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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program Supports Local Stormwater Treatment Projects - The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (NEP) has retained the Horsley Witten Group to prepare engineered designs and supporting calculations for a series of projects to treat stormwater runoff. The goal is to develop construction-ready stormwater management plans for three or four critical drainage catchments that currently discharge untreated stormwater to Buzzards Bay. The sites will be selected from 15 high priority catchments in Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, and Wareham, which were selected based on monitoring data and stormwater network information gathered through the Buzzards Bay Stormwater Collaborative, potential interest from municipalities, and other factors. Six of these sites will be selected for conceptual designs based on review by the Horsley Witten Group, the NEP, and town recommendations—and then through further review and town input, permit-ready designs will be developed for three or four sites. December 31 is the target date for development of final construction-ready designs, which will be finalized after permits are secured. The Buzzards Bay NEP intends to work with municipalities to secure funds to implement these final designs. For more information, including ongoing updates as the project progresses, see the Buzzards Bay NEP website.
Hurricane Season Is Here - June 1 marks the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an above-normal year with 13 to 19 named storms (three to six major). The 2020 season is off to an early start, with Tropical Storms Arthur and Bertha forming in May. For regularly updated hurricane information, including new experimental storm surge maps that will be provided in tropical cyclone advisories, see the NOAA National Hurricane Center website—and see the National Weather Service Hurricane and Tropical Storm Watches, Warnings, Advisories and Outlooks web page for information on the difference between watches and warnings for hurricanes and tropical storms. CZM’s Hurricane Preparedness Kit provides information on reducing risk and preparing for these dangerous storms, and CZ-Tip - The Complete Guide to Online Hurricane Tracking for Massachusetts covers how to track storms heading toward Massachusetts.
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.
CZM Staff and People
MassBays Circuit Rider Receives Award for Excellence in the Geo-Information Sciences - On May 6, Jill Carr, Coastal Monitoring Circuit Rider for the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Partnership (MassBays), accepted the Excellence in the Geo-Information Sciences Award from the Department of Geography and Sustainability at Salem State University. Jill recently helped to produce and present a series of posters about sea level rise projections for the North Shore of Massachusetts. Jill has earned grants from the Women Divers Hall of Fame and the New England and Saint Lawrence Valley Geographical Society to fund her thesis work titled "Using Drones to Map and Monitor Complex Coastal Habitats." Congratulations, Jill!
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.
Aquatic Habitat Restoration and Revitalization Priority Projects - The Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) is seeking applications for aquatic habitat restoration and revitalization priority projects, specifically cranberry bog wetland restoration, streamflow restoration, and urban stream revitalization projects. Selected Priority Projects are eligible to receive technical assistance from DER staff, technical services from consultants, and/or grant funding throughout the life of the project. For more information and to apply, see the DER Priority Projects web page. Applications are due by June 18.
National Estuary Program Coastal Watersheds Grant Program 2020 - Restore America’s Estuaries in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (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. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to join an informational webinar on June 3. Webinar registration is required. Proposal Letters of Intent should be submitted through this online form by August 7 and full proposals will be by invitation only.
Reminders - These opportunities, listed in the last CZ-Mail, are still available:
- Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program - CZM is seeking proposals for the Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program, which will provide up to $500,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2021 to municipalities in the Massachusetts Coastal Watershed to assess and remediate stormwater pollution and to design and construct commercial boat-waste pumpout facilities. Related capacity building activities, such as development of stormwater bylaws, maintenance trainings for municipal staff, and project case studies, will also be considered. As much as $175,000 may be requested and a 25 percent match of the total project cost is required. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2021. To view the Request for Responses (RFR) and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. on June 5.
