CZ-Mail - March 2017

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 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 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.


Storm Team Activated for February Northeaster - During the February 13 nor’easter, CZM staffed the State Emergency Operations Center, along with several other agencies from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). CZM also activated the Coastal Storm Damage Assessment Team (Storm Team), which provided timely information on coastal impacts to the Operations Center. Specifically, impacts were recorded in 13 coastal communities across the upper North Shore, along the South Shore, and bordering Cape Cod Bay. The afternoon high tide resulted in overwash and flooding of coastal roads and parking areas, as well as beach and dune erosion. Erosion exposed segments of two septic systems and caused some damage to beach access stairs from Sandwich to Eastham. Beach and dune erosion were also reported from Salisbury to Rockport and Hull to Marshfield. In Scituate and Marshfield, there was overwash onto roads and around houses. A total of 56 reports from the Storm Team were submitted using CZM’s StormReporter tool.

State Adaptation and Resilience Programs Highlighted at EBC New England Program - On February 10, in the first of a five-part program on climate change offered by the Environmental Business Council (EBC) of New England, representatives from state agencies working on climate adaptation and resiliency programs presented their initiatives and gave updates on work planned for 2017. EEA Director of Climate and Global Warming Solutions Katie Theoharides discussed progress to date and work underway on Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569 (which establishes an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth) and the pending Statewide Climate Adaptation Plan. CZM Director Bruce Carlisle provided an overview of tools and technical assistance products and highlighted important work being done by cities and towns through the state’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program. Division of Ecological Restoration Director Tim Purinton focused on the benefits of ecological restoration to climate resiliency, including the capacity of restored wetlands to capture and trap carbon, known as Blue Carbon. Steve Miller from the Department of Transportation discussed the Boston Flood Risk Model and initial work to reduce transportation vulnerabilities for the Central Artery/Tunnel (PDF, 16 MB). Jeremy Caron from the Division of Capital Asset Management highlighted their work on resilience planning for state assets. Department of Energy Resources Director of Emerging Technology Will Lauwers discussed the Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative and its third grant round currently underway. Closing the program, the speakers assembled for a panel answering questions from the moderator and audience.

CZ-Tip: Keep an Eye Out for Stranded Sea Turtles - Winter walks on the beach can be quiet, relaxing, and reflective. But if you find a stranded sea turtle, it’s time to take action. Even if a turtle looks dead, it may have just gone into shock due to cold water temperatures. Cold-stunned turtles have very low heart rates (as little as one beat per minute). Stranded turtles are also often dehydrated, hypothermic, or have sustained injuries and will require assistance before they can re-enter the water. So report any stranding right away! For contact information and additional tips on protecting sea turtles in Massachusetts, see CZ-Tip - Sharing Coastal Waters with Sea Turtles.

Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities

319 Nonpoint Source Competitive Grants Pre-RFR Meetings - On March 2 and 9 at 10 a.m., the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will hold two meetings to field questions and discuss the upcoming Request for Responses (RFR) for the next grant round of the §319 Nonpoint Source Competitive Grants. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend these pre-RFR sessions, to be held at the MassDEP offices in Worcester. The pre-RFR announcement and information about the program and past §319 projects can be seen at the MassDEP website.

Habitat Restoration Grants - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Community-based Restoration Program is seeking proposals for 2017 Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration Grants. These grants will support fish habitat restoration projects that use an ecosystem-based approach to foster species recovery, increase fish populations, and provide sustainable and lasting ecological benefits of regional or national significance. NOAA anticipates up to $5 million will be available under this grant round. Proposals are due by March 23.

Water Quality Management Planning Program Grants - MassDEP is seeking proposals for the Fiscal Year 2017 Federal §604(b) Water Quality Management Planning Program Grants to fund nonpoint source assessment activities that support MassDEP's assessment efforts. Project applications are due by March 24.

Resilient Communities Program - The National Fish and Wildlife Federation and Wells Fargo are seeking proposals for the Resilient Communities Program, a new effort designed to prepare for future environmental challenges by enhancing community capacity to plan and implement resiliency projects and improve the protections of natural ecosystems by investing in green infrastructure and other measures. Two types of grants are available—Regional Adaptation through Regional Conservation Projects and Community Capacity Building and Demonstration Projects. Pre-proposals are due March 30.

