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 email@example.com. 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.
CZM Releases a New Mapping Tool that Depicts the Potential Effects of Sea Level Rise on Marshes - Tidal marshes (i.e., salt marsh and freshwater and brackish marshes influenced by tides) rely on their ability to accumulate sediment and organic matter to build elevation. If sea level rises faster than a marsh can build elevation, it will eventually drown, becoming mud flat or open water. To examine this issue, CZM—in partnership with the Woods Hole Group, Marine Biological Laboratory, Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)—applied the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) to coastal wetlands in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts SLAMM Viewer is an interactive, web-based mapping tool that displays the potential areal extent and distribution of coastal wetlands as they respond to four different sea level rise scenarios over time. The SLAMM data provide insight into the effects of sea level rise on coastal wetlands, including possible scenarios for coastal wetland loss, conversion to other habitat types, and landward migration as rising sea levels flood upland areas. Funding support for this project was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Massachusetts Ocean Acidification Commission Updates - On June 5, the Massachusetts Ocean Acidification Commission held its third meeting to address the rising acidity in Massachusetts coastal and ocean waters primarily caused by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and the discharge of pollutants. At this meeting, the Commission unanimously agreed to convene four work groups comprised of Commission members and subject matter experts. These work groups—marine and shellfish industry, monitoring and barrier beaches, policy and outreach, and scientific literature review—will collect data, identify knowledge gaps, and meet independently to discuss and develop recommendations on ocean acidity mitigation. Results will be presented at the Commission’s next meeting in September. The 19 Commission members include legislators, commercial fishermen, environmental groups, scientists, CZM Director Lisa Engler, and representatives from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and MassDEP. CZM actively participates and supports regional efforts (e.g., the Northeast Coastal Acidification Network) that seek to investigate and address the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of coastal and ocean acidification. CZM’s role is instrumental in providing the Commission with key information on planned monitoring efforts in Massachusetts.
Underwater Archaeology on the Shore and in the News - In May, the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR) examined a 25-foot-long fragment of a wooden ship’s hull that was exposed briefly on North Beach in Chatham following a springtime storm. The remains consisted of frames and hull planking fastened together with wooden dowels or “treenails.” Several round portholes cut into the planking indicated the fragment came from the side of a wooden vessel. As one of the thousands of ships that were lost over the past 400+ years along Cape Cod, these remains represent a significant part of Massachusetts’s maritime past—shipwrecks. The Commonwealth’s historical shipwrecks provide unique archaeological information on human interaction with the sea and important habitat for a wide variety of marine species. For details on BUAR’s work with this shipwreck, see “Shipwreck Fragment Visits North Beach Island” (PDF, 2 MB), published in The Cape Cod Chronicle on May 14. If you find shipwreck remains or other artifacts at the shore, please report them. See CZ-Tip - Uncovering Maritime History at the Shore for details.
Massachusetts Dredging Program Awards $1.25 million in Grants - In June, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $1.25 million in grants awards to four Commonwealth communities for the 2020 grant round of the Massachusetts Dredging Program. Grants were awarded for saltwater dredging projects to help coastal communities maintain and improve their navigational waterways and support the long-term growth and sustainability of the state’s maritime economy. For the 2020 grant round, CZM assisted the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development as a member of the review and oversight committee. The following four dredging grants were awarded:
- Barnstable - $500,000 to remove an estimated 40,000 cubic yards of coastal dune from the western tip of Sampson’s Island at the Cotuit Bay channel.
- Chatham - $550,000 to remove an estimated 25,000 cubic yards of sand from the Stage Harbor entrance channel.
- Dennis - $75,000 to dredge an estimated 15,000 cubic yards of sand from the Sesuit Harbor entrance channel.
- Tisbury - $129,000 to remove an estimated 10,000 cubic yards of sand from the Lake Tashmoo Channel and the Lake Street Town Pier.
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.
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.
Partnerships Matching Funds Program - The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is seeking proposals from friends groups, community organizations, municipalities, businesses, and individuals through the Partnerships Matching Funds Program. These funds support needed improvements at DCR properties and include capital investments at parks, beaches, and other facilities. DCR will provide 2:1 matching funds for donations up $25,000 and a 1:1 match for donations over $25,000—up to a total of $1 million in DCR match for the Fiscal Year 2021. In-kind contributions are appreciated, but will not be matched by DCR. All selected projects will be managed by DCR and partners and will be recognized publicly during construction and at project completion. For more information and to apply, see the DCR website. Project Concept Forms are due by July 10, and full applications (by invitation only) will be due by September 18.
