April 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.

Coastal Erosion Commission

On March 27, the first meeting of a new Coastal Erosion Commission was held in Boston. Created by the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Bill, the commission is charged with investigating and documenting the levels and impacts of coastal erosion in the Commonwealth and developing strategies and recommendations to reduce, minimize, or eliminate the magnitude and frequency of coastal erosion and its adverse impacts on property, infrastructure, public safety, and beaches and dunes. Meeting topics included the introductions of members, review of the Commission’s charge, review of proposed plan for its meetings, and establishment and preliminary tasking of working groups. Presentations were made on: summaries of related national and state erosion management reviews and reports; overview of coastal geology, coastal processes, and shoreline management practices; and work underway on shoreline change and characterization. For more information, see the Commission's website.

Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan Public Workshops

In March, CZM held two workshops on the ongoing update of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan. Leads from six technical work groups (habitat, fisheries, sediment resources, recreational and cultural services, transportation and navigation, and energy and infrastructure) presented and got feedback on the findings and recommendations of the work group reports, including new and updated data, notable trends, and important issues. CZM would like to recognize SeaPlan (formerly the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership) for its facilitation of and support for these workshops. For more information, including the work group reports, see EEA’s Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan website.

CZM Conducts Congressional Briefing on Coastal Resiliency Efforts

On March 5, CZM Director Bruce Carlisle, along with a panel of three other coastal experts, provided a Congressional briefing on how state coastal programs and regional ocean partnerships work with local scientists and officials are working to build more resilient coastlines that better protect homes, businesses, and livelihoods. Speakers highlighted specific examples of federal and state/local partnerships through the coastal zone programs and how these efforts help build and maintain coastal resiliency (i.e., the ability to endure impacts associated with coastal storms, erosion, flooding, and sea level rise and to respond, recover, and adapt to its consequences). Director Carlisle highlighted CZM’s StormSmart Coasts program, which helps communities and homeowners address coastal erosion, flooding, and storm damage issues, and the Northeast Regional Ocean Council’s work as an effective forum for coordination, collaboration, and action on shared coastal resilience issues. The briefing was hosted by the Coastal States Organization (CSO), which represents coastal states and programs on legislative and policy issues relating to the sound management of coastal and ocean resources. For more details, including briefing documents, see the CSO website.

Follow CZM on Twitter

On April 1, CZM launched its new Twitter feed, which will give the latest information on CZM project updates, requests for proposals, job postings, comment opportunities, calendar items, and other time-sensitive notices, along with links to tools and information from the CZM website and other coastal zone management related items of interest. See https://twitter.com/MassCZM to see our tweets and to sign up to follow CZM.

2014 Mass Bays Programs Research and Planning Grants Announced

On March 11, the Patrick Administration announced nearly $75,000 in federal grants to fund four projects designed to restore and protect the Commonwealth’s coastal habitats and water quality. The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program’s Research and Planning Grants will fund efforts to restore degraded coastal ecosystems, better understand the impacts of sea level rise on coastal habitat, and inform policy decisions related to coastal resources. This year’s awards go to:

  • Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries - $15,500 to continue research on the impacts of small docks and piers on salt marsh vegetation in Massachusetts.
  • Friends of Herring River, Wellfleet/Truro - $20,000 to develop conceptual design options for the restoration of fish passage in the Upper Herring River watershed in Wellfleet.
  • Town of Essex - $20,000 to expand eelgrass transplanting efforts in Plum Island Sound and Essex Bay and address potential and observed impacts of invasive green crabs.
  • Jones River Watershed Association, Kingston - $19,480 to develop a community-based method to monitor climate change related impacts on salt marsh in the Jones River.

For more information, please see the EEA press release.