Healthy Communities Grant Program - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking applications for the 2017 Healthy Communities Grant Program for projects that benefit communities at risk from impacts of climate change, stormwater runoff, and other environmental issues. Proposals up to $25,000 are allowed and a five percent match of the total proposed budget is required. For more information, see the 2017 Grants page. Initial project summaries are due by April 7.

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

  • Land and Water Conservation Fund Grants - EEA’s Division of Conservation Services is seeking proposals for Land and Water Conservation Fund Grants, which provide up to $300,000 in matching funds to state agencies and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. Applications are due by March 9.
  • Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative Research Grants - The Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative (NBI) is seeking proposals for NBI Research Grants to conduct research that expands knowledge of understudied taxonomic groups and the overall biodiversity of Nantucket, Tuckernuck, and/or Muskeget Islands. Proposals are due by March 15.
  • NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants - NOAA is seeking proposals for the 2017 Coastal Resilience Grants. NOAA will award an estimated $15 million to fund projects that will advance healthy and sustainable coastal ecosystems through habitat restoration, as well as support approaches to build resilience of coastal regions, communities, and the economy by developing plans and implementing actions to mitigate the negative impacts of extreme weather and climate-related hazards. Typical award amounts will range from $250,000 to $1 million for projects lasting up to three years. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, regional organizations, private (for profit) entities, and local, state, and tribal governments. Applications are due by March 15.


2017 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 June-September tide chart. Download a free copy from the CVA website. Limited hardcopies are also available. Email your request and mailing address to Cecil French at

MPA Finance Recommendations - The Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) Federal Advisory Committee has released Protecting Our Marine Treasures—Sustainable Finance Options for U.S. Marine Protected Areas (PDF, 2 MB), a report with recommendations on how MPAs can continue to support key programs—management, education, outreach, and monitoring—with limited and often shrinking budgets. For more information, see this webinar on the new report.

Gulf of Maine Research Institute Newsletter - The winter 2016 issue of Tidings, the newsletter of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, features articles on coastal communities and their preparation for sea level rise, aquaculture opportunities in Maine, and other Gulf of Maine research news.

MIT Sea Grant Newsletter - The latest newsletter of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sea Grant College Program focuses on newly funded ocean acidification research, using lobsters shells to understand the past, and other MIT Sea Grant updates and marine-related news.

Buzzards Bay Coalition Newsletter - The January 2017 issue of The Bay Buzz from the Buzzards Bay Coalition includes articles on using mussels to detect toxic pollution in Buzzards Bay, a grant award to protect Allens Pond in Dartmouth, and other Buzzards Bay news and events.

Beneath the Surface - The February 2017 issue of Beneath the Surface, a newsletter from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), includes features on tracking a 25,000 pound whale shark and Antarctic bottom waters, along with other news and updates from WHOI.

Marine Ecosystems and Management Information Service - The February 2017 edition of Marine Ecosystems and Management, the bimonthly information service on marine ecosystem-based management (EBM) from the University of Washington School of Marine Affairs, includes articles on how scientists can help with marine resource management, ocean policy under a new administration, and other notes and news.

Web-Based and Mobile-User Resources

Ocean Tracking Network - The Ocean Tracking Network has launched a Global Ocean Projects, a new website that provides an interactive view of acoustic detection data for ongoing endangered species research projects throughout the world. The new website, based in Canada, features interactive maps, increased functionality, and searchable tools.

Best Practice Guide to Engage Coastal Atlas Users - The International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN) has released Best Practice Guide to Engage Your Coastal Web Atlas User Community, a guide for developers of coastal web atlases that shares common solutions for atlas development and ensuring maximum relevance and added value for the users.

Job/Internship Postings

Joppa Flats Summer Camp Staff - Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport is seeking applicants for several summer staff positions, including full and part-time camp counselors. These counselors will work in an outdoor play and nature discovery oriented camp and must enjoy working with children and possess a passion for sharing the wonder of nature with others. Candidates with a background in science and education are preferred. For more information, including position descriptions, see the Mass Audubon website.

Waquoit Bay Research Intern - The Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR) in Falmouth is seeking applicants for a part-time, unpaid research internship. Qualified candidates will have at least two years of undergraduate studies in biology, chemistry, or environmental science and capacity to help with field and laboratory work. For more information, including application details, see the WBNERR website.