Massachusetts In-Lieu Fee Program - The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) In-Lieu Fee Program (ILFP) is seeking pre-proposals for new projects. This program funds aquatic resource restoration, enhancement, or preservation projects in ILFP service areas in the Commonwealth. Eligible applicants include Massachusetts cities, towns, academic institutions, certified 501(c)(3) nonprofits, and other public entities. The ILFP allows certain U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permittees to pay an in-lieu fee to DFG’s ILFP as mitigation for project impacts to federally regulated aquatic resources. DFG then pools ILFP fees to implement larger-scale mitigation projects. To view the Request for Proposals and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. For more information, contact DFG’s Aisling O’Shea at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pre-proposals are due by July 31 and full applications (by invitation only) will be due by October 16.
Reminders - These opportunities, listed in the last CZ-Mail, are still available:
- Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program Planning Grants - EEA is seeking proposals for Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (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.
- Parks and Conservation Grants - EEA’s Division of Conservation Services is seeking applications for the FY21 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 nonprofit organizations for land acquisitions. 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.
- National Estuary Program 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
NOAA Marine Debris Blog - Recent posts in the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Marine Debris Blog include an Ocean Conservancy’s Urban Ocean Initiative that connects cities, community leaders, academia, and the private sector to develop solutions for plastics in the oceans, an effort by college students in American Samoa to assess local microplastics pollution, and some marine debris trivia. 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:
Guide to Coastal Programs at U.S. Colleges and Universities - The American Shore & Beach Preservation Association has released the Coastal Universities Guide, an interactive mapping tool for high school and college students researching undergraduate and graduate programs in coastal science, engineering, and policy in the United States.
Federal Funding Guide for Flood Resilience - The American Flood Coalition has released Federal Funding Opportunities for Flood Resilience: A Guide for Small Cities, which provides information on 24 federal programs available to communities with less than 50,000 residents to address flooding and sea level rise.
Marine Protected Areas Report - The National Marine Protected Area (MPA) Center has released Marine Protected Areas 2020: Building Effective Conservation Networks (PDF, 2 MB), a report on U.S. success in establishing effective networks of MPAs.
Newsletters and Other Periodicals
BOEM Ocean Science - The latest issue of BOEM Ocean Science, the science and technology journal from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), includes articles on the importance of field work, assessment of beach nourishment sand sources in New England waters with consideration of fisheries impacts, and other ocean science news.
Buzzards Bay Coalition Newsletter - The latest edition of The Bay Buzz from the Buzzards Bay Coalition features stories on the newly finalized conservation restriction in Dartmouth that permanently protects more than 1,000 acres of land, a federal grant to restore and protect bogs in Mattapoisett and Rochester, and other regional news, volunteer opportunities, and events.
Coastal & Estuarine Science News - The May 2020 issue of Coastal & Estuarine News, the newsletter of the Coastal & Estuarine Research Foundation, includes stories on using data to predict the ecological benefits of coastal marsh restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico, utilizing satellite imagery to monitor vegetation recovery after a hurricane, and other coastal and estuarine research news.
Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The June 2020 issue of MPA News covers impacts to Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) from COVID-19 and potential future effects of the pending financial crisis, along with other MPA news and notes.
Massachusetts Association for Floodplain Management Newsletter - The Summer 2020 Newsletter (PDF, 729 KB) from the Massachusetts Association for Floodplain Management (massFM) discusses the first massFM Annual Meeting to be held online this fall, the importance of flood risk awareness, social justice and equity in floodplain management, and other Massachusetts floodplain management news.
NOAA HabitatNews - The June 2020 issue of HabitatNews, a newsletter of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, includes articles on the benefits of oyster restoration in Chesapeake Bay, salmon habitat restoration in a central California creek, and other marine fisheries habitat news.
Stormwater News - The May 2020 edition of Massachusetts Stormwater News (PDF, 809 KB), a periodic newsletter from EPA and MassDEP on the Massachusetts Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, highlights the 2019 annual reports from municipalities and other regulated facilities on the effectiveness of this stormwater management program. To sign up to receive Massachusetts Stormwater News, send your request to StormwaterNewsMA@epa.gov.
