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CZ-Mail - August 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

MassBays Awards Healthy Estuaries Grants - On July 29, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides announced $95,615 in federal funds to help regional organizations investigate and improve ecosystem health in Ipswich Bay, Massachusetts Bay, and Cape Cod Bay. The grants were awarded by the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Partnership (MassBays) through CZM, with funding from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and will be matched by nearly $200,000 in private contributions and in-kind services. The following four grants were awarded:

  • Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) - $28,083 to expand their existing water quality monitoring program to include measures of coastal and ocean acidification. This MassBays-funded effort will contribute to the Commonwealth’s initiative to assess and minimize impacts of ocean acidification on shellfish and other estuarine ecosystems.
  • Merrimack River Watershed Council (MRWC) - $22,532 to re-establish MRWC’s monitoring program in the lower portions of the Merrimack River (monitoring sites in Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport, and Salisbury). With MassBays funding, MRWC will collect data on water quality and bacteria to share with residents and inform management actions.
  • Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) - $30,000 to conduct an inventory of environmental conditions in Belle Isle Marsh. The MassBays grant will fund the first steps toward developing comprehensive resource management plan for one of the last remaining substantial salt marshes in greater Boston.
  • Salem Sound Coastwatch (SSCW) - $15,000 to investigate the impacts of docks and piers on seagrass in Salem Sound. (MassBays previously funded a similar study on the impact of docks on marsh grasses.) SSCW’s effort will ensure protection of an important fish habitat that is already under stress from pollution and climate change.

For more information, see the EEA Press Release.

CZM Releases the 2018 Rapid Assessment Survey Report - During July 2018, CZM and a team of scientific experts visited marinas from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, to Casco Bay, Maine, to observe, identify, and record native and invasive marine species found on floating docks and piers. These Rapid Assessment Surveys (RAS) focus on marine invertebrates and algae and are critical for detecting new species introductions and identifying regional trends. During the 2018 RAS, the sixth held since 2000, a total of 170 species were identified—including 27 introduced, 20 cryptogenic (native origin unknown), and 123 native species. See the Report on the 2018 Rapid Assessment Survey of Introduced, Cryptogenic, and Native Marine Species at New England Marinas: Massachusetts to Maine (PDF, 2 MB) for the final results of the 2018 RAS, including methods, sampling sites, and species identifications. Funding for the 2018 RAS was provided by CZM, the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, MassBays, and the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program. See CZM’s Marine Invasive Species Program website for more information on past surveys, as well as general information about marine invasive species.

State Announces Continuation of Drought Conditions in Massachusetts - In early July, EEA Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, acting on a recommendation of the state’s Drought Management Task Force, declared that drought conditions continue in five of the state’s seven drought regions. A Level 2—Significant Droughtcontinues in the Western, Connecticut River Valley, and Central regions of the state. The Northeast and Cape Cod regions are in a Level 1—Mild Drought and the Southeast and Islands regions remain at Level 0—Normal Conditions. In response to this declaration, state agencies are implementing actions in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan (PDF, 5 MB), including continued assessment of hydrological conditions, greater coordination with agencies through the new Drought Management Mission Group, increased public outreach on water conservation and water use tips, discussions with water suppliers, and technical assistance for the affected municipalities. At Drought Levels 1 and 2, the public is encouraged to be mindful of the amount of water they are using, be proactive in reducing or eliminating outdoor water use, reduce indoor water use, and address plumbing leaks as soon as possible. Limiting nonessential outdoor watering is one of the most effective ways to minimize the impacts of drought on water supply to ensure there is enough water for essential needs, such as drinking water and fire protection. Water conservation measures also help preserve sufficient groundwater, surface water, and streamflow levels to protect wildlife and their habitats. For more information, see the state’s current drought status and drought information and assistance web pages.

CZM Offices Remain Closed - Due to COVID-19, all CZM offices remain closed for in-person services. Please see COVID-19: Status of Executive Branch Office Locations for updates. During this time, CZM staff are working remotely and available to assist with coastal management issues. See Contact CZM for details.

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.

Marine Debris Removal Grants - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program is seeking proposals for marine debris prevention, assessment, and removal projects that improve habitat and waterways. Projects should implement on-the-ground marine debris removal activities, prioritizing medium to large-scale debris, especially derelict fishing gear. Typical awards will range from $50,000 to $150,000. For more information, see the federal funding opportunity. Letters of intent are due by September 4. Full proposals, by invitation only, will be due on December 4.