Cape Ann Whale Watch Interns - Cape Ann Whale Watch is seeking applications for its unpaid Field Research and Marine Education Internship. Based in Gloucester, Cape Ann Whale Watch boat takes between 150 and 250 passengers a day on whale watches in and around the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Interns work to educate passengers about marine life and to foster a sense of environmental awareness, respect, and responsibility. This internship will provide hands-on experience in field research, educational techniques, and the general workings of being on a whale watch boat. Applications are due by March 15.


Water Watch Lecture Series - Through March 8, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association will hold the WaterWatch Lecture Series at the South Shore Natural Science Center on Wednesday nights at 7:00 p.m. On March 1, Jason Zimmer, Southeast Manager of the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, will discuss Bald Eagles on the South Shore. On March 8, Barbara Brennessel will discuss her book, The Alewives’ Tale: The Struggle to Save a Dramatically Declining Species. Lectures are free and open to the public.

Minot’s Light Lecture - On March 2 at 7 p.m., CZM’s Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR) Director, Victor Mastone, will present Finding the First Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse at the Pratt Paul Memorial Library in Cohasset. For details and directions, see the library calendar.

Gardening for Life - On several Sundays in March and April, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will present Gardening for Life with experts from around the country in the field of gardening and landscape design. On March 5, Trevor Smith, owner of an ecological landscaping company, will present Waterwise Landscape Designs. Attendees will learn simple methods to capture and reuse stormwater and manage it on their property. Rain harvesting, permeable pavements, green roofs, and rain gardens will be discussed.

Saturday Science - Through May, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster will host monthly sessions of Saturday Science, a hands-on look at scientific concepts with experiments for kids. On March 5, the museum will hold Weather Wonders for kids ages 7-11 to learn about wind.

Climate Change Program - On March 7, the Environmental Business Council of New England will present part two of its Climate Change Program Series. Adaptation and Resiliency Programs at the Municipal Level will focus on efforts in New York City, Boston, and Bridgeport, Connecticut. While the impacts of climate change affect municipalities large and small, cities face particularly complex challenges including dense and diverse populations, concentrated critical infrastructure, and the potential for large economic impacts. This program will feature leaders from across the Northeast to speak about challenges as well as the design, financing, and implementation of solutions.

Field Guide Training Program - Starting March 7, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold its annual Field Guide Training. This year’s course will consist of six Tuesdays, March 7-April 11. Field guides are trained to guide school groups in the spring and fall and lead tourists during the summer.

Watershed Planning Workshop - On March 8, MassDEP will hold the Strategies for Prioritizing Surface Waters for Protection and Restoration Planning Workshop in Worcester. This workshop furthers MassDEP’s goal to include stakeholders in the development of a 10-Year Vision for assessment, restoration, and protection of surface waters in Massachusetts under the Clean Water Act.

High School Marine Science Symposium - The Massachusetts Marine Educators will hold the 2017 High School Marine Science Symposium in Boston on March 9 and Salem on March 15. Join hundreds of high schoolers and their teachers to learn about research and practices around marine science topics and issues. The event features both keynote speakers in a plenary format as well as hands-on, break-out workshops led by scientists, policymakers, graduate students, and others engaged in marine-related careers. In Salem, BUAR Director Victor Mastone will be presenting a workshop for high school students on mapping a shipwreck.

Digging into the Past - On March 11, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, as part of its Digging into the Past lecture series, will present The History, Archaeology, and Artifacts of the Pirate Ship Whydah with Senior Archaeologist and Director of Exhibits at the Whydah Museum, Christopher Macort. Join Chris for a presentation on the history, archaeology, and artifacts of the Whydah including the most recent finds, and some of the mysteries that still exist regarding the wreck and the few survivors.

Sea Rovers Clinic - From March 11-12, the Boston Sea Rovers will hold the 2017 Sea Rovers Clinic in Danvers. Each year, the clinic is held to increase the awareness and appreciation of the marine environment with a focus on diving. The 2017 clinic will include more than 30 daytime seminars and workshops, a marine sciences career fair, an international film festival, and a large display of dive equipment and services in New England. BUAR Director Victor Mastone will be an exhibitor and will be available for questions and answers. Also, on Sunday, MassBays National Estuary Program’s Executive Director Pam DiBona will present the talk Citizen Science: Monitoring the Massachusetts Coast as part of the Marine Science and Conservation Public Forum.