CZ-Tip: Plant Beachgrass Now to Capture Wind-Blown Sand this Summer

While the blustery winds, cold temperatures, and snow dominates the landscape this winter, most people are likely ready for spring. And what better way to welcome the season of growth and regeneration than to start planting. If your coastal property includes a beach or dune, now is the perfect time to plant that lean, green, sand-catching machine known as American beachgrass. This native plant with its long, upright leaves and fast-growing underground root structure not only looks nice, but also helps catch and hold blowing sand, building the beach and effectively stabilizing and building your dune and protecting your property. See CZ-Tip: Dune Building with Beachgrass for details on beachgrass benefits and tips on how to plant it successfully.

Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities

Conservation Partners Grants - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are seeking proposals for the Conservation Partners Program. This program provides grants to support field biologists and other habitat professionals (botanists, ecologists, foresters, etc.) to partner with NRCS field offices to deliver technical assistance for high priority conservation objectives. The program will help increase the capacity of farmers, ranchers, foresters, and other private landowners to optimize natural resource conservation practices on private lands. Funds may also be used for outreach, monitoring, evaluation, and capacity building. Pre-proposals are due by April 17.

Healthy Communities Grant Program - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking applications for the 2014 Healthy Communities Grant Program, which can fund projects that target resources to benefit communities at risk from impacts from climate change, stormwater runoff, and other risks. Proposals up to $25,000 are allowed and a 5 percent match of the total proposed budget is required. For more information, see the 2014 Application Guidance. Initial project summaries are due by April 24.

§319 Grants - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is seeking proposals for the §319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Competitive Grants Program to fund comprehensive projects that address nonpoint sources of pollution affecting water quality. For details, see the Request for Responses on the COMMBUYS website. For more information about past §319 projects, see the MassDEP website. On April 9 at 10:00 a.m., MassDEP will hold a public information session at the MassDEP offices in Worcester. Potential applicants can ask questions about the §319 program, including project eligibility and administrative procedures. Proposals are due by May 30.

Parks and Conservation Grants - EEA’s Division of Conservation Services (DCS) is seeking applications for the fiscal year 2015 Conservation Assistance for Small Communities, Parkland Acquisition and Renovations for Communities (PARC), Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND), Conservation Partnership, and Landscape Partnership grants. Conservation Assistance grants provide reimbursement funding to small municipalities to prepare Open Space and Recreation Plans and/or appraisals (requirements for other DCS grant programs). PARC grants help communities to acquire parkland, develop new parks, and renovate existing parks. LAND grants provide funds to municipal conservation commissions for the purchase of conservation land and conservation restrictions. Conservation Partnership grants provide funds to nonprofit organizations for land acquisitions. Landscape Partnership grants provide funds to municipalities, nonprofits, and EEA agencies for large land acquisitions (greater than 500 acres). Conservation Assistance applications are due by May 30, PARC and LAND grants applications are due by June 18, Conservation Partnership applications are due by June 20, and Landscape Partnership are due by July 31.

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

  • 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 nonprofit 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 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

Shellfish, Nitrogen, and the Health of Our Coastal Waters - Woods Hole Sea Grant and Cape Cod Cooperative Extension have released Shellfish, Nitrogen, and the Health of Our Coastal Waters, a four-page bulletin that summarizes the potential for shellfish to be used to mitigate the effects of excess nutrients in coastal waters. Cape Cod, in particular, is grappling with the potentially enormous costs of reducing the nutrient load to coastal waters and this document discusses the potential and the challenges to using shellfish production as part of a nutrient reduction plan.

Green Stormwater Management Planning Resource - EPA has released Greening CSO Plans: Planning and Modeling Green Infrastructure for Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control, which provides tools for municipalities and sewer authorities to help develop and evaluate CSO control alternatives that include green infrastructure practices. Green infrastructure is considered an attractive way to reduce stormwater flows going into the sewer system to help reduce costs at sewage treatment plants. The resource also explains how to use modeling tools such as EPA’s Storm Water Management Model to optimize different combinations of gray and green infrastructure to reduce both sewer overflow volume and the number of overflow events.

