CZ-Mail - March 2018

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 to CZ-Mail, send a blank email to join-env-cz-mail@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@state.ma.us. For daily updates from CZM, please follow us on Twitter.

All links on this web page were current and working on the date of publication.

Highlights

CZM and USGS Release Massachusetts Coastal Zone Bathymetry and Elevation Dataset - CZM, in conjunction with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), has published Continuous Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone and Continental Shelf. This comprehensive elevation dataset covers the entire Massachusetts Coastal Zone—the area defined by the seaward limit of the state's territorial sea, extending from the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border south to the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border, and landward to 100 feet inland of specified major roads, rail lines, other visible rights-of-way. This new dataset covers both “over-the-land” topography and “underwater” bathymetry and provides a continuous surface, which is necessary to identify flood, hurricane, and sea-level rise inundation hazard zones. These high-resolution elevation data can also be used to analyze nearshore sediment transport, saltmarsh response to sea level rise, and coastal ecosystem functions, as well as for benthic habitat mapping. The data were created by integrating more than 70 disparate light detection and ranging (LIDAR) and bathymetric datasets and aligning them both vertically and horizontally to a common datum (i.e., a geographic reference system familiar to planners, surveyors, and other professionals). The dataset is available as a Google Earth file (KML, 45 KB). For more information, contact CZM’s Dan Sampson at daniel.sampson@state.ma.us.

This Summer, Volunteers to Use New Technology to Examine Eelgrass Loss in Duxbury-Kingston-Plymouth - Eelgrass (Zostera marina) provides one of the most valuable shallow­water coastal habitats in Massachusetts, forming a complex underwater landscape that stabilizes the seafloor and adjacent shorelines, filters the water of sediments and nutrients, and provides valuable habitat. Documented eelgrass losses (up to 56% between 1995 and 2014, an additional 29% between 2014 and 2017) in Duxbury-Kingston-Plymouth embayment have spurred scientists and managers to investigate the causes of these losses. With funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays), Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), and North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSRWA) are developing a rapid assessment protocol that will be used by trained citizen scientists to track changes in eelgrass conditions in these bays. Given that water quality data are limited for this area, MassBays, in coordination with the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) and SeaTrac, will deploy an autonomous vessel this summer to collect real-time water quality data. Project partners hope that the data will help provide information on the causes of eelgrass loss. The goal is to identify strategies to address and potentially reverse the loss of this habitat. To learn more about this project, contact MassBays’ Prassede Vella at prassede.vella@state.ma.us. To participate in the project field work, please contact NSRWA’s Sara Grady at sara@nsrwa.org.

The New Edition of the Massachusetts State Building Code Includes Provisions to Better Protect Construction in Flood Hazard Areas - The 9th Edition of the State Building Code went into effect on October 20, 2017, and as of January 1, 2018, all new applications must comply with the 9th Edition standards. Specific changes to the Building Code that affect development and redevelopment in coastal flood zones include: 1) in new or substantially improved buildings in Velocity flood zones (V Zones), the utilities can no longer be located below the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 1% chance flood elevation, and 2) new or substantially improved buildings in A Zones have to be elevated so that the lowest floor surface is at least one foot above the FEMA 1% chance flood elevation. At its meeting on February 13, 2018, the Board of Building Standards and Regulations voted to refer proposed revisions to the 9th Edition relating to Coastal A Zones (that were previously included in prior draft versions) to a study group for further evaluation. The proposed Coastal A Zone standards adopt provisions of the 2015 International Code that extend V Zone standards to Coastal A Zones because these areas are subject to similar types of hazards, such as wave effects, velocity flows, erosion, scour, and high winds. For additional information on these flood zones, see Interpreting Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Maps and Studies in the Coastal Zone. Published in 2017 by CZM, in cooperation with the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Flood Hazard Management Program, it gives guidance on how to use FEMA Flood Maps and Studies to better understand the potential effects of flooding on buildings, properties, and the underlying natural resource areas.

Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities

MassBays Strategic Communications Plan - MassBays is seeking applications from qualified contractors to work with MassBays and members of its Management Committee to develop a communications strategy to broaden awareness of MassBays’ programs and accomplishments; highlight scientific research, monitoring, and management needs across the planning area; and invite current and new partners to participate actively in achieving the goals (PDF, 501 KB) of its Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP). For more information, to view the Request for Responses (RFR), and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Applications are due by March 21.

Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance Grants - The Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) will soon be seeking proposals from Massachusetts municipalities for the Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance Grant Program to replace undersized, perched, and/or degraded culverts located in areas of high ecological value. The goal of this program is to replace old culverts with new structures that meet environmental design and structural standards along with climate resiliency criteria. Only projects that will meet the goals of the Massachusetts Stream Crossing Standards will be eligible for funding. Total funding available in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 is anticipated to be $750,000. Prior to the release of the RFR on March 12, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact DER’s Carrie Banks at (413) 579-3015 or carrie.banks@state.ma.us to discuss possible projects.

319 Nonpoint Source Competitive Grants Pre-RFR Meeting - On March 6 at 10 a.m. (snow date is March 13), the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will hold a meeting to field questions and discuss the upcoming 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. See the MassDEP website for the pre-RFR announcement and information about the program and past §319 projects. The 2018 RFR is expected to be released on April 2.

Water Quality Management Planning Program Grants - MassDEP is seeking proposals for the FY 2018 Federal §604(b) Water Quality Management Planning Program Grants to fund nonpoint source assessment activities that support MassDEP's assessment efforts. For more information, see the §604b RFR (PDF, 1 MB). Project applications are due by March 28.

Southeast New England Program Watershed Grants - Restore America’s Estuaries is seeking proposals for the 2018 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Watershed Grants. These grants will target water pollution, habitat degradation, and other significant environmental issues in coastal watershed communities in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. Up to $2.5 million is available to support grants to state, local, tribal, and regional partners. A 33% non-federal match is required. Projects should support the goals and priorities of SNEP. Two informational webinars will be held on March 6 and 8. Register on the SNEP website. Grants will be awarded through a competitive two-step process. Pre-proposals are due by March 30.

Marine Debris Removal Grants - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with Covanta Energy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, is seeking proposals for Fishing for Energy grants to fund marine debris removal projects. Grants will focus on areas in United States coastal waters that have identified and prioritized derelict fishing gear reduction in state or regional plans. Priority locations include the Gulf of Maine in areas that are identified as priority for northern right whales. Full proposals are due by April 19.

MIT Sea Grant Annual Request for Proposals - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sea Grant Program is seeking proposals to fund Massachusetts university-based marine research that focuses on aquaculture technologies, ocean acidification, and/or underwater wireless power transmission and data communication. Projects selected will receive funding for two years at a maximum of $100,000 per year, with a 50 percent match requirement. For more information and a description of the selection process see the MIT Sea Grant website. Pre-proposals are due by March 6 and full proposals will be due by June 12.

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

  • Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative Small Research Grants - The Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative (NBI) is seeking proposals for through its Small Research Grants Program 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.
  • Environmental Education Grants - EPA is seeking applications for Environmental Education Local Grants to support locally focused projects that increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues. Applications are due by March 15.

Products/Publications

Green Infrastructure Report - The University of Maryland’s Environmental Finance Center has published Holistically Analyzing the Benefits of Green Infrastructure (PDF, 4 MB), a guidance document for local governments to evaluate the benefits of green infrastructure, especially those communities with Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) programs. The report provides details on how combining green and gray infrastructure systems can allow municipalities to lower costs and solve system-wide stormwater problems.

2018 Boaters’ Guide to Tides and Pumpout Facilities - This wallet-sized pamphlet from DMF’s 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 cecil.french@state.ma.us.

Buzzards Bay Coalition Newsletter - The January 2018 issue of The Bay Buzz from the Buzzards Bay Coalition features articles on efforts to stop nitrogen pollution from sewage lagoons in Marion, restoration work on Wicket’s Island in Onset Bay, and other Buzzards Bay news and events.

Beneath the Surface - The February 2018 issue of Beneath the Surface, a newsletter from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), includes articles on the effects of warmer ocean waters on lobsters in the northwest Atlantic, biofouling marine life, ocean acidification and how it weakens coral skeletons, and other news and updates from WHOI.