USGS Sound Waves - The April-May 2020 issue of Sound Waves, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) newsletter, includes items on USGS resources to help emergency planners prepare for the predicted active hurricane season, Ocean Month celebrations in June, and other coastal and marine research news.
Rhode Island CRMC Executive Director - The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) is seeking an Executive Director. CRMC—Rhode Island’s coastal management agency—administers the state’s coastal regulations and develops and implements plans and policies to benefit the coastal environment. The Executive Director will lead a team of 30 full-time staff to work with many partners and carry out the CRMC Mission. Candidates should be proven leaders with experience in coastal preservation and restoration, environmental planning and policy, federal consistency, environmental economics, and offshore wind permitting. For more information, including application details, see the position posting.
Commonwealth Corps Environmental Educators - The Westport River Watershed Alliance (WRWA) is seeking two full-time Commonwealth Corps members to work as Environmental Educators, delivering WRWA’s Watershed Education Program to local school students in grades PreK-12 and planning and administering volunteer and family outreach programs. Commonwealth Corps is a state-supported internship program that provides direct service to communities in Massachusetts. These positions will run from August 17-June 26, 2021. For more information, see the job posting (PDF, 127 KB). Applications are due by July 10.
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.
Vineyard Wind - BOEM is seeking public comments on a supplement to the Vineyard Wind Offshore Wind Energy Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared for the Construction and Operation Plan (COP) submitted by Vineyard Wind LLC. This supplement provides additional details on cumulative effects of multiple offshore wind developments, new fishing data, a transit lane alternative, and changes to the COP since the Draft EIS was submitted. Vineyard Wind is a proposed 800-megawatt offshore wind energy project located approximately 12 nautical miles south of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. On July 2, 7, and 9, BOEM will hold the three remaining virtual public meetings on the proposed project. For more information, including details on the virtual meetings and commenting instructions, see BOEM’s Vineyard Wind web page. Comments are due by July 27.
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 announced date with a link to more information. Please check these links frequently for any updates.
Redefining Urban Space: Site Remediation and Green Infrastructure on Contaminated Properties in Lawrence, MA - July 8, webinar presented by EPA.
Barnstable Land Trust Annual Meeting - July 16, presented by the Barnstable Land Trust and held online.
2020 National Coastal and Estuarine Virtual Summit—Call for Posters—New Dates - September 29-October 1, sponsored by Restore America’s Estuaries and the Coastal States Organization and held online. Poster proposals are due by July 17.
EBC Second Annual New England State Energy Leaders Virtual Conference - July 17, sponsored by the Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) and held online.
Coastal & Island Conference—Call for Abstracts - November 16-17, sponsored by the Center for Watershed Protection and held online. Abstracts are due by July 20.
COVID-19 and Estuarine Research: Impacts and Responses - July 21, webinar presented by the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation.
EBC Water Resources Webinar: Challenges Facing Our Water Resources under a Changing Climate - July 23, webinar presented by EBC.
Designing Green Stormwater Infrastructure - July 31, webinar presented by the Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Network.
2020 Flood Management Association Annual Conference - September 8-11, sponsored by the Flood Management Association and held online.
Stormwater Conference—Moved Online—New Dates – September 9-10, organized by StormCon and held online.
Reminders - The following calendar items posted previously in CZ-Mail are still to come:
- Mermaid Ball—Canceled - The event held by the National Marine Life Center, which was scheduled for July 18, has been canceled.
- Investigate Your Ocean Neighborhood with OceanReports - July 28, webinar sponsored by Open Communications for the Ocean (OCTO).
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.
A Walk in the Garden Webinars - Periodic webinars from the Ecological Landscape Alliance.
Boating Safety - Massachusetts Environmental Police Boating Safety Courses were scheduled through July across Massachusetts. All classes have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please check back for future classes.
Buzzards Bay Events - Events in the Buzzards Bay area compiled by the Buzzards Bay Coalition.
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.
Inflatable Gray Whale - On several dates through August at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.
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 Events - Events on the South Shore from the North and South Rivers Watershed Association.
OneNOAA Science Seminars - Webinars and online meetings 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 through October hosted by the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography.