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CZ-Mail - May 2020

The monthly electronic newsletter from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).

Welcome to CZ-Mail, the monthly electronic newsletter from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). Each issue provides information on major CZM initiatives, available tools and publications, upcoming workshops and events, grants, contracting opportunities, job openings, coastal legislation, and other news of interest to people working on coastal issues. Additional information about CZM's programs, publications, and other coastal topics can be found on the CZM website. To subscribe, send a blank email (please be sure that the email is completely blank, with no signature line) to join-env-czmail@listserv.state.ma.us. Also, please feel free to share CZ-Mail with colleagues and friends—and if you have any suggestions for future editions, or would like make a change to your CZ-Mail subscription, please email your request to CZ-Mail@mass.gov. For daily updates from CZM, please follow us on Twitter.

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

Highlights

CZM Office Update - 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 on this closure. During this time, CZM staff are working remotely and available to assist with coastal management issues. See Contact CZM for details, and please note that email is the better contact option at this time.

CZM Announces Availability of Coastal Resilience and Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grants - On April 24, CZM announced the availability of $3.5 million in funding through the Coastal Resilience and Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) grant programs. CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grant Program will provide up to $3 million in grants to coastal communities and eligible non-profit organizations to reduce risks associated with coastal storms and sea level rise impacts. Eligible coastal resilience initiatives include planning and public outreach, redesigning and retrofitting vulnerable municipally-owned facilities and infrastructure, and non-structural shoreline restoration approaches (such as beach, berm, and dune building; fringing salt marsh restoration; and coastal bank stabilization using bioengineering techniques). CZM’s Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program will provide up to $500,000 to municipalities for projects that address local nonpoint source stormwater pollution issues, including assessment, design, and construction of Best Management Practices and the design and implementation of commercial boat pumpout facilities. Related capacity building activities will also be considered. For details on the Requests for Responses for these grant programs, see Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities below.

Grants/Funding/Proposal Opportunities

Please note: Due to COVID-19, many of these opportunities have extended deadlines, application modifications, or other changes. Please check the links to each funding opportunity frequently for any updates.

Coastal Resilience Grant Program - CZM is 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 Fiscal Year (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) non-profit 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 EEA’s funding decisions. See the Request for Responses (RFR) on the COMMBUYS website for eligibility requirements, project categories, and evaluation criteria. Proposals are due by 4:00 p.m. on June 11.

Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program - CZM is seeking proposals for the Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program. For FY 2021, the CPR program will provide up to $500,000 to municipalities located 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 RFR and download required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. on June 5.

Pre-RFR Webinar Videos - On April 9 and 13, CZM hosted two informational webinars on the Coastal Resilience and Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Programs to review the goals and requirements of the grants, cover anticipated funding levels and timelines, highlight recent projects, and answer questions and discuss potential project ideas. Links to recordings of the webinars and the PowerPoint presentation given are available below. The presentations were the same for each webinar, however the questions and discussions differed.

Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program Planning Grants - The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (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.

Massachusetts In-Lieu Fee Program - The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) anticipates the release of the 2020 Request for Proposals (RFP) 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. Prior to the release of the RFP, DFG will host two informational webinars on the program’s 2020 grant cycle on May 18 (Connecticut River and Worcester/Quabbin Reservoir areas) and May 20 (coastal areas). Please RSVP online. For more information, contact DFG’s Elisabeth Cianciola at elisabeth.cianciola@mass.gov.

Southeast New England Program Watershed Grants - Restore America’s Estuaries is seeking pre-proposals for the 2020 Southeast New England Program Watershed Grants to address water pollution, habitat degradation, and other environmental issues in the coastal watershed of Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts (see map). Up to $2 million is available to support grants to state, local, tribal, and regional partners. Applicants must provide an additional 33 percent of the grant amount in non-federal matching funds, which may be cash or in-kind. For more information, see the 2020 Request for Proposals (PDF, 765 KB). Proposals are due by May 29.

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

  • Small Communities Grants - EEA’s Division of Conservation Services (DCS) is seeking applications for the 2020 Small Communities Grant Program, which provides funding to municipalities with 6,000 or fewer residents to produce Open Space and Recreation Plans, complete other plans to facilitate land conservation, and/or prepare appraisals as required to apply for the other DCS grant programs. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The final deadline is May 8. See the application instructions for details.
  • Parks and Conservation Grants - DCS is also seeking applications for the FY 2021 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.
  • BoatUS Grassroots Grants - The BoatUS Foundation is seeking applications for its Grassroots Grants. Up to $10,000 is available to local volunteer organizations to promote education on safe and clean boating. Applications are accepted year round.

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:

  • Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Videos - MBL has launched a new initiative to bring science to high school students through MBLSciShoots, 10-15 minute videos with topics from horseshoe crab biology to invasive species. Videos will be posted Tuesday and/or Thursday afternoons on the MBL's Facebook and YouTube channels followed by a comment-based Q&A with the video scientist.
  • STEM Links for Kids at Home - Mystic Aquarium's STEM Mentoring program offers a listing of collections, games, videos, virtual field trips, hands-on activities, e-books, podcasts, and more for kids in grades K-5. Sign up for their e-newsletter for theme highlights, such as The Ocean.
  • Trustees at Home - The Trustees of Reservations is providing an at-home program of virtual tours, activities, and videos from around the state. Follow along as Science Friday educators provide weekly lessons on a variety of topics (such as beak adaptations on shorebirds), join live webinars, learn how to plant a tree, or download and play nature hike-and-seek with the little ones in the backyard. See the calendar for a regularly updated list of virtual events.

NOAA Multimedia Needs Assessment - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is conducting a short survey to determine the types of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) multimedia resources and distance learning mechanisms most needed by educators. The survey focuses on ocean, atmospheric, climate, and related STEM topics of interest, and the types of multimedia resources that are in highest demand.

Preparedness Talks for Emergency Managers - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and partners have released a new episode of PrepTalks, presentations by experts on emergency preparedness. Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science as Force Multipliers for Emergency Management by Dr. Sophia Liu, Innovation Specialist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Science and Decisions Center, discusses how social media can be an effective communication tool in disasters, how emergency managers can use data during an emergency response, and how citizens can provide assistance with collecting and using data. Each PrepTalk includes a video of the presentation, a discussion guide, and related resources.

Buzzards Bay Stormwater Collaborative Video - The Buzzards Bay Stormwater Collaborative has released the first of up to 15 videos about the efforts of this coalition of eight Buzzards Bay communities organized to address stormwater pollution in the bay. The Buzzards Bay Collaborative - Chapter 1 provides an introduction and history of the collaborative.

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

Products/Publications

Living Shorelines Report - The National Wildlife Federation, in partnership with the Coastal States organization, has released Softening Our Shorelines: Policy and Practice for Living Shorelines Along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. The report gives an overview of the use of living shorelines in each state Atlantic and Gulf Coast state, including a review of policies and regulations on their application and recommendations to increase use of this shoreline strategy.

Division of Ecological Restoration 2019 Annual Report - The Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) has released its 2019 Annual Report: 10 Years of Investing in Nature and Community, which highlights the accomplishments of the agency’s first 10 years, presents its goals for the next decade, and provides an overview of DER projects and programs from 2019 that restored wetland habitats and water quality across the Commonwealth.

Newsletters and Other Periodicals

NOAA HabitatNews - The April 2020 issue of HabitatNews, a newsletter of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, includes articles on the 10th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, living shoreline projects in North Carolina, four coastal habitat