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

  • Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Planning Grants - EEA is seeking proposals for MVP Planning Grants, which provide support for Massachusetts cities and towns to complete vulnerability assessments and develop action-oriented climate resiliency plans. The program helps communities define extreme weather and natural and climate related hazards; understand how their community may be impacted by climate change; identify existing and future vulnerabilities and strengths; and develop, prioritize, and implement key actions. State-certified MVP providers offer technical assistance to communities in completing the assessment and resiliency plans. Communities that complete the MVP Planning Grant program become certified as an MVP community and are eligible for MVP Action Grant funding. To view the Request for Responses and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. The Planning Grant response period will be open on a rolling basis until 4:00 p.m. on August 7 for MVP planning processes that must be complete by June 30, 2021. Early application is encouraged.
  • National Estuary Program (NEP) Coastal Watersheds Grant Program 2020 - Restore America’s Estuaries, in cooperation with EPA, is seeking proposals for the new NEP Coastal Watersheds Grant Program for projects that address urgent and challenging issues affecting coastal and estuarine areas of national significance (see map). Up to $1 million is available to fund projects that support priorities including habitat loss, invasive species, flooding and coastal erosion, and water quality. Grant amounts will range from $75,000 to $250,000. Proposal Letters of Intent should be submitted through this online form by August 7, and full proposals will be by invitation only.

Online Tools and Resources

Massachusetts Aquaculture Permitting Website - The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and project partners have developed the new Massachusetts Aquaculture Permitting website, which provides details on the process to permit aquaculture projects in Massachusetts. The website allows users to find information on the cost and timelines for permits, resources for new growers, specifics on submitting annual reports, as well as details to avoid negative impacts to fisheries habitats, protected species, and public access.

Coastal Restoration Toolkit - Restore America’s Estuaries, with support from the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation/Restoration Center, has released the Coastal Restoration Toolkit, which provides information and tools to assist with coastal restoration projects from planning to proposal submission. The toolkit includes project examples, tools, resources, funding sources, permitting information, and contacts for five topic areas—flooding, costal erosion, water quality, invasive species, and wildlife habitats.

Managed Retreat Toolkit - The Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown University has released the new Managed Retreat Toolkit, which includes legal and policy tools, best practices, and case studies to help states and communities use managed retreat—the proactive movement of people, buildings, and infrastructure from vulnerable coastal areas—as an adaptation strategy.

How’s My Waterway - EPA has released How’s My Waterway 2.0, an online resource that presents publicly available water quality data. The new tool, designed to work on all screen sizes, can help users find areas that are safe for swimming and fishing, identify monitoring locations, view drinking water information, and create a detailed report of water quality criteria and issues for water bodies.

Disaster Debris Recovery Tool - EPA has expanded the Disaster Debris Recovery Tool, an interactive database of recycling facilities and landfills that can accept debris from disasters. The tool is now available nationwide and can be a valuable resource for communities managing large volumes of debris due to hurricanes, floods, or other natural disasters.

Dredging Impacts Tool - NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Office for Coastal Management, and partners released ShoalMATE, a dredging decision-support tool developed to minimize impacts to Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) when dredging offshore sand shoals. This new tool is the result of a two-year study funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that will allow review and assessment of projects in the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Atlantic continental shelf. For details, see the NOAA website.

NOAA Marine Debris Blog - Recent posts in the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Marine Debris Blog include how to prevent protective gear from becoming marine debris, a grant opportunity from the Fishing for Energy Partnership to collect and properly dispose of derelict fishing gear, and the economic benefits of preventing and removing marine debris from the ocean and beaches. All blog topics can be searched by category and date. To receive notifications of new posts, sign up for email updates.

New Resource and Data from NOAA Digital Coast - NOAA’s Digital Coast has posted these new resources:

Products/Publications

Massachusetts Homeowner's Handbook to Prepare for Coastal Hazards - Woods Hole Sea Grant and the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension have released the updated Massachusetts Homeowner's Handbook to Prepare for Coastal Hazards, which provides information for coastal homeowners on how to stay safe and minimize damages during hurricanes and northeasters. The handbook was developed by the Woods Hole and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant programs with the assistance of CZM, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and National Weather Service.

2020 Boaters’ Guide to Tides and Pumpout Facilities - This wallet-sized pamphlet from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Clean Vessel Act (CVA) Program contains information on the locations of pumpout facilities along the Massachusetts coastline and a tide chart through September. Download a free copy from the CVA website. Limited hardcopies are also available. Email your request and mailing address to Cecil French at cecil.french@mass.gov.

Newsletters and Other Periodicals

Buzzards Bay Coalition Newsletter - The latest edition of The Bay Buzz from the Buzzards Bay Coalition features stories on research on salt marsh loss around Buzzards Bay, 2019 water quality results in the bay, and other regional news, volunteer opportunities, and events.

MassBays Newsletter - The Summer 2020 issue of the MassBays Newsletter, the quarterly update from the MassBays National Estuary Partnership, covers the 2019-2020 MassBays accomplishments and plans for 2020-2021, the new Massachusetts Coastal Condition Assessment, and ways to document biodiversity on the shore while staying socially distanced. Consider subscribing to receive updates directly.

Massachusetts Lobstermen’s News - The June/July 2020 newspaper from the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) includes stories on the MLA efforts to support the commercial lobster industry in Massachusetts, the newly appointed Director of the Division of Marine Fisheries, and public notices, updates, and other lobster news. See Part 1 (PDF, 8 MB) or Part 2 (PDF, 15 MB) of the June/July edition.