Preparing for Extreme Weather Events - The Water Research Foundation has released Water Quality Impacts of Extreme Weather-Related Events, a report that identifies and characterizes water quality impacts from source to tap caused by extreme weather-related events. The report, which aims to provide water utilities with a set of tools to identify and assess their vulnerabilities and develop effective adaptation strategies, includes dozens of case studies documenting the lessons learned from  weather-related events.

Water Documentary - Pennsylvania State University has released Water Blues, a documentary that details how the nation’s potable water sources are chronically threatened by an out-of-date water infrastructure, stormwater runoff, and record-breaking droughts. Filmmakers at Penn State Public Media produced this interactive documentary project to explore how cities across the country are adopting innovative green solutions to these issues.

Massachusetts Bays Newsletter - The winter 2014 issue of the Massachusetts Bays Newsletter, a quarterly update of the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program, announces the recipients of the 2014 Mass Bays Research and Planning Grants, promotes two ongoing lecture series in Salem Sound and the South Shore, discusses recent work on the Upper North Shore to better understand the impacts of the European green crab on eelgrass, and provides information on many other funding opportunities, activities, publications, and events occurring throughout the five Mass Bays regions.

Ebb & Flow - The March 2014 issue of Ebb & Flow, the Massachusetts Department of Ecological Restoration eNewsletter, features articles on protecting fish habitat on the South Shore, progress on restoration projects, and other updates, grant opportunities, events, and resource links.

Stellwagen Bank E-Notes - The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary has released the January-March 2014 edition of Stellwagen Bank E-Notes, a newsletter that provides the latest information about sanctuary research, education, and resource conservation. This issue includes articles on the new citizen science program for yachters, a proposed habitat research area, and other sanctuary stories, news, and notes.

Right Whale News - The February 2014 issue of Right Whale News, a quarterly independent newsletter dedicated to the conservation and recovery of the North Atlantic right whale, features articles on whale sitings this season, the final ship-strike rule, a calendar of events, and other right whale news and notes.

Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The March-April 2014 issue of MPA News features articles on the key features of successful marine protected areas (MPA), marine biodiversity offsets, and other MPA news and notes.

WHOI News - The March 2014 issue of WHOI News, the monthly eNewsletter from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), features articles on the new WHOI research vessel Neil Armstrong, oil spill research, and other ocean science research news from WHOI.

Natural Hazards Observer - The March 2014 issue of the Natural Hazards Observer, the bimonthly periodical of the Natural Hazards Center in Boulder, Colorado, features articles on the failure to plan for the chemical spill in West Virginia, 2013 insurance losses, heat and floods, and other natural hazards news and information.

Marine Ecosystems and Management Information Service - The April-May 2014 edition of Marine Ecosystems and Management, the bimonthly information service on marine ecosystem-based management from the University of Washington School of Marine Affairs, features articles on managing resilient ecosystems, marine spatial planning, and other notes and news.

Web-Based Resources

Free NOAA Nautical Charts - After a three-month trial period, PDF versions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) nautical charts will be free to the public on a permanent basis. These free PDFs are digital images of traditional nautical charts that can be useful for recreational boaters when planning sailing and fishing trips. For more details, see the NOAA Press Release. To get started, see NOAA’s interactive chart locator.

Free Online Spill Training - The BoatU.S. Foundation has launched Spill Prevention and Response for Marina Staff, a free online training course on preventing and responding to fuel and oil spills. BoatU.S. worked with Washington Sea Grant to develop the course, which features videos, interactive exercises, and interviews with spill responders, marina owners, and managers.

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.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking comments on the administration of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). FEMA is proposing a new method of program delivery that may provide states and tribes with increased oversight in the implementation of the grant program. For details on this opportunity, including commenting instructions, see the Federal Register posting. Comments are due by May 12.