Urban Harbors Institute E-News - The February 2018 issue of Urban Harbors Institute E-News, the newsletter of the Urban Harbors Institute (UHI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston, includes articles on a flood protection study for Boston Harbor, harbor planning in Padanaram Harbor in Dartmouth, UHI staff transitions, and other news and updates from UHI.

MPA Connections - The February 2018 edition of Marine Protected Areas Connections, the newsletter of the NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center, features articles on the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Federal Advisory Committee meeting with Sanctuary Advisory Council Chairs, a new video and poster on California MPAs, and other MPA news.

Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The February 2018 issue of MPA News features articles on challenges, successes, and lessons from building effective MPA management networks, impacts of the proposed offshore drilling plan on MPAs, and other MPA news and notes.

Marine Ecosystems and Management Information Service - The February 2018 edition of Marine Ecosystems and Management, the bimonthly information service on marine ecosystem-based management from the University of Washington School of Marine Affairs, focuses on insurance for healthier oceans and ocean communities and other resources and news.

Sound Waves - The January 2018 issue of Sound Waves, a U.S. Geological Survey newsletter, features articles on an expedition along an active geologic fault off southeast Alaska, highlights from the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, recent fieldwork, and other coastal and marine research news.

Internet Water Report - The January 2018 issue of Internet Water Report (iWR), the email newsletter of the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, features articles on students raising salmon in a classroom, water quality in the Narragansett Bay estuary, and other New England water pollution news.

Web-Based and Mobile-User Resources

Gulf of Maine Video - The Gulf of Maine Research Institute has released The Warming Gulf of Maine, an episode of the Institute’s Gulf of Maine, Explained video series. The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s oceans. In this 4-minute video, Dr. Andrew Pershing explains the three essential factors behind this warming.

National Stormwater Calculator Updated - EPA's National Stormwater Calculator has received an update and is now available as a web application for desktops and mobile devices. Stormwater runoff is a major source of flooding and waterway pollution. The National Stormwater Calculator is a tool that can help reduce runoff using recommended green infrastructure practices. Users can enter any address in the United States and select various development schemes to see how each scheme affects stormwater runoff volumes.

Public Comment

Please note: All official CZM requests for public comment are published in the Public Notices section of the Environmental Monitor, the bi-weekly publication from the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) office.

South Boston Designated Port Area Boundary Review - As noticed in the Environmental Monitor and Boston Globe, CZM is seeking public comments on the Boundary Review of the South Boston Designated Port Area, Boston, MA. The purpose of the boundary review is to determine whether the Designated Port Area (DPA) boundary requested for review should remain as it is currently established or should be modified in accordance with criteria governing the suitability of contiguous lands and waters to accommodate water-dependent industrial use. The Commonwealth’s DPA policy seeks to promote water-dependent industries as an important sector of the state’s economy and prevent the loss of areas that have certain key characteristics that make them particularly well suited to water-dependent industrial uses. Under the DPA regulations at 301 CMR 25.00 (PDF, 87 KB), CZM is responsible for mapping, interpreting, and periodic review of DPA boundaries. For more information, see CZM Public Notice (PDF, 2 MB), which includes the boundary review report. Submit comments on the draft report by March 9 to Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Attn: Lisa Berry Engler, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 800, Boston MA 02114-2136.

Supplemental Information Filing for Boston’s Downtown Waterfront District MHP - As noticed in the Environmental Monitor, on February 21, the City of Boston submitted Supplemental Information for the Downtown Waterfront District Municipal Harbor Plan (MHP). The MHP was originally submitted on March 15, 2017 and the consultation period for it has been extended several times, with the last 30-day extension ending on February 19. In accordance with 301 CMR 23.04, the City has submitted this supplemental information (PDF, 462 KB) for consideration. Submit comments by April 9 to the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Attn: Lisa Berry Engler, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 800, Boston MA 02114-2136.

Job/Internship Postings

Recreational Fisheries Field Interviewers - The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, in coordination with A.I.S., Inc., is seeking applicants for several part-time Recreational Fisheries Survey Technicians to interact with fishermen and conduct Access Point Angler Intercept Surveys (APAIS) at coastal locations. These surveys will provide data for NOAA’s Marine Recreational Information Program. For more information, including application instructions, see the A.I.S. website. Applications are due by March 31.

Seasonal Positions on Cape Cod - The Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR) and DCR are seeking applications for several seasonal positions at WBNERR and DCR’s South Cape Beach State Park. For details and application instructions, see the WBNERR website.

Outdoor Educator - The Buzzards Bay Coalition is seeking applicants for an Outdoor Educator to develop, coordinate, and deliver outdoor exploration programs for youth, families, and adults in the Buzzards Bay watershed.

Seasonal Research Assistant - The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is accepting applications for a Seasonal Research Assistant (PDF, 91 KB). The primary responsibilities of this position are to assist with ongoing salt marsh monitoring and restoration projects. Applications are due by March 11.

Center for Coastal Studies Summer Internships - The Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown is seeking applicants for several summer internships to assist with the Center’s humpback whale research and environmental education programs. For more information, including application details and deadlines, see the Center’s Internships page.

Seasonal Shorebird Monitors - The town of Sandwich is seeking applicants for two part-time Seasonal Shorebird Monitors to assess and monitor shorebird nesting activity on Sandwich beaches. For more information, including application details, see the town’s Employment Opportunities web page. Applications are due by March 5.

Marine Education Instructor - Pleasant Bay Community Boating (PBCB) is seeking applicants for Marine Education Instructor to plan, lead, and teach the PBCB marine education classes this summer. For more information, including application details, see the PBCB Jobs page.

Seaside Sustainability Internships - Seaside Sustainability, a Rockport-based environmental nonprofit, is seeking applicants for unpaid part-time internships from high school and college students and graduates to work on a diverse array of projects and initiatives. Interns engage in focused, mentored, learning experiences to develop strategies and skills that tackle local environmental challenges. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Calendar

Chemical Safety and Climate Change Preparedness Workshops - Beginning March 1, the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance will hold Chemical Safety and Climate Change Preparedness Workshops in partnership with Regional Planning Agencies. These workshops will provide hazardous materials users (many businesses, factories, vehicle repair facilities, labs, etc.) tools to prepare for severe weather events, comply with emergency planning regulations, and include toxics reduction in their emergency planning to avoid chemical spills or accidents.

Marine Science Lectures - In March, the Northeastern University Marine Science Center is continuing its series of marine science lectures. On March 1, the Annual Burba Lecture will feature Anne Salomon, PhD, Associate Professor and Hakai Professor at Simon Fraser University, who will present Tipping Points and Transformation in Coupled Human-Ocean Systems. On March 13, Torrie Hanley, PhD and Postdoctoral Researcher at Northeastern University will present Nitrogen - Friend or Foe? Effects of Fertilization on a New England Salt Marsh. These lectures, which are free and open to the public, are held at the Murphy Bunker Classroom at the Marine Science Center in Nahant. Lectures start at 7:00 p.m. and light refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m.

Green Infrastructure Webcasts - The EPA Green Infrastructure 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 Building Resilient Communities with Green Infrastructure and Hazard Mitigation Planning on March 1.

MACC Conference - On March 3, the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) will hold the 2018 MACC Annual Environmental Conference in Worcester. Join more than 750 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 The Coastal Manual: Guidance for Protecting Storm Damage Prevention and Flood Control Functions of Coastal Resource Areas.

Unusual Catches Day - On March 3, Unusual Catches Day will be held at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center in New Bedford. Maritime archeologists, including Board of Underwater Archaeology (BUAR) Director Vic Mastone, will be on hand to examine the unusual items that commercial fishermen have pulled up in nets and dredges. For more information, see the Center’s Calendar page.

Local Environmental Action Conference - On March 3, the Mass Climate Action Network and the Toxics Action Center will hold Local Environmental Action 2018 at Northeastern University. This conference will feature workshops on activism, environmental justice, climate communication, fixing the grid for a future of renewable energy, and other topics.