Neponset River Watershed News - The latest Watershed Update from the Neponset River Watershed Association includes an analysis of recent flooding in Norwood, June water quality results, and other Neponset River news, events, and updates.

NOAA HabitatNews - The July 2020 issue of HabitatNews, a newsletter of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, includes articles on July’s Habitat Month, the NOAA Restoration Atlas with details on more than 3,100 habitat restoration projects, and other marine fisheries habitat news.

The Sandbar - The July 2020 issue of The Sandbar, a quarterly publication from the National Sea Grant College Program on U.S. ocean and coastal legal issues, covers a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that some groundwater discharges are covered under the Clean Water Act, the new Waters of the United States rule, and other ocean- and coastal-related legal issues.

USGS Sound Waves - This special issue of Sound Waves, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) newsletter, focuses on USGS deep-sea research off North America.

Jobs/Internship Postings

MEMA Local Coordinator - The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is seeking a Local Coordinator to support local-level emergency management program activities in coordination with local emergency management, public safety, public health, volunteer and municipal officials. For more information, see the job posting.

DER Procurement Coordinator - The Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) is seeking a Procurement Coordinator to perform fiscal administrative tasks that assist with implementation of restoration projects and other DER initiatives. Duties include processing fiscal and procurement transactions, collecting data for fiscal reports, maintaining procurement records, and tracking and analyzing project costs. For more information, see the job posting.

DER Procurement and Grants Specialist - DER is also seeking a Procurement and Grants Specialist to conduct fiscal administrative tasks that help implement restoration projects and other DER initiatives. Duties include coordination and monitoring fiscal and procurement transactions, providing fiscal guidance to DER staff, tracking grant expenditures, and maintaining project and grant records. For details, see the job posting.

Calendar - Individual Events and Announcements

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

2020 Virtual Great River Race - August 1-31, sponsored by the North and South Rivers Watershed Association and held virtually.

Clean Water on the Cape: Green Infrastructure in Sandwich and Yarmouth, MA - August 11, webinar presented by EPA.

Softening Our Shorelines: A Report of the National Wildlife Federation and the Coastal States Organization - August 21, webinar presented by the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Our Harbor, Our Home: A Celebration of Our Waterfront and Islands - August 27, sponsored by Boston Harbor Now and held online.

Working with Unlikely Stakeholders to Prevent Marine Debris - September 2, webinar presented by Open Communications for the Ocean (OCTO).

RARGOM Annual Science Meeting—Call for Abstracts - October 14-16, presented by the Regional Association for Research on the Gulf of Maine (RARGOM) and held online. Abstracts are due by September 11.

Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle - September 19-26, sponsored by the Mystic River Watershed Association and held virtually.

National Monitoring Conference—Call for Abstracts - April 20-22, 2021, sponsored by the North American Lake Management Society and held in Providence, Rhode Island. Abstracts are due by September 24.

2020 National Coastal and Estuarine Virtual Summit—New Dates - September 29-October 1, sponsored by Restore America’s Estuaries and the Coastal States Organization and held online.

The Effects of Climate Change in Marine Spatial Planning: Pathways and Solutions - October 1, webinar presented by OCTO.

Coastal & Island Conference - November 16-17, sponsored by the Center for Watershed Protection and held online.

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, announced events are listed alphabetically with a link to more information. Please check these links frequently for any updates.

Buzzards Bay Events - Events in the Buzzards Bay area compiled by the Buzzards Bay Coalition.

Cape Cod Field Schools - Multi-day field courses offered by Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History Programs - A calendar of events at the museum.

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.

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

NOAA Coastal Training and Learning Resources - A range of training opportunities from NOAA’s Digital Coast.

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

North and South Rivers Watershed Association Events - Events listings on the South Shore.

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

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

Sound in the Sea Webinars - Webinars hosted by the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography.

Other Items of Interest

Woods Hole Sea Grant Stakeholder Survey - Woods Hole Sea Grant at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is seeking public input to assist with development of their next strategic plan. All are welcome to submit comments on Woods Hole Sea Grant’s education and research efforts at WHOI and extension activities through the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension. The survey has five sections and should take about 20 minutes to complete. Please take the Woods Hole Sea Grant Stakeholder Survey 2020 by August 7.

Herring River Restoration Social Factors Survey - Friends of the Herring River is seeking input on the upcoming Herring River Restoration Project to return salt water flow into the estuary with a goal to restore a functioning, healthy salt marsh. The survey is available online or email info@herringriver.org to request a hardcopy. Two virtual presentation and polling events will also be held on August 12 and 17. For details, see the Friends of Herring River website.

Be a Pen Pal of a Future Scientist - Letters to a Pre-Scientist has a goal to clarify and explain careers in science by creating connections between real scientists and fifth to tenth grade students from low income communities. Interested scientists are invited to be matched with a pen pal for the 2020-21 school year. Learn how to sign up.

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