- Coastal Resilience Grant Program - CZM is also seeking proposals for innovative and transferable local and regional projects to address coastal flooding, erosion, and sea level rise impacts through the Coastal Resilience Grant Program. For FY 2021, CZM will provide technical assistance and up to $3 million in grants to coastal communities to assess vulnerabilities and risks and redesign and retrofit vulnerable municipally-owned facilities and infrastructure. Additionally, both coastal communities and certified 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations that own vulnerable coastal property that is open and accessible to the public are eligible for shoreline restoration, public outreach and communication, and proactive planning projects. Applicants may request up to $1 million in funding per project. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2021—or through a pilot opportunity this year, projects may be selected for an extended contract end date up to June 30, 2022 (FY22), depending on the proposal and Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) funding decisions. See the RFR on the COMMBUYS website for eligibility requirements, project categories, and evaluation criteria. Proposals are due by 4:00 p.m. on June 11.
- 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 RFR 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.
- Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program Action Grants - EEA is also seeking proposals for MVP Action Grants, which provide designated MVP Communities funding to implement priority adaptation actions identified through the MVP planning process or similar climate change vulnerability assessment and action planning that has led to MVP designation after EEA review. Projects are required to use best available climate data and projections. Projects that propose nature-based solutions or strategies that rely on green infrastructure or conservation and enhancement of natural systems and that have robust community engagement plans are preferred. Applicants can request up to $2 million in funding (regional proposals may request up to $5 million), and a 25 percent match of the total project cost is required. EEA recommends reading the RFR in full as there have been several updates to the Action Grant RFR from the last round, including the new option to propose projects that span two fiscal years (FY21-22). To view the RFR and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Action Grant proposals are due by 2:00 p.m. on June 11 for project proposals that must be completed by June 30, 2021, or June 30, 2022.
- §319 Grants - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is seeking proposals 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, see the MassDEP website. Proposals are due by noon on June 4.
- Water Quality Management Planning Grants - MassDEP is seeking proposals for the 2020 §604(b) Water Quality Management Planning Grants to fund nonpoint source assessment and planning projects. For more information, see the §604b RFR (PDF, 2 MB). Project proposals are due by June 26 at noon.
- Parks and Conservation Grants - EEA’s Division of Conservation Services (DCS) 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.
- Massachusetts In-Lieu Fee Program - The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) anticipates the release of the 2020 Request for Proposals for the Massachusetts In-Lieu Fee Program (ILFP) in June. 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. For more information, contact DFG’s Elisabeth Cianciola at email@example.com.
Online Tools and Resources
Online Ocean Education Resources - New items have been added to CZM’s Online Ocean Education Resources for the COVID-19 School Closures page, a clearinghouse of curricula, games, videos, virtual field trips, activities, and more to help parents and teachers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Some new additions include:
- Earth School - This free educational portal was launched on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by the United Nations Environment Programme and TED-Ed to help students, parents, and teachers explore the science and beauty of planet Earth. Supported by more than 30 collaborators and 100 contributors, Earth School provides daily quests covering water, air, life, climate, habitat, human use, and many more topics.
- Northeastern University Marine Science Center (MSC) Educator Resources - Organized by the MSC Outreach Program and the Ocean Genome Legacy, this website offers online teaching materials and curriculum packs on rocky intertidal science and other marine topics. Teachers and students can participate in a fish forensic activity, read through a blue crab range expansion case study (PDF, 1 MB), learn about local habitats through educational posters, explore powerpoint presentations about rocky intertidal areas, and more. The MSC Educator Newsletter highlights many new features, such as this make your own tidepool activity (PDF, 13 MB).
- Ocean Protection Advocacy Kids (OPAK) Webinars - OPAK is teaming up with teachers to offer webinars tailored to their specific class on these topics: plankton (grades 6-12), marine protected areas (high school), horseshoe crabs (grades 4-12), and pinnipeds and whales (grades 4-12). All webinars, which are available on Zoom and YouTube live, will be approximately 45 minutes and include follow-up activities and questions and answer sessions. Past webinars and links to project materials can be found on the Webinar Resources page.
