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CZ-Mail - April 2020

The monthly electronic newsletter from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).

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, send a blank email (please be sure that the email is completely blank, with no signature line) to join-env-czmail@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@mass.gov. 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.

Highlights

CZM Office Update - Due to COVID-19, all CZM offices are closed for in-person services. Please see COVID-19: Status of Executive Branch Office Locations for updates on this closure. During this time, CZM staff are working remotely and are available to assist with coastal management issues. See Contact CZM for details, and please note that email is the better contact option at this time.

Pre-RFR Support for CZM Grant Programs - As announced in the last CZ-Mail, CZM anticipates the release of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Requests for Responses (RFR) for the Coastal Resilience Grant Program and the Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program later this spring. Coastal Resilience Grants provide funding and technical assistance to coastal communities and eligible nonprofit organizations to reduce risks associated with coastal storms, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise through innovative and transferable local projects. The CPR Grant Program provides funds to municipalities within the Massachusetts Coastal Watershed to identify and improve water quality impaired by nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. The following CZM support is available for these grants:

  • Direct Support from CZM Staff - CZM staff are available to provide support with these grant programs—and up until the RFRs are released, CZM can discuss project ideas and eligibility for these grants with potential applicants. See the contact information at the bottom of the Coastal Resilience Grant page and the CPR Grant page to connect with CZM staff.
  • Pre-RFR Webinar - CZM will host two informational webinars on the Coastal Resilience and CPR Grant Programs on April 9 and April 13. The webinars will review the goals and requirements of the grants, cover anticipated funding levels and timelines, highlight recent projects, and allow time for questions and discussion of potential project ideas. An RSVP is not required. Please see details below for options to join the webinar. If you have never downloaded Zoom, please log in a few minutes early to complete that process.

    Date and Time: April 9, 10:00 a.m.-noon

    Date and Time: April 13, 10:00 a.m.-noon

    The webinar will be recorded and posted on both grant websites after April 13.

  • Announcements of RFR Postings - To receive an email announcement that the RFRs are posted, please email Patricia Bowie at patricia.bowie@mass.gov for Coastal Resilience Grants and Cristina Kennedy at cristina.kennedy@mass.gov for CPR Grants. Links to the RFRs will also be posted on the CZM Jobs and Grants page and on the grant program web pages when the grant rounds officially open.

Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities

Please note: Due to COVID-19, many of these opportunities have extended deadlines, application modifications, or other changes. Please check the links to each funding opportunity frequently for any updates.

Coastal Resilience Grants - CZM anticipates the release of the FY 2021 RFR for the Coastal Resilience Grant Program later this spring. Coastal Resilience Grants provide funding and technical assistance to coastal communities and eligible nonprofit organizations to reduce risks associated with coastal storms, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise through innovative and transferable local projects. CZM staff will host two informational webinars on the Coastal Resilience and Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Programs on April 9 and April 13. See Pre-RFR Support for CZM Grant Programs at the beginning of this CZ-Mail for additional details.

Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grants - CZM anticipates the release of the FY 2021 RFR for the CPR Grant Program later this spring. The CPR grant program provides funds to municipalities within the Massachusetts Coastal Watershed to identify and improve water quality impaired by nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. CZM staff will host two informational webinars on the Coastal Resilience and Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Programs on April 9 and April 13. See Pre-RFR Support for CZM Grant Programs at the beginning of this CZ-Mail for additional details.

Pre-RFR Webinars for Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Grants - The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) anticipates the release of the FY 2021 RFRs for Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program Planning and Action Grants later this month. The MVP Program provides support for Massachusetts cities and towns to plan for climate change and implement key adaptation actions for resiliency. Prior to the release of the RFRs, EEA will host three webinars to review the RFRs and application processes, highlight RFR changes, and explore best practices to integrate MVP principles into Action Grants. The webinars will be held on the following dates:

Please register for only one session. Webinar links and call-in details will be posted on the registration page and emailed to those registered in advance of the webinar. For the most up-to-date information, including MVP Program contacts, see the MVP Program Information page.

Healthy Estuaries Grants - The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Partnership (MassBays) is seeking proposals for the 2020 Healthy Estuaries Grants. Eligible projects include habitat research, near-shore monitoring and data analysis, and restoration planning initiatives that advance the goals and priorities described in the 2019 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. To view the RFR and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. For details on past projects, see the MassBays website. Pre-proposals are due by April 2 at noon. Full proposals, by invitation only, will be due by May 1.

Parks and Conservation Grants - EEA’s Division of Conservation Services (DCS) is seeking applications for the FY 2021 Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC), Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity (LAND), and Conservation Partnership grants. PARC grants help communities acquire parkland, develop new parks, and renovate existing parks. LAND grants provide funds to municipal conservation commissions to purchase conservation land and conservation restrictions. Conservation Partnership grants provide funds to non-profit organizations for land acquisitions. DCS has scheduled two workshops on the PARC and LAND grants—on April 29 in West Springfield and on May 12 in Boston. PARC and LAND grant applications are due by 3:00 p.m. on July 15. Conservation Partnership applications are due by 3:00 p.m. on July 20.

Land and Water Conservation Fund Grants—DEADLINE EXTENDED - EEA’s Division of Conservation Services (DCS) is seeking proposals for Land and Water Conservation Fund Grants, which provide up to $750,000 in matching funds to state agencies and local governments to acquire land for outdoor recreation, build or renovate parks, or conduct trail work. See How to Apply for details. Applications are now due by April 8 at 3:00 p.m.

§319 Grants - On April 2, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) anticipates the release of FY 2021 RFR for the §319 Nonpoint Source Competitive Grants Program to fund comprehensive projects that address nonpoint sources of pollution affecting water quality. For more information, including a link to the RFR (once released), see the MassDEP website. Proposals are expected to be due on or around June 4.

Massachusetts Dredging Program Grants—DEADLINE EXTENDED - The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development is seeking proposals from coastal communities for Massachusetts Dredging Program Grants, which provide construction-phase funding for saltwater dredging. These competitive grants for municipalities focus on “shovel-ready projects that contribute to the economic significance, public safety, recreational value, and/or coastal resiliency of the Commonwealth’s coastal harbors.” See How to Apply for details, including questions and answers about the 2020 grants. Applications are now due by April 6.

Pre-RFR Conference Call for Water Quality Management Planning Grants - On April 8 at 10 a.m., MassDEP will hold a Pre-RFR Information Call to discuss potential project ideas for the upcoming round of the §604(b) Water Quality Management Planning Grants to fund nonpoint source assessment and planning projects. Potential applicants are encouraged to call into this informational session. The pre-RFR announcement and information about the program and past §604(b) projects are available on the MassDEP website.

Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance Grants—DEADLINE EXTENDED - The Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) is seeking proposals from Massachusetts municipalities for the Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance Grant Program to replace undersized, perched, and/or degraded culverts in areas with high ecological value with new structures that meet environmental design and structural standards along with climate resiliency criteria. Only projects that will meet the goals of the Massachusetts Stream Crossing Standards are eligible (see DER’s River Restoration: Culvert Replacements page for information on the standards). Total funding of $750,000 to $1.5 million is anticipated for Fiscal Year 2021. To view the RFR and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Applications are now due by April 15.

Southeast New England Network Call for Participants - The Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Network is seeking qualified applicants to provide technical, financial, and training assistance on stormwater management and ecological restoration to municipalities, tribes, and nonprofits in the SNEP watershed. Assistance will be offered through the program network and by members of the pre-approved consultant pool. See the Call for Participants for details, including the evaluation criteria and local commitment information. For assistance with the application, contact Project Manager, Jon Kachmar, at jon.kachmar@maine.edu. Submissions are due by April 15.

BoatUS Grassroots Grants - The BoatUS Foundation is seeking applications for its Grassroots Grants. Up to $10,000 is available to local volunteer organizations to promote education on safe and clean boating. Applications are accepted year round.

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

  • Small Communities Grants - DCS is seeking applications for the FY 2020 Small Communities Grant Program. The program provides funding to municipalities with 6,000 or fewer residents to produce Open Space and Recreation Plans, complete other plans to facilitate land conservation, and/or prepare appraisals as required to apply for the other DCS grant programs. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The final deadline is May 8. See the application instructions for details.

Web-Based and Mobile-User Resources

New Online Ocean Education Resources - Many organizations have developed specific online ocean education resources to help parents and teachers during the COVID-19 outbreak. CZM is in the process of developing a clearinghouse of these resources. Some examples include:

See CZM’s Massachusetts Coastal and Ocean Education Guide for K-12 Teachers for a link to our new COVID-19 ocean education clearinghouse when it is available, along with additional resources for educators.

Preparedness Talks for Emergency Managers - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and partners have released a new episode of PrepTalks, presentations by experts on emergency preparedness. Why People Underprepare for Disasters by Dr. Howard Kunreuther, Co-Director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses biases in decision-making when there is uncertainty and proposes a process to achieve greater resilience through deliberative thinking. Each PrepTalk includes a video of the presentation, a discussion guide, and related resources.

Bow Seat Resource Studio - The Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs Resource Studio includes lesson plans, activities, data visualization tools, and more for teachers and students to use art and creativity in environmental education.

Environmental Education Resources - The Earth Day Network has an online Environmental Education Resource Library that includes program ideas, lessons, and activities for Earth Day and beyond.

New Case Study and Data from NOAA Digital Coast - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Digital Coast has posted these new resources:

Products/Publications

Neponset River Water Quality Report - The Neponset River Watershed Association has released the 2019 Neponset River Water Quality Report (PDF, 7 MB), which provides details of sampling conducted by volunteers throughout the Neponset watershed in 2019. Results show that E. coli contamination continued to worsen over the last 10 years, while dissolved oxygen continued to meet targets.

Climate Change Communication Guide for Educators - The Cornell University Press has released Communicating Climate Change: A Guide for Educators, a free book with methods for educators to better communicate climate change information.

Woods Hole Sea Grant Program Guide - The 2020-2022 Woods Hole Sea Grant Program Guide, Putting Science to Work for Massachusetts Coastal Communities, provides details on research funded by Woods Hole Sea Grant, as well as education, outreach, and communication efforts for the next two years.

Newsletters and Other Periodicals

Buzzards Bay Coalition Newsletter - The latest edition of The Bay Buzz from the Buzzards Bay Coalition features stories on a $1.4 million Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant to protect 68 acres of critical habitat on Cuttyhunk, a grant awarded to conduct a demonstration project to restore eelgrass in West Falmouth, and other regional news, volunteer opportunities, and events.

MassBays Newsletter - The Spring 2020 issue of the MassBays Newsletter, the quarterly update from the MassBays National Estuary Partnership, covers the current Call for Pre-Proposals for Healthy Estuaries Grants, the new Coastal Monitoring Circuit Rider, Jill Carr, and resources and news from around the Bays. Consider subscribing to receive updates directly.

Massachusetts Lobstermen’s News - The March 2020 Newspaper (PDF, 15 MB) from the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) includes stories on February meetings to discuss anticipated updates to trap fishery rules to protect endangered whales in the Atlantic Ocean, the Lobster Institute’s Canada/U.S. Town Meeting held in January on the future of the lobster industry, and other public notices, updates, and lobster news.

NOAA HabitatNews - The March 2020 issue of HabitatNews, a newsletter of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, includes articles on a $3.5 million donation to assist NOAA’s work to restore seven reefs in the Florida Keys, restoration efforts along the Buffalo River in New York, release of a final restoration plan to restore river habitats affected by oil spills in Maine, and other marine fisheries habitat news.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management - The February/March 2020 edition of The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management, the monthly newsletter on ocean planning and ecosystem-based management from the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, focuses on the mental health issues associated with work on marine conservation during a time of climate change.

Jobs/Internship Postings

North and South Rivers Watershed Internships - The North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSRWA) is seeking applicants for three internships. The Research and Monitoring Internship is a paid position for upper-level college students studying biology, chemistry, or environmental science who will assist with field work, data entry and analysis, public outreach, and events. The Eelgrass Monitoring Internship is an unpaid position for college seniors or graduate students studying biology, chemistry, or environmental science who will organize, coordinate, and train August eelgrass survey volunteers, maintain survey equipment, and assist with survey data entry and organization. The Marketing Internship is an unpaid position for college students who will help promote the upcoming NSRWA 50th anniversary and other events and programs through the press, NSRWA website, and social media. For more information, see the Internship Opportunities page.

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.

Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comments on the proposed 2020 Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity (MSGP). The proposed five-year permit, once finalized, will replace the EPA's existing MSGP that will expire on June 4 and will provide permit coverage to eligible operators in all areas of the country where EPA is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting authority, including Massachusetts. The proposed permit and fact sheet can be found on the EPA website. For additional details, EPA will host an informational webcast on April 9 to provide an overview of the proposed permit changes. Submit comments by May 1 though regulations.gov.