Wanted: Herring Counters - The Barnstable Clean Water Coalition and the town of Barnstable's Natural Resources Program are seeking volunteers to count herring at the Mill Pond and Middle Pond fish ladders in Marstons Mills this spring. On March 3 from 1-3 p.m., an informational meeting and training will be held at Liberty Hall, 2150 Main Street, Marstons Mills.

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 11, Dan Jaffe, propagator and stock bed grower at New England Wildflower Society’s Garden in the Woods, will present Native Plants for New England Gardens.

Field Guide Training Course - Starting March 6, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold its annual Field Guide Training. The course will consist of six Tuesdays, March 6-April 10. Field guides are trained to guide school groups in the spring and fall and lead tourists during the summer.

Maritime Community Industry Day - On March 7 at 8:30 a.m., the 2018 Greater Boston Maritime Community Industry Day will be held at the Raymond L. Flynn Cruise Port, East Mezzanine at the Black Falcon Terminal in South Boston.

Chapter 91 Training - On March 7, the Environmental Business Council (EBC) of New England will hold the EBC Professional Development Program: Chapter 91 for the Ascending Professional - An Advanced Introduction. Speakers will discuss the details of Chapter 91, or the Public Waterfront Act, including the roles of lawyers, courts, consulting firms, and state agencies in Chapter 91 licensing.

Water Watch Lecture Series - On Wednesdays through March 14, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association will hold the WaterWatch Lecture Series at the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell. On March 7, a panel discussion, Taking Action on Plastic Bag Use, will feature residents of Duxbury, Marshfield, and Plymouth discussing efforts on the South Shore to ban plastic bag use. On March 14, Sean Kent, Education and Summer Camp Director at Mass Audubon’s Museum of American Bird Art, will present What’s the Buzz? Native Bees of Massachusetts. These lectures, which are free and open to the public, start at 7:00 p.m. each evening.

2018 Annual Environmental Conference - On March 8, the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society (MEES) will hold its 2018 Annual Conference, Looking to the Past to Inform Our Future, in Worcester. This 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.

Wellfleet Oyster History Talk - On March 8 at 1 p.m., the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will present The History of Wellfleet’s Sealshipt Oyster System by Dwight Estey, Wellfleet Historical Society President, volunteer archivist Dave Drabkin, and David Wright, author of The Famous Beds of Wellfleet.

Phragmites Phorum - On March 12 at 1 p.m., the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group will host A Phragmites Phorum: Investigating the Harvest of the Invasive Reed to Mitigate Nitrogen Pollution in Our Ponds at the West Tisbury Library in West Tisbury. Speakers will discuss current research on the potential to harvest this invasive reed to remove excess nitrogen from coastal ponds. For more information contact Emma Green-Beach at emma.greenbeach@mvshellfishgroup.org.

Volunteer Monitoring Webinar - On March 13, the National Water Quality Monitoring Council will present Volunteer Monitoring: Evolving Bacteria Monitoring Programs (PDF, 353 KB), a webinar featuring James Beckley from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Mara Dias from the Surfrider Foundation. This webinar will present: methods used by citizen science programs to measure bacteria and describe how data can enhance public notification programs and help identify pollution problems. Pre-registration is required.

Underwater in Salem Sound Lecture Series - Through April, Salem Sound Coastwatch will hold free monthly Underwater in Salem Sound lectures at Marblehead’s Abbot Public Library at 7:00 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month. On March 21, Barry Sidwell, paleogeologist and author of The Rocks of Nahant, will present Journey to Avalonia: Exploring the Deep Geologic History of Coastal New England.

Submerged Heritage Talk - On March 23, Salem State University’s Explorers Lifelong Learning Institute will host Revealing Massachusetts Hidden History—Our Submerged Heritage of Maritime Archaeology with BUAR Director, Vic Mastone.

Benthic Ecology Meeting - From March 27-30, the 47th annual Benthic Ecology Meeting will be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. This meeting is one of the largest scientific meetings for marine biologists in the United States and provides a stage for graduate and undergraduate students to present their work and interact with established researchers in areas of marine biology and ecology.