Proposed Flood Hazard Determinations: Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop - FEMA is seeking comments on the proposed Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for communities in Suffolk County (Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop). The FIRMs and FIS are the basis for the floodplain management measures that a community must adopt to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. The preliminary FIRMs for the proposed BFEs are available on the FEMA website and at each community's city/town hall. Submit comments, identified by Docket No. FEMA-B-1356, by June 4 to Luis Rodriguez at Luis.Rodriguez3@fema.dhs.gov.

No Discharge Areas - EPA is seeking comments on designating the remaining marine waters of Massachusetts as a boat sewage No Discharge Area (NDA). To date, 80% of state waters have already been designated and only three areas remain undesignated: a strip of water between two and three miles from shore ranging from Manchester-by-the-Sea to Marshfield, a corridor in Vineyard Sound, and a corridor in Nantucket Sound. This final NDA petition to EPA requests a determination that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for all coastal waters of the Commonwealth. For more information on NDAs in Massachusetts, see CZM’s NDA website. To submit comments, which are due by April 23, see the Federal Register posting.

Job Postings

AmeriCorps Cape Cod - AmeriCorps Cape Cod is seeking applications for 32 open positions for 2014-2015. AmeriCorps is a federally funded national service organization that provides services that address critical needs in communities across the country. AmeriCorps Cape Cod members partner with various organizations to conserve, protect, and restore the ecosystems of Cape Cod. Projects include habitat restoration, water quality monitoring, invasive species removal, trail building and maintenance, and shellfish propagation. Members receive a stipend, free housing, skills training, health insurance, a travel allowance, and an educational award of $5,550 after successful completion of the program. Applications are due by April 25.

Calendar

Training Decision Makers - In April, the Buzzards Bay Coalition will hold 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 next workshop on April 2 will be How to Plan for Clean Water in Real Estate Development.

Aquarium Lecture Series - Through June 3, the New England Aquarium will host the Aquarium Lecture Series, which will feature free lectures and films by scientists, environmental writers, photographers, and others. The series begins on April 2 with Technology to Help Us Save Our Oceans by Shah Selbe, engineer and conservation technologist, National Geographic Emerging Explorer and New England Aquarium Marine Conservation Action Fund grantee.

Fish and Fisheries Seminar Series - Each Thursday in April at 7:00 p.m., the Large Pelagics Research Center will present the 2014 Fish and Fisheries Public Seminar Series at Maritime Gloucester. The first seminar on April 3 will be Atlantic Bluefin, Bigeye, and Billfish: Research for Sustainable Fisheries—And the Challenges That Go With It by Dr. Molly Lutcavage, Large Pelagics Research Center, UMass Amherst.

Climate Change and Carbon Lecture - On April 7, the Orleans Conservation Trust will present Climate Change, the Global Carbon Cycle, and the Management of Carbon on Land at the Orleans Yacht Club. Dr. Richard A. Houghton, III, Acting President and Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center, will discuss the global carbon cycle, terrestrial ecosystems, land use change, and the response of ecosystems to recent and expected climate change.

Cape Cod Coastal Erosion Control Workshop - On April 9, a Cape Cod Coastal Erosion Control Workshop will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott, 707 Iyannough Road, Hyannis. This conference for local officials will feature talks on erosion control technology, trapping wind-blown sand, wave attenuation devices, and legal and regulatory issues. The keynote address will be StormSmart Properties: New Resources for Property Owners to Address Coastal Erosion and Storm Damage by CZM’s Coastal Geologist, Rebecca Haney. For more information, email Shannon Bragg at shannon.bragg@ejprescott.com by April 4.

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 April 9 will be Relevance of Extreme Events for Breeding Birds: Coping with Extreme Weather and Climate Change.

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 April 10, David Ray will present The Process and Benefits of Elevating Your Home.

Water Resources Symposium - On April 11, Tufts University's Water: Systems, Science, and Society Program (WSSS) will hold the fifth annual WSSS Water Symposium in Boston. The theme for the 2014 symposium is Water & Cities: Shaping the Flow of Our Urban Future. Students, academics, and professionals in the greater Boston area and across the nation from the public, private, and non-governmental sectors will explore many considerations and techniques used in valuing water throughout the world.

Whales and Seals Field School - From April 11-13, Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary will hold Whales and Seals of Cape Cod, a three-day field school for adults. Attendees will go on two boat trips, walk beaches, and explore harbors to view a variety of species including grey and harbor seals, humpback whales, fin whales, minke whales, white-sided dolphins, harbor porpoises, and North Atlantic right whales. Lectures will complement the outdoor field experiences.

Beneath the Waves Film Festival - On April 12, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and Atlantic White Shark Conservancy will host the Beneath the Waves Film Festival. A variety of short environmental films with a focus on sharks, whales, and oysters will be screened. After the films, there will be a question and answer period with a panel of experts.

Sea Semester Spring Lecture Series - Through May, as part of its Spring Lecture Series, Sea Semester will hold monthly lectures in Woods Hole. On April 13, Dr. Charles Lea will present Fish and Squid & the Open Ocean Environment.

Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Workshop - On April 17, SeaPlan, in coordination with the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, will hold a workshop entitled Findings and Recommendations of the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning Study for Water Quality Infrastructure in New Bedford, Fairhaven, and Acushnet. Though the target audience is municipal employees, staff, and waterfront users in these communities, other interested federal, state, regional, and local partners are encouraged to attend to help guide the discussion and formulate priorities. This morning workshop will be held at the Acushnet Council on Aging, 59 South Main Street, Acushnet. A continental breakfast and light refreshments will be provided. Registration is required.

Cambridge Science Festival - From April 18-27, the Cambridge Science Festival will be held throughout Cambridge. On April 24, several festival events will focus on oceans, including Dive Into Oceanography, a presentation that highlights the efforts by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to better understand aquatic environments and develop the technology to be able to further explore the world's oceans.

Walk Inside the Inflatable Whale - On April 23, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will present Walk Inside the Inflatable Whale. Learn all about the magnificent whale’s behavior and habits from the inside out in a 44-foot inflatable whale. Registration is recommended.

Annual Riser Lecture - On April 25, the Northeastern Marine Science Center will hold the Annual Riser Lecture, Ecosystem Tipping Points, Chemical Ecology, and the Continuing Death Spiral of Coral Reefs by Dr. Mark Hay, Professor, Harry and Linda Teasley Chair in Environmental Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Massachusetts Park Serve Day - On April 26, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation's (DCR) seventh annual Park Serve Day will be held at state parks and beaches throughout the Commonwealth. This statewide day of volunteer service helps to get Massachusetts parks and beaches ready for summer. Since 2007, thousands of volunteers have participated in dozens of projects, including picking up litter along ocean beaches, clearing debris from hiking trails, painting benches, and planting trees and flowers at picnic areas. To sign up for an event, see the Park Serve Day website.

Charles River Cleanup - On April 26 from 9:00 a.m. to noon, the 15th Annual Charles River Cleanup will be held as part of American Rivers' National River Cleanup. The cleanup, which coincides with DCR's Park Serve Day, will bring out thousands of volunteers to help beautify the Charles River and its tributaries. Volunteers will pick up trash and clean the riverbanks at more than 100 sites from Bellingham to Boston.

Shark Talk - On April 29, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will host a talk with Dr. Greg Skomal, senior fisheries biologist with Massachusetts Marine Fisheries and renowned shark expert. Dr. Skomal will present research from 2009-2013, where he and his crew tagged 38 white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod with coded acoustic transmitters and/or satellite-based tracking tags.

Flood Risk Webinar - On April 30, 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.

Underwater in Salem Sound Lecture Series - On April 30, Salem Sound Coastwatch, as part of its free monthly Underwater in Salem Sound lectures at Marblehead's Abbot Public Library, will host its Executive Director Barbara Warren for the lecture Shellfish, Shellfish Everywhere and Not a Clam to Eat!

NEERS Spring Meeting - From May 1-3, the New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS) will hold its Spring 2014 Meeting in Salem. Meeting presentations will be on a variety of topics related to estuaries and coastal environments.

Green Infrastructure Webcasts - EPA’s 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, More Bang for the Buck: Integrating Green Infrastructure into Existing Public Works Projects, is on May 6.

GIS and Water Resources Conference - From May 12-14, the American Water Resources Association will hold the Spring Specialty Conference GIS and Water Resources VIII - Data to Decisions in Salt Lake City, Utah. Researchers, practitioners, and academicians will come together to learn and share the latest and best practices on using GIS to make informed water resource decisions.

Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference - From May 19-21, Antioch University New England and EPA Region 1 will host Local Solutions: Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference at Antioch in Keene, New Hampshire. This regional conference for local planners, decision-makers, and educators will focus on how to create healthy resilient communities that are better prepared to handle severe weather and climate impacts.

Environmental Business Council Awards - 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.

Cape Coastal Conference—Save the Date - From June 5-6, the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve will host the 2nd Annual Cape Coastal Conference, State of the Cape: Implementing Strategies to Improve Water Quality & Coastal Resilience in Barnstable.

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 the sustainability of coastal cities with increasing storms, flooding, precipitation, and surges. This interdisciplinary conference will address concerns over changes in sea levels, storm surges, extreme precipitation events, and flooding and discuss options for adapting to these risks.

Boating Safety Course - Through June, 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.).

Walks, Lectures, and Events on Outer Cape Cod - Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary offers 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 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 items posted in the last CZ-Mail are still to come:

  • 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 - From 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.

Other Items of Interest

Marine Sanctuaries Essay Contests - The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation in partnership with the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is seeking entries for the Voyage to Discover Essay Contest for middle and high school students. Applicants must submit an essay on an African-American individual or group who made a significant contribution to U.S. maritime history. Submissions are due by April 4.

Walter B. Jones and NOAA Excellence Awards for Coastal and Ocean Resource Management - NOAA is seeking nominations for the Walter B. Jones Memorial and NOAA Excellence Awards for Coastal and Ocean Resource Management. The program is open to individuals, organizations, state and local government agencies, and their employees. There are several award categories including the Susan Snow-Cotter Award for Excellence in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management named for the former CZM Director. All nominations must be received by April 15.

2014 Nickerson Fellowship - The Nickerson Conservation Fellowship Committee is soliciting proposals from self-directed, qualified individuals whose work will contribute to the knowledge of natural and cultural resources within the Cape Cod National Seashore. Proposals will be accepted for research in the broad areas of the natural and social sciences, including terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem processes, biotic and abiotic ecosystem components, cultural and natural resource management, and the political and social implications of resource protection and management. The 2014 fellowship will provide a $2,000 stipend as well as free housing. For details, including application information, see the fellowship application. The application deadline is April 15.

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.

Marine Art Contest - Massachusetts Marine Educators and Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary are seeking entries from students in grades K-12 for the 2014 Marine Art Contest. Drawings should be based on the theme Amazing Ocean Creatures of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Winning entries will become part of a touring exhibition and will be used in the 2014-2015 calendar. Entries are due by May 2.

Summer Science School - In July and August, the Waquoit Bay Reserve Foundation sponsors a Summer Science School for students entering grades 2-12. Each session is one week and children are permitted to attend one session.

Coastal Ocean Science Academy - The Northeastern University Marine Science Center in Nahant is accepting applications for the 2014 Coastal Ocean Science Academy, a two-week summer experience held from August 11-22 that is open to students entering grades 9-12. Participants experience firsthand diverse New England coastal habitats and marine resources, engaging in hands-on research and inquiry activities. For 2014, the program will also offer a one-week middle school session from July 21-25.