15, the Massachusetts Environmental Police will offer Boat Massachusetts, a free, state and nationally approved boating safety course for boaters age 12 and older. The course 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.).

Fundamentals of Shellfish Farming - Beginning March 7, the Southeastern Massachusetts Aquaculture Center, Barnstable County Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Marine Program, and Woods Hole Sea Grant will offer an 8-week course on the basics of shellfish aquaculture. Classes will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Mondays from March 7 to May 2 in the Harborview Conference Room at the Barnstable County Complex on Route 6A in Barnstable. Students will be introduced to the subject of shellfish aquaculture, progressing from basic biology to an introduction to shellfish aquaculture to shellfish hatchery and nursery production to field grow-out of oysters and clams. The course will also include management of predators, pests, and diseases, and will provide basic information on business management, marketing, and permitting. For more the course description, see the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Marine Program website and for more information or to register, email Diane Murphy at dmurphy@whoi.edu or Abigail Archer at aarcher@barnstablecounty.org.

Coastal Construction Workshops - On March 9 and March 31, MEMA, DCR, MassDEP, FEMA, and CZM will co-sponsor a pair of one-day workshops on important state codes, regulations, and best practices for building and retrofitting homes and other buildings in coastal areas. All participants must register through the MEMA Training website for either the Plymouth workshop on March 9 or Gloucester workshop on March 31. (Please note: It is not necessary to enter the last four digits of your Social Security Number as part of the registration process. Enter 9999 or any four digits.)

Public Policy Forum - On March 9, the Consortium for Ocean Leadership will hold the 2016 Public Policy Forum, Science and Solution for a Resilient Ocean, in Washington, DC. This day-long public meeting offers an opportunity to discuss national issues of importance to the ocean community. The agenda features ocean policy discussions with representatives from Congress, federal agencies, industry, and the academic research community.

Ecological Landscaping Conference - From March 9-10, the Ecological Landscaping Association (ELA) will hold the ELA Conference and Eco-Marketplace, Sustaining the Living Landscape, in Amherst. The 2016 conference will explore topics including building and managing soils, growing and buying local, tree filters for stormwater management, and more.

Environmental Industry Summit - From March 9-11, the 2016 Environmental Industry Summit will be held in San Diego, California. This summit is a national three-day learning event that brings together professionals from the environmental industry. The summit features ample networking opportunities, presentations, and panel discussions from environmental industry executives and analysts.

High School Marine Science Symposium - The Massachusetts Marine Educators will hold the 2016 High School Marine Science Symposium in Boston on March 9 and Salem on March 16. Join hundreds of high schoolers and their teachers to learn about research and practices around marine science topics and issues. The event features both keynote speakers in a plenary format as well as hands-on break-out workshops led by scientists, policymakers, graduate students, and others engaged in marine-related careers.

Swamp Things - On March 11, the Southern New England Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society will hold its 2016 Winter Conference, Swamp Things: Installation and Restoration of Temporary Wetland Crossings in Sturbridge. This conference will bring together regional experts in the fields of energy transmission management, wetland crossing construction, and the various levels of environmental regulation to describe how wetland crossings are designed, permitted, constructed, and restored.

Local Environmental Action Conference - On March 13, the Mass Climate Action Network and the Toxics Action Center will hold Local Environmental Action 2016 at Northeastern University. This conference will feature workshops on energy efficiency, waste reduction, environmental justice, pipelines in New England, and other topics.

Benthic Ecology Meeting - From March 16-19, the 45th annual Benthic Ecology Meeting will be held in Portland, Maine. 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.

Salem Sound Coastwatch Symposium—Save the Date - From March 18-19, Salem Sound Coastwatch will hold the Salem Sound Coastwatch 25th Anniversary Symposium: Finding Solutions to Our Coastal Challenges. The March 18 session at Endicott College in Beverly will focus on coastal resiliency case studies and review past and future dredging projects with an eye toward mitigation solutions. Dr. Ellen Douglas, Associate Professor of Hydrology at UMass Boston, will be the keynote speaker. The March 19 session at Salem State University in Salem will focus on protecting habitats through water quality improvements and biological monitoring leading to action. Salem Mayor Kimberly Driscoll will be the keynote speaker. Participants can attend one or both sessions. For details, stay tuned to the Salem Sound website.

Grant Writing Workshops - In March and April, the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program and MassDEP have teamed up with Bay State Roads to present Proposals for Cleaner Water: A Grant Writing Workshop for municipal and nonprofit staff. The Commonwealth provides multiple opportunities to apply for funds to help with water resource management. These one-day workshops will provide some fundamental rules and best practices for developing competitive proposals to bring new money to local projects. The workshops will be held on March 22 in Taunton, March 30 in Lawrence, and April 7 in Sturbridge. Registration is required.

Environmental Biologist Conference - From March 23-25, the New England Association of Environmental Biologists (NEAEB) will hold its 40th annual meeting in Rockport, Maine. NEAEB 2016 is a three-day conference that provides a forum for presenting current work and research on pressing environmental issues relevant to the region.

Great Massachusetts Cleanup—Seeking Coordinators - On April 23, Keep Massachusetts Beautiful will hold the Great Massachusetts Cleanup. Cleanup coordinators are needed to organize litter cleanups in communities across the state. Cleanup dates are flexible. For more information, see the Keep Massachusetts Beautiful website or email info@keepmassbeautiful.org.

Coastal Summit—Call for Proposals - From December 10-15, Restore America’s Estuaries and The Coastal Society will present the 2016 Summit Our Coasts, Our Future, Our Choice in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Summit will bring together the coastal restoration and management communities for an integrated discussion to explore issues, solutions, and lessons. See the Call for Proposals, which are due by May 2.

SMAST Seminar Series - Through May, the UMass Dartmouth School for Marine and Science & Technology (SMAST) will hold the SMAST Spring 2016 Seminar Series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

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

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

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

Walks, Lectures, and Events on Cape Cod - Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary in Barnstable offer a variety of educational programs for children and adults. For more information, search the calendar of programs, classes, and activities for Wellfleet Bay and Long Pasture.

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

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

  • Smart Growth Conference - From February 11-13, the 15th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities, will be held in Portland, Oregon. The three-day conference focuses on cutting-edge policies and programs, projects, and best practices, as well as strategies and implementation tools that address the challenges of implementing smart growth development principles.
  • Erosion and Sediment Control Conference - From February 16-19, the 2016 Environmental Connection Conference will be held in San Antonio, Texas. The conference provides peer-reviewed education and products and technology that address four educational tracks: erosion and sediment control, stormwater management, surface water restoration, and MS4 management.
  • Ocean Sciences Meeting - From February 21-26, the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. The meeting covers topics in all areas of the ocean sciences discipline.
  • International LIDAR Mapping Forum - From February 22-24, the 2016 International LIDAR Mapping Forum will be held in Denver, Colorado, and will feature sessions on coastal zone mapping and lessons learned, modern hydrographic techniques, single photon LIDAR, and more.

Other Items of Interest

Environmental Education Awards - EEA is now accepting applications for the 2016 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 30.

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 two individuals and/or organizations 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 that exemplifies a sustainable environment and economy. Submit nomination forms by March 31 through the Council website.

EPA Environmental Merit Awards - EPA is seeking nominations for the 2016 Environmental Merit Awards, which will recognize environmental achievements during the past year. Award categories are available for individuals, businesses, governmental entities, other organizations, and lifetime achievement. Awards winners will be invited to a May ceremony in Boston. Nominations are due by February 12.

Marine Policy Fellowships - The NOAA Sea Grant College Program is accepting applications for the 2016 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. Applications are due by February 12.

New England Stormy Awards - The New England Stormwater Collaborative is seeking nominations for the New England Stormy Awards, which recognize simple, imaginative, and inventive ways that New England communities are increasing staff capacity, funding, or political support for stormwater management programs. Nominations are due by February 15.

Speak for the Ocean Video Contest - The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is seeking entries for the Speak for the Ocean video contest. Students can submit 30-second videos that give the ocean a voice. The Grand Prize is a trip to Woods Hole to tour the ocean research ship, the R/V Neil Armstrong, and a behind-the-scenes tour of WHOI to see how ocean scientists and engineers are working to understand Earth's ocean. Submissions are due by February 29.

Youth Preparedness Council - FEMA is seeking applicants for its Youth Preparedness Council, which was formed in 2012 to bring together leaders from across the country that are interested and engaged in advocating youth preparedness. Council members are selected based on their dedication to public service, their efforts in making a difference in their communities, and their potential to expand their impact as national advocates for youth preparedness. Applications are due by March 1. For instructions, see the FEMA website.

Marine Art Contest - Massachusetts Marine Educators and Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary are seeking entries from students in grades K-12 for the 2016 Marine Art Contest. Submissions should be based on the theme Marine Biodiversity of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Winning entries will become part of a touring exhibition and receive cash prizes. Entries are due by April 29.

Ocean Awareness Student Contest - The From the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Student Contest promotes ocean stewardship among high school students and provides cash prizes for winning essays, art, and advocacy. This year's theme, Making Meaning of Ocean Pollution, focuses on making meaningful connections between ocean health and human activity. Entries are due by June 13.

Woods Hole Field Trips - The Zephyr Education Foundation's Ocean Science and Technology Program hosts one-day college, high school, and middle school field trips in Woods Hole. Students participate in a hands-on scientific cruise on Vineyard Sound and are exposed to a sampling of the research activities, technology, facilities, and occupations at the laboratories in Woods Hole.

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

KidSummer - This summer, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will offer KidSummer, which provides a range of programs for 3-15 year olds that encourages learning and appreciation of the environment through age-appropriate, STEM-based curriculum and indoor/outdoor activities led by educators/naturalists. Registration is available for weekly sessions (June 27-August 12) through the museum’s FamilyID website.