Green Infrastructure Webcasts - The EPA Green Infrastructure Program Webcast Series features bimonthly webcasts geared toward public officials and practitioners just beginning to implement green infrastructure, as well as those looking to enhance established programs. The next webcast is EPA STAR Grants: Moving Green Infrastructure Forward on March 14.

NEERS Spring Meeting - From March 16-18, the New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS) will hold its Spring 2017 Meeting in Groton, Connecticut. Attendees will discuss science, management, and education issues concerning estuarine and coastal ecosystems.

Science on the Street - On March 18, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, in collaboration with the Cape Cod Regional STEM Network, and Cambridge Science Festival's Science on the Street outreach program will present Science on the Street 2017, an interactive science festival for the entire community.

Environmental Film Series - Through April, Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, and WCAI Radio will present the 2017 Sea Change Environmental Film Series with monthly movie screenings. On March 18, the movie is Wild Ways: Corridors for Life, which examines the strategies of connecting fragmented conservation lands. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion about the movie.

Marine Science Lectures - In 2017, the Northeastern University Marine Science Center is continuing its series of monthly marine science lectures through March. On March 21, Dr. Phil Colarusso, EPA Marine Biologist, will present How Do You Like Your Carbon? I'll Take Mine Blue. The lectures, which are free and open to the public, are held at the Murphy Bunker Classroom at the Marine Science Center in Nahant and start at 7:00 p.m., with light refreshments served at 6:30 p.m.

Sustainable Landscape Maintenance - On March 22 at 7:00 p.m., the Ipswich Conservation Commission Speaker’s Series will host Sustainable Landscape Maintenance with Jamie Banks and Jeanne Kempthorne of Quiet Communities. The presentation will discuss specific sustainable landscape practices that can be used to improve not only plant and lawn health, but also human and animal health and environmental quality. This free program is at Ipswich Town Hall. For more information, call the Ipswich Conservation Commission Office at (978) 356-6661.

Climate Change Talk - On March 25, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will present Stormy Weather Ahead with Dr. Philip B. Duffy, President and Executive Director of the Woods Hole Research Center. Dr. Duffy is a physicist whose expertise is in domestic climate policy, international climate change negotiations, climate change adaptation, extreme weather risk, and climate modeling. He will speak about the challenges that lie ahead for climate science.

Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience - On March 28 and 30, NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management in partnership with CZM, the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center will present Introducing Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience. Each full-day training session for local officials and non-governmental partners will provide an overview of traditional green infrastructure approaches, including low-impact development techniques, and introduce living shorelines, which use natural materials to manage flooding and erosion. The training will feature presentations on local projects from across the state, activities, and group discussions. Participants will learn how to support green infrastructure implementation in their communities. Registration is required (see the Hyannis and Nahant registration pages). Space is limited and lunch will be provided.

BUAR Public Meeting - On March 30 at 1:30 p.m., the BUAR will hold its bi-monthly public meeting in the CZM Large Conference Room. The preliminary agenda includes discussion/approval of minutes for the January 26 meeting, renewal of permits, review of permit application, and discussion of permittee, outreach, and research activities. For more information, contact BUAR Director, Victor Mastone, at

Boston Harbor and Islands Science Symposium—Save the Date - From April 11-12, the Boston Harbor Habitat Coalition and the National Parks of Boston will hold the Boston Harbor and Islands Science Symposium. The first day will feature field trips as well as an evening Science Cafe hosted by UMass Boston. The second day, to be held at Northeastern University's main campus in Boston, will feature panels, keynotes, lightning talks, posters, and concurrent presentations focused on "what we study" and "how we study" the Boston Harbor estuary and islands.

Ocean Conveyor Belt Lecture - On April 13, the University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Institute will present the fifth annual Scott W. Nixon Lecture, A 21st Century Look at the Global Ocean Conveyor Belt, by Dr. Susan Lozier from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

Underwater in Salem Sound Lecture Series - Through April, Salem Sound Coastwatch will hold free Underwater in Salem Sound lectures at Marblehead’s Abbot Public Library at 7:00 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month. On April 26, Jill Carr, Fisheries Habitat Specialist at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries lab, will present Now and Then—Eelgrass Distribution and Mapping in Salem Sound. Jill will discuss the results of side scan mapping surveys of Salem Sound eelgrass meadows conducted in the summer of 2016. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Ceres Conference - From April 26-27, the Ceres Conference 2017, Sustainability Is the Bottom Line, will be held in San Francisco, California, and will focus on how sectors from electric utilities and transportation to food and finance are revamping strategies in response to escalating global sustainability challenges. Ceres is a national network of investors, environmental organizations, and other public interest groups working to address sustainability challenges.

AWRA Spring Conference - From April 30-May 3, the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) will hold its Spring Specialty Conference, Connecting the Dots: The Emerging Science of Aquatic System Connectivity, at Snowbird Resort in Utah. This conference will provide researchers, practitioners, and academicians a forum to discuss the latest refinements in connectivity concepts, gain familiarity with state-of-the-science connectivity research, and obtain a broader understanding of the many ways in which connectivity contributes to landscape and aquatic system function.

2017 CERF Conference—Call for Abstracts - From November 5-9, the Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) will hold its 24th biennial conference, CERF 2017, in Providence, Rhode Island. The conference provides opportunities for education, networking, and professional development for professionals at all career stages. The CERF 2017 Scientific Program Committee is seeking abstract submissions for oral or poster presentations around the conference theme, Coastal Science at the Inflection Point: Celebrating Successes & Learning from Challenges. For details, see the Call for Abstracts, which are due by May 1.

Marine Education Conference—Call for Exhibitors - From June 25-29, the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) will hold its 2017 Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. For more information on exhibiting, see the Call for Exhibitors, which are due by May 1.

Boating Safety Course - From March 2 through June 14, the Massachusetts Environmental Police will offer Boat Massachusetts, a free, state and nationally approved boating safety course for boaters age 12 and older. The course concentrates on the equipment and operating guidelines needed to enjoy boating in a safe and responsible way. All graduates ages 12-15 will receive a safety certificate that allows operation of a motorboat without adult supervision, as required by state law. All graduates ages 16-17 will also be allowed to operate a personal watercraft (jet ski, wave runner, etc.).

OneNOAA Science Seminars - The NOAA seminar series website provides listings and details on NOAA science and climate seminars and webinars that are available across the nation.

MACC Education - The Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) offers a variety of specialized education programs. Visit the MACC workshops page to see an overview of upcoming wetland delineation and soil science courses and shrub identification workshops, along with the soil erosion and sediment-control training program. The MACC online education calendar provides a schedule of programs. (See “Reminders” below for more on the 2017 MACC Annual Environmental Conference in Worcester on March 4.)

Walks, Lectures, and Events on Cape Cod - Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary in Barnstable offer a variety of educational programs for children and adults. For more information, search the calendar of programs, classes, and activities for Wellfleet Bay and Long Pasture.

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary Programs and Activities - Mass Audubon’s Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary provides numerous nature walks, talks, and adventures. See the program catalog for event and schedule information.

Joppa Flats Wildlife Sanctuary Programs and Activities - Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Wildlife Sanctuary in Newburyport provides numerous birding walks, field trips, and adventures. See the program catalog for event and schedule information.

Cape Cod Bird Club Walks - The Cape Cod Bird Club holds free bird watching walks throughout Cape Cod. The next scheduled walk will be held on March 4 at Scusset Beach State Reservation in Sandwich.

Birdwatching for Beginners - The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History’s Birdwatching for Beginners with Gretchen Moran Towers presents basic skills designed to enable bird identification through sight and sound. Each session is followed by an outdoor venture to view birds in their natural habitat. The next session is on March 23.

Tuesday Tweets - On several Tuesdays into April, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold Tuesday Tweets, bird watching walks with Gretchen Moran Towers. Whether experienced or a beginner, bring binoculars, wear appropriate footwear, and come prepared to watch, study, and enjoy birds in their natural habitats. The next session is on March 14.