Webinar Recordings for Citizen Science Groups - MassBays has released three new videos of 2020 talks and webinars presented to citizen science groups. In Water Quality Exchange (WQX) Data Framework Beginner's Training, held on March 31, MassBays and EPA demonstrate EPA's Water Quality Exchange (WQX) data framework and provide training to dozens of Massachusetts citizen-based monitoring programs on creating an account, formatting data, submitting data, and more. Citizen-Based Aquatic Field Sampling in the Time of COVID, a MassBays and University of Vermont presentation from April 21, was a “brainstorm” session for watershed groups to discover and share best practices for field work during the COVID-19 outbreak. Data Quality Resource - Ask Me Anything, a MassBays and Citizen Science Association webinar presented on April 28, covered a new compendium of guidance documents, manuals, and workbooks on data quality/management for citizen science research.
NOAA Marine Debris Blog - Recent posts in the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Marine Debris Blog include a marine debris emergency response guide for the U.S. Virgin Islands, efforts to mitigate marine debris affecting migratory birds, and tackling marine debris issues on islands after hurricanes. All blog topics can be searched by category and date. To receive notifications of new posts, sign up for email updates.
MIT Climate Change Tool - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has released Climate Science, Risk & Solutions, an interactive online climate change tool that presents the history of climate science, the current knowledge on climate change and the greenhouse effect, and additional questions scientists are trying to answer. Users will see interactive charts, quizzes, videos, and other scientific resources.
Ocean Literacy Guide - The National Marine Educators Association has released Ocean Literacy: The Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts of Ocean Sciences for Learners of All Ages (PDF, 8 MB), a guide that provides an updated description of the seven Ocean Literacy Principles and Concepts that serve as a framework for K-12 educators to teach about the ocean. To request a hard copy of the guide, which includes an 18”x 17” poster of the principles and concepts, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newsletters and Other Periodicals
Coastal Impacts - The April 2020 issue of Coastal Impacts, the newsletter of Woods Hole Sea Grant, includes articles on the sand lance (an important fish in the Gulf of Maine), efforts of Woods Hole Sea Grant and Cape Cod Cooperative Extension to help Cape Cod towns with state Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness plans, and other Woods Hole Sea Grant news and updates.
Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The May 2020 issue of MPA News focuses on 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 Lobstermen’s News - The April-May 2020 Newspaper (PDF, 14 MB) from the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association includes a story on the 2020 Massachusetts Right Whale Conservation Plan proposal submitted to the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and provides other public notices, updates, and lobster news.
NOAA HabitatNews - The May 2020 issue of HabitatNews, a newsletter of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, includes articles on herring run restoration efforts on the Coonamessett River in Falmouth, citizen scientists counting herring virtually in Plymouth, and other marine fisheries habitat news.
The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management - The April 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, explores the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on fisheries and aquaculture, as well as other ocean resources and news.
Estuarine Sedimentation Post-Doctoral Researcher - The Center for Coastal Studies (CCS), in coordination with the Cape Cod National Seashore, the Herring River Restoration Project team, UMass Boston, and the U.S. Geological Survey at Woods Hole, is seeking a Post-Doctoral Researcher to study estuarine sedimentation for the planned Herring River Restoration Project in Wellfleet. The primary focus of the position will be the study design and implementation and deployment of field instruments to collect data on sediment transport between the Herring River and Wellfleet Harbor. This is minimally a three-year, full-time position based at the CCS Hiebert Marine Lab in Provincetown. For more information, see the CCS Employment page. Applications are due by June 19.
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.
Draft §309 Assessment and Strategy for Enhancement for 2021-2025 - CZM is seeking public comment on its draft §309 Assessment and Strategy for Enhancement for 2021-2025, which is being prepared in consultation with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management (OCM). Every five years, states and territories are encouraged to conduct self-assessments of their coastal management programs and develop strategies to address identified management needs. For more information, including a link to the draft strategy, see the CZM Public Notices web page. Submit comments to Chris Garby at email@example.com by 4:00 p.m. on June 20.
Reminders - This comment opportunity, listed in the last CZ-Mail, is still available:
- MS4 General Permit for Massachusetts Communities - EPA is seeking comments on proposed modifications to the 2016 Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit for Massachusetts communities, which are available on the EPA website. Submit comments through regulations.gov by June 8.