Zosterapalooza - On March 28, the EPA Offices in Boston will host Zosterapalooza XXVII, a day with a focus on the fate of eelgrass in coastal waters. The day will feature a series of talks and a poster session on the latest in science, management, and conservation of eelgrass or Zostera marina—a critical marine resource. For more information contact EPA’s Phil Colarusso at (617) 918-1506 or colarusso.phil@epa.gov.

Northeast Climate Science Center Webinars - This spring, the Northeast Climate Science Center (NECSC) will present its Spring 2018 Webinar Series. On March 28, Richard Palmer, Ray Bradley, and Rob DeConto from NECSC will present Impacts of Climate Change on Massachusetts: Science in the Support of State Policy.

BUAR Public Meeting - On March 29 at 1:30 p.m., 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 25 meeting, five permit renewals, and an activities update. For more information, contact BUAR Director, Victor Mastone, at victor.mastone@state.ma.us.

Massachusetts Bay Harbor Safety Committee Spring Annual Meeting - On March 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Massachusetts Bay Harbor Safety Committee (MBHSC) will hold its Spring Annual Meeting at the Flynn Cruiseport Boston at Black Falcon Terminal (2nd floor). The meeting will feature regional coastal waterway topics, such as MBHSC activities, recreational boating safety, and harbor dredging, and will include a moderated panel discussion on the emergence of unmanned marine system technologies. MBHSC is a public forum to facilitate discussion and exchange of ideas, thoughts, and advice among all stakeholders on a wide range of issues relevant to the waterways of Massachusetts.

NEERS Spring Meeting - From April 26-28, the New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS) will hold its Spring 2018 Meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Meeting presentations will cover a variety of topics related to estuaries and coastal environments.

Boston Area City Nature Challenge - From April 27-30, the Boston Area City Nature Challenge will be held as part of a worldwide City Nature competition. The goal of the challenge is for participants to document the most species in and around Boston. CZM staff will be monitoring for marine species, both native and introduced, at dock sites in the greater Boston area and will help to verify marine species records collected by others as part of this biodiversity challenge. For details and to join the competition, check out the Boston City Nature Challenge website.

Ceres Conference - From April 24-26, the Ceres Conference 2018 will be held in Boston and will focus on sustainable solutions to the challenges of climate change, water scarcity, and pollution. Ceres is a national network of investors, environmental organizations, and other public interest groups working to address sustainability challenges.

Sea Squirt Conference - From May 2-4, the 2018 International Invasive Sea Squirt Conference will be held at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The three-day conference will present current sea squirt research through presentations and posters. Topics will include biology, ecology, impacts, management options, and more.

2018 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 info@keepmassbeautiful.org.

Boat Safety Course - Through the spring, the Massachusetts Environmental Police will offer Boat Safety Courses, 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.).

Science Seminars - The OneNOAA Science Seminar web page provides listings and details on NOAA science and climate seminars and webinars that are available across the nation.

Winter Events in Harwich - The Harwich Conservation Trust has posted its schedule of winter events that are open to the public. The next talk, Eyes on Owls, a live owl program, will be held on March 3. For the full schedule, see the Trust’s website.

Buzzards Bay Walks and Events - The Buzzards Bay Coalition maintains an Events page with walks and other nature-based events hosted by numerous organizations and land trusts in the region. March events include lectures, nature discoveries, snowshoeing, and more. You can filter the events by town, month, or host and select topics, such as kid-friendly, volunteering, and more. The next event is Snowshoeing the Shoreline on March 3.

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 15.

Tuesday Tweets - In March and 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 20.

Plum Island Morning Birding and Other Events - Throughout the winter, the Mass Audubon Joppa Flats Education Center will host a Wednesday and Saturday morning birding series to explore some of Plum Island’s most productive birding hotspots. The center also hosts numerous other winter events, classes, and education activities. For event and schedule information, search the Joppa Flats program catalog.

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary Programs and Activities - Mass Audubon’s Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary provides numerous nature walks, talks, and adventures. See the programs, classes, & activities page and search the program catalog for event and schedule information, such as winter solstice walks, vacation week family fun days, and tracking mammals workshops.

Cape Cod Walks, Lectures, and Events - 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.

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

  • Aquatic Invasive Plant Species Workshop - On March 7, the River Herring Network and Middleboro-Lakeville Fisheries Commission will co-sponsor an Aquatic Invasive Plant Species Workshop at the Lakeville Public Library in Lakeville. The workshop will cover the natural history of invasive plants and strategies for their management.
  • Ecological Landscaping Conference - From March 7-8, the Ecological Landscaping Association (ELA) will hold the ELA Conference and Eco-Marketplace, Sustaining the Living Landscape, in Amherst. The 2018 conference topics include ecological concepts, landscape design, plant functions, creative stormwater design, and more.
  • High School Marine Science Symposium - On March 8, the Northeastern University Marine Science Center, Massachusetts Marine Educators, and Salem State University will hold the 2018 High School Marine Science Symposium at Northeastern University in Boston. The event will provide opportunities for students to interact with experts in marine science and will include hands-on workshops, an interactive demonstration fair, and a keynote speaker.
  • CRWA Annual Meeting - On March 8, the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) will hold its 52nd Annual Meeting in Newton. The keynote speaker will be environmental justice advocate Alexie Torres-Fleming.
  • Sea Rovers Clinic - From March 9-11, the Boston Sea Rovers will hold the 2018 Sea Rovers Clinic in Danvers. The goal of the clinic is to increase awareness and appreciation of the marine environment with a focus on diving. The 2018 Clinic will include more than 30 seminars, workshops, a marine sciences career fair, an international film festival, and a large display of dive equipment and services in New England.
  • International Marine Debris Conference - From March 12-16, the NOAA Marine Debris Program will hold the 6th International Marine Debris Conference (6IMDC) in San Diego, California. This five-day event, promoting international coordination efforts within the marine debris community, includes plenary sessions, keynote speakers, technical session breakouts, and networking opportunities. 6IMDC will build on the partnerships and successes of the Honolulu Strategy developed at the last conference in 2011.
  • Hazard Mitigation Stakeholder Workshop - From March 12-16, FEMA will host the 2018 Hazard Mitigation Stakeholder Workshop in Emmitsburg, Maryland, to provide a forum for information exchange and discussion of current policies, programs, procedures, best practices, and challenges associated with hazard mitigation assistance and floodplain management.
  • Environmental Biologist Conference - From March 13-15, the New England Association of Environmental Biologists (NEAEB) will hold its 42nd annual meeting in Devens to provide a forum for presenting current work and research on environmental issues relevant to the region. This year’s conference will feature concurrent sessions, plenary speakers, and an interactive poster session covering a variety of topics
  • Boston Environmental History Seminar—Call for Proposals - The Massachusetts Historical Society is seeking proposals for the 2018-2019 Boston Environmental History Seminar, which is a series of monthly discussions of pre-circulated works in progress on any aspect of American environmental history. Past topics have included land and water use, fisheries, climate and weather, transportation policy, public health, epistemology, vegetation change, and natural disasters. Seminars will be scheduled between October 2018 and April 2019. For more information, see the Call for Proposals (PDF, 18 KB), which are due by March 15.
  • Soil and Water Conservation Society Winter Conference - On March 16, the Soil and Water Conservation Society Southern New England Chapter will hold the 2018 Winter Conference in Sturbridge. The conference will explore forestry and wildlife best management practices.
  • Cape Cod Natural History Conference - On March 17, the MassAudubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary will hold the 23rd 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.
  • National Watershed and Stormwater Conference - On April 10, the Center for Watershed Protection will hold the 2018 National Watershed and Stormwater Conference, which will address 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 online sessions, along with local hubs to encourage more in-depth discussion, and networking.
  • Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference - From April 25-26, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission in partnership with member states and EPA, will hold the 29th Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference in Glens Falls, New York. Join representatives from New England and New York, including the public and private sectors, academia, and watershed organizations, to share information about nonpoint source pollution issues and projects in the regions.
  • Sustainable Communities & Campuses Conference - On April 27, the 2018 Massachusetts Sustainable Communities & Campuses Conference, Making Sustainability History, will be held in Plymouth. This conference will connect people, present best practices and resources, and discuss sustainability in communities and on campuses. Participants include government, grassroots, business, and education stakeholders.