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

  • Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Management Plan - NOAA is seeking public comment on the review of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Management Plan. To initiate the review, NOAA has released the 2020 Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Condition Report (PDF, 9 MB), which reviews the resources and ecosystem services within the sanctuary, including stresses on the resources, current conditions and trends, and management responses. Comments may be submitted online or by mail. For more information, see the Sanctuary website or Regulations.gov. Comments are due by April 10.

Calendar - Individual Events and Announcements

Please note: Due to COVID-19, social distancing recommendations and requirements are in place. Consequently, many events are being cancelled, postponed, or conducted virtually. For this edition of CZ-Mail, events are listed by previously announced date with a link to more information. Please check these links frequently for any updates.

Neponset River Spring Cleanup - April 25, sponsored by the Neponset River Watershed Association and held at various locations along the Neponset River.

Options for Adaptation, Risk Management, and Resilience Building in a Changing Climate: Q&A about the IPCC Special Report - May 19, a webinar sponsored by Open Communications for the Ocean.

NEERS Spring Meeting—Call for Abstracts - June 4-6, sponsored by the New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS) and held in Salem. Abstracts due April 9.

World Oceans Day Festival - June 7, hosted by the New England Aquarium in Boston.

World Oceans Day - June 8, organized by the Ocean Project and held at many locations around the world.

Capitol Hill Ocean Week - June 9-11, sponsored by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and held in Washington, DC.

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

Calendar - Multiple/Ongoing Events

Please note: Due to COVID-19, social distancing recommendations and requirements are in place. Consequently, many events are being cancelled, postponed, or conducted virtually. For this edition of CZ-Mail, previously announced events are listed alphabetically with a link to more information. Please check these links frequently for any updates.

Boating Safety - Massachusetts Environmental Police Boating Safety Courses were scheduled through July across Massachusetts. Many classes have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please check back for future classes.

Buzzards Bay Events - Events from Buzzards Bay area organizations compiled by the Buzzards Bay Coalition.

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History Programs - Various events at the museum listed on their calendar.

Conservation Commission Education - Workshops, webinars, and trainings scheduled across Massachusetts and posted by the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC). See the MACC Complete Education Catalog and Community Calendar.

Mass Audubon Cape Cod Walks, Lectures, and Events - Programs for children and adults hosted by Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary.

Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary Programs and Activities - Programs for children and adults in and around Ipswich.

Mass Audubon Joppa Flats Education Center Programs and Events - Programs for children and adults in and around Newburyport.

Mass Audubon North River Wildlife Sanctuary Activities and Events - Programs for children and adults in and around Marshfield.

Mystic River Watershed Events - Events throughout the watershed compiled by the Mystic River Watershed Association.

National Marine Sanctuaries Webinars - Periodic webinars hosted by the sanctuary system.

NOAA Planet Stewards Educator Events - Webinars, workshops, and book club sessions from the NOAA Planet Stewards Education Project.

OneNOAA Science Seminars - Webinars and online meetings and seminars on science and climate issues from several NOAA seminar partners.

Professional Development Courses at the New England Aquarium - Courses offered through May.

Restoration Webinar Series - Webinars through June hosted by NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Salem Sound COASTWATCH Community Calendar - Events posted in the Salem Sound region.

Other Items of Interest

Please note: Due to COVID-19, social distancing recommendations and requirements are in place. Consequently, many events and programs are being cancelled, postponed, or conducted virtually. Please check these links frequently for any updates.

Onset Bay Center Summer Programs - Registration is now open for the first summer of youth programs at the Onset Bay Center, a new facility that will present on-the-water programs from the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Scheduled to open in late June, the Onset Bay Center will offer sailing, kayaking and paddling, swimming, and coastal exploration. Youth programs begin on June 29 and will run through the week of August 10. For details, see the Onset Bay Center website.

Hurricane Island Summer Programs - The Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership off the coast of Rockport, Maine, offers Summer Programs led by trained field scientists and educators in science, sustainability, and leadership for middle and high school students. Hands-on one- and two-week programs in adventure art, island ecology, marine biology, sustainable leadership, and women of water are offered. Financial aid is available.

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