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.
2020 Virtual Water Resources Conference—Call for Sessions and Abstracts - November 9-12, sponsored by the American Water Resources Association and held online. Proposals for topical sessions are due by June 2 and abstract proposals are due by June 30.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Environmental Industry in New England - June 3, webinar presented by the Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC).
Boston Harbor for All Summit - June 4, sponsored by Boston Harbor Now and held online.
NEERS Spring Meeting—Moved Online - June 4-6, sponsored by the New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS) and held online.
Building Resilience: Covid-19 and Climate Change - June 5, webinar presented by the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston.
Community Buy-in for Stormwater Funding: An EPA Roundtable Series - June 11, webinar presented by EPA.
Coastal Wetland Restoration and Planning - Tools for Tidal Restriction Avoidance and Removal - June 11, webinar presented by the EPA Watershed Academy.
Annual Meeting Environmental Awards Celebration - June 11, sponsored by EBC.
City of Cambridge Port Climate Change & Preparedness Plan - June 12, webinar sponsored by EBC.
Offshore Renewable Energy in the US: Learning as We Go - Changing Habitats and Coastal Ecosystems - June 15, webinar presented by the Coastal Resources Center at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.
Spectacle Island Virtual 5K—Moved Online - June 13-30, sponsored by Boston Harbor Now and held online.
Virtual Ecosystem Scenario Viewer (VES-V): A New Tool for Visualizing Marine Ecosystem Models - June 16, webinar sponsored by Open Communications for the Ocean (OCTO).
PFAS Liabilities for Water Suppliers and Municipalities - June 17, webinar sponsored by EBC.
Plastics and the Environment: Science Meets Public Policy - June 18-19, organized by the Environmental Solutions Initiative at MIT.
Investigate Your Ocean Neighborhood with OceanReports - July 28, webinar sponsored by Open Communications for the Ocean (OCTO).
Reminders - The following calendar items posted previously in CZ-Mail are still to come:
- Plastics or Planet? Moving Beyond Plastics - June 4, a webinar sponsored by OCTO.
- World Oceans Day Festival - June 7, New England Aquarium in Boston.
- World Oceans Day - June 8 and other dates, events held online and at locations around the world.
- Capitol Hill Ocean Week—Moved Online - June 9, online.
- Association of State Floodplain Manager’s Annual Conference—Moved Online - June 9-11, online.
- 2020 Ipswich River Paddle-a-thon - June 20, sponsored by the Ipswich River Watershed Association.
- Buzzards Bay Swim—Canceled - This event held by the Buzzards Bay Coalition, which was scheduled for June 27, has been canceled.
- National Coastal and Estuarine Summit—Call for Proposals - October 4-8, sponsored by Restore America’s Estuaries and held in Providence, Rhode Island. Proposals for posters are due by July 17.
- Mermaid Ball - July 18, sponsored by the National Marine Life Center and held at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay.
- Stormwater Conference - August 17-19, organized by StormCon and held in Seattle, Washington.
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.
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 from Buzzards Bay area organizations 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.
A Walk in the Garden Webinars - Periodic webinars from the Ecological Landscape Alliance.
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 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.
Professional Development Courses at the New England Aquarium - Courses offered through July.
Restoration Webinar Series - Webinars into June hosted by NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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.
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.
Virtual Marine Science Summer Camps - From June 8-August 7, the Ocean First Institute will offer week-long, hands-on, ocean science summer camps for kids in elementary and middle school. The half-day Ocean Science, Marine Conservation, and Girls in Ocean Science summer camps will be hosted virtually on Zoom and will include daily interactions with staff and special guest speakers, at-home science activities, and a kit of materials delivered to homes prior to camp. Partial and full scholarships available. For details and to register, see the Ocean First Institute website.
Summer Ocean Science Workshops for Kids—July Sessions Moved Online - In July and August, OPAK is offering week-long ocean science-themed workshops for students in grades 2-12. As of now, only the July workshops have been moved online. For more information and to register, see the OPAK Summer 2020 Workshops page.