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

  • MACC Conference - On March 4, MACC will hold the 2017 MACC Annual Environmental Conference in Worcester. Join more than 1,000 conservation commissioners, local officials, state and federal officials, consultants, and attorneys for the largest regular environmental conference in New England. CZM and MassDEP staff will be co-presenting two workshops on Protecting Land Subject to Coastal Storm Flowage and Protecting the Storm Damage Prevention and Flood Control Interests of Coastal Resource Areas.
  • Local Environmental Action Conference - On March 5, the Mass Climate Action Network and the Toxics Action Center will hold Local Environmental Action 2017 at Northeastern University. This conference will feature workshops on sustainable energy, waste reduction, environmental justice, pipelines in New England, and other topics.
  • RES/CON Conference - From March 7-9, the 2017 RES/CON: The Global Resilience Summit will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana. This conference will focus on disaster and resiliency in a global environment. Topics include economic resilience, emergency management, coastal restoration and water management, homeland security, and business continuity.
  • 2017 Annual Environmental Conference - On March 8, the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society (MEES) will hold its 2017 Annual Conference, Looking to the Past to Inform Our Future, in Worcester. The MEES Conference brings together environmental educators from all regions of Massachusetts and from a variety of industries including K-12 schools, nature centers, urban environmental programs, museums, and more.
  • Ecological Landscaping Conference - From March 8-9, the Ecological Landscaping Association (ELA) will hold the ELA Conference and Eco-Marketplace, Sustaining the Living Landscape, in Amherst. The 2017 conference will explore topics including landscape design, plant functions, creative stormwater design, and more.
  • Cape Cod Natural History Conference - On March 11, the MassAudubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary will hold the 22nd annual Cape Cod Natural History Conference at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable. This full-day conference will feature presenters from environmental organizations across Cape Cod speaking on a diversity of natural history topics.
  • Environmental Biologist Conference - From March 14-16, the New England Association of Environmental Biologists (NEAEB) will hold its 2017 annual meeting in Hartford, Connecticut. This three-day conference provides a forum for presenting current work and research on pressing environmental issues relevant to the region.
  • Healthy Waters Conference - On March 16, Watershed Action Alliance will hold a one-day conference, Solutions for Healthy Waters, in Hanson. Conference sessions will include talks on invasive plants, effective science communication, and drought and flood resilience. Invited speaker, Dr. Pia Moisander of UMass Dartmouth, will talk about the challenge of cyanobacteria in local waterways and ways to prevent it from becoming a health and water quality issue.
  • Sustainability Conference - On March 17, Massachusetts Sustainable Communities and Campuses, Salem Sound Coastwatch, and Endicott College will present the 2017 Massachusetts Sustainable Communities and Campuses Conference, Sustainability by Land & Sea, at Endicott College in Beverly. The conference will feature sessions on best practices, current trends, and resources for sustainable practices in the Commonwealth’s communities and campuses.
  • Managing Floodplain Development Course - From March 20-23, a Managing Floodplain Development through the National Flood Insurance Program course will offered in Danvers. This course is the field deployed version of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute course, which focuses on the National Flood Insurance Program and concepts of floodplain management, maps and studies, ordinance administration, and the relationship between floodplain management and flood insurance. This course is sponsored by FEMA Region I, the Association of State Floodplain Managers, and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). For more information, contact DCR’s Joy Duperault at
  • CRWA Annual Meeting - On March 22, the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) will hold its 2017 Annual Meeting in Newton. The keynote speaker, Bob Perciasepe, President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, will present Advancing Climate Solutions: Where Do We Go from Here?
  • Economics of Coastal Adaptation Workshop - On March 29, the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve will present The Economics of Natural and Nature Based Coastal Adaptation at the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, in Greenland, New Hampshire. Dr. Robert Johnston of Clark University, his research team, and NOAA economist Pete Wiley will share the results of multiple projects that provide information on economic benefits and costs of coastal adaptation in New England.
  • Plastic Pollution Summit - On March 30, the South Carolina Aquarium will present the 2017 Plastic Pollution Summit in Charleston, South Carolina. This community engagement summit will bring together leading experts, Aquarium Conservation Partnership collaborators, college students, community practitioners, and others from across the nation to generate solution-oriented discussions on effectively addressing pressing plastic pollution challenges.
  • National Watershed and Stormwater Conference - On April 4, the Center for Watershed Protection will hold the 2017 National Watershed and Stormwater Conference on cross-cutting issues and emerging trends in watershed management and implementation. Designed for practitioners, regulators, water and sewer authorities, and stormwater managers from the public, private, and nonprofit sector, the conference will include national sessions via internet, along with local hubs to encourage more in-depth discussion and networking.
  • Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference - From April 12-13, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission will hold the 28th annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference in Northampton. This conference is the premier forum in the Northeast for sharing information and improving communication on nonpoint source pollution issues and projects.
  • Benthic Ecology Meeting - From April 12-16, the 46th annual Benthic Ecology Meeting, Sustainable Oceans in Theory and Practice, will be held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This meeting is one of the largest scientific meetings for marine biologists in the United States and has historically provided a venue for graduate and undergraduate students to present their work and interact with established researchers in areas of marine biology and ecology.
  • 2017 Great Massachusetts Litter Cleanup - Keep Massachusetts Beautiful is seeking cleanup coordinators and volunteers for litter cleanups across the state this spring. Cleanup dates are flexible. For more information, visit the Keep Massachusetts Beautiful website or email

Other Items of Interest

Environmental Education Awards - EEA is now accepting applications for the 2017 Secretary Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education. All K-12 Massachusetts schools are eligible for cash awards for outstanding environmental and energy education projects. Winners will be notified in April and invited to attend a formal award ceremony at the State House. To apply, see the EEA website. Applications are due by March 28.

Gulf of Maine Council Award Nominations - The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment is seeking nominations for its annual Visionary, Longard, Susan Snow-Cotter Leadership, Industry, and Sustainable Communities Awards. Visionary Awards will be presented to one individual and one organization in each state and province bordering the Gulf. The Longard Award will be presented to an outstanding volunteer within the Gulf watershed. The Susan Snow-Cotter Award will recognize a coastal management professional who exemplifies outstanding leadership or exceptional mentoring in the Gulf of Maine watershed. The Industry Award will go to a business that has shown leadership in efforts to improve the wellbeing of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem. The Sustainable Communities Award will go to a community or group within a community that exemplifies a sustainable environment and economy. Nomination forms must be submitted by March 30.

National Groundwater Awareness Week - March 5-11 is National Groundwater Awareness Week, the National Ground Water Association's effort to highlight the value of this natural resource and promote protection strategies—from proper management of household hazardous substances to septic system maintenance. For more information, check out the National Groundwater Awareness Week website.

Science Without Borders Challenge - The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is seeking entries for the 2017 Science without Borders Challenge. Students, ages 11-19, are asked to submit videos (maximum of five minutes) on the theme, Reef SuperSpecies. Entries are due by April 24.

Summer Science School - In July and August, the Waquoit Bay Reserve Foundation sponsors a Summer Science School offering week-long, full- and half-day educational experiences for students entering grades 2-12. For details, program brochures, and registration information, see the Waquoit Bay Reserve Foundation’s Summer Science School web page.

FEMA National Advisory Council - FEMA is seeking applicants for its National Advisory Council (NAC). The NAC is a federal advisory committee established to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation for natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters. For more information, see the NAC website. Applications are due by March 15.

Youth Preparedness Council - FEMA is seeking applicants for its Youth Preparedness Council, which was formed in 2012 to bring together leaders from across the country that are interested and engaged in advocating youth preparedness. Council members are selected based on their dedication to public service, efforts to make a difference in their communities, and potential to expand their impact as national advocates for youth preparedness. Applications are due by March 31. For instructions, see the FEMA website.

Maritime Art Contest - The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Mystic Aquarium, and the Inter-American Committee on Ports of the Organization of American States (CIP-OAS) is inviting entries from K-12 students in the Connecting Ships, Ports, and People Student Art Contest. Students are asked to creatively show the connections among ships, ports, and people and how these connections affect our everyday lives. Twelve finalists will receive a certificate and a calendar featuring the artwork from each finalist. Two grand-prize winners will receive a $100 cash prize and a U.S. Coast Guard prize package. Entries are due by March 31.

Student Environmental Research Funding - The Marjot Foundation in Falmouth is seeking applications from high school students (grades 9-11) to fund independent field and/or laboratory research projects on environmental issues. Projects may focus on any area of environmental research and must be designed by the student applicant. Grants are $5,000, with $1,000 going to the student(s), $1000 to the mentor, $500 to the school department, and $2,500 for supplies. For more information, see the Foundation website. Applications are due by April 1.

2017 Nickerson Fellowship - The Nickerson Conservation Fellowship Committee is soliciting proposals to support scientific research that assists park managers in making informed decisions about the resources of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Proposals will be accepted for research in the broad areas of the natural and social sciences, including terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem processes, biotic and abiotic ecosystem components, cultural and natural resource management, and the political and social implications of resource protection and management. The 2017 fellowship will provide up to $3,000 in funding. For details, including application information, see the fellowship web page. The application deadline is April 30.