Other Items of Interest

Environmental Education Awards - The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) is now accepting applications for the 2018 Secretary Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education. All K-12 Massachusetts schools are eligible to receive 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 30.

Gulf of Maine Council Award Nominations - The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment is seeking nominations for its Annual Recognition Awards. Visionary Awards will be presented to up to two individuals or organizations 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. Nominations are due by March 30.

Boston Harborwalk Map Survey - Boston Harbor Now is developing the Boston Harborwalk Public Benefits Map and Database, a mobile-friendly map that will provide all public amenities documented within Boston's Chapter 91 licenses. Map developers are looking for public input on what should be included on the map. To provide your input, take the Harborwalk Map Survey.

National Groundwater Awareness Week - March 11-17 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.

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 Membership Applications page. Applications are due by March 18.

Youth Preparedness Council - FEMA is seeking applicants for its Youth Preparedness Council, which was formed in 2012 to allow young leaders to serve on a national council and attend a Youth Preparedness Summit in Washington, D.C. Council members are selected based on their desire for public service, community service efforts, and potential to be national advocates for youth preparedness. For applications instructions, see the FEMA website. Applications are due by March 18.

Maritime Art Contest - The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), United States Coast Guard, and Inter-American Committee on Ports of the Organization of American States are inviting K-12 students to enter the Better Shipping for a Better Future Student Art Contest. Participants submit an original poster on how shipping helps people and the oceans or how shipping can be friendlier to the environment. Twelve finalists will be awarded a certificate along with a calendar showcasing the artwork from each finalist. Two grand-prize winners will receive a $100 prize and a U.S. Coast Guard prize package. Entries are due by March 30.

Student Environmental Research Funding - The Marjot Foundation in Falmouth is seeking applications from individuals or teams of students in grades 8-11 to fund independent field and/or laboratory research projects on any environmental topic. Projects must be designed by the student(s). Grants are $5,000, with $1,000 going to the student(s), $1,000 to the mentor, $500 to the school, and $2,500 for research supplies. For more information, see the Foundation website. Applications are due by April 1.

Science Without Borders Art Challenge - The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, in partnership with the International Coral Reef Initiative, is sponsoring the Science Without Borders Challenge—a contest focusing on ocean conservation through art. This year’s theme, Why Coral Reefs Matter, celebrates the International Year of the Reef. Students are encouraged to create art that illustrates why coral reefs matter to individuals, communities, the country, and the ecosystem. The challenge is open to students 11-19 years old, with prizes of up to $500 awarded to winning entries. Entries are due by April 23.

Summer of Maps - This fellowship program matches nonprofit organizations that have spatial analysis needs with talented students pursuing careers in geospatial data analysis to complete projects over a three-month period during the summer. Applications for students are due by March 19. For details, see the Summer of Maps web page.

Marine Art Contest - Massachusetts Marine Educators and Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary are seeking entries from students in grades K-12 for the 2018 Marine Art Contest. Entries should be based on the theme, Exploring the Marine Biodiversity of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Winning submissions will become part of a touring exhibition and will receive cash prizes. Entries are due by April 27.

Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition - Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs is launching the second Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition for middle or high school students to design and lead a creative advocacy campaign in their school or community. Awards of up to $5,000 will be provided to students and student groups whose campaigns most effectively raise awareness of and address the marine debris problem through creativity, community engagement, and activism. Final reports are due by June 18.

Marine Science Call for Papers Competition - NAMEPA and the American Salvage Association (ASA) are accepting applications for the Marine Science Call for Papers Competition for high school and undergraduate students who have shown an interest in the marine sciences through a research project on the marine industry, conservation, or technology. Students are invited to submit an abstract and technical paper describing their projects. Submissions will be reviewed by the education committees of NAMEPA and ASA. Winners will receive scholarship money and an invitation to an industry event as a networking opportunity. The submission deadline is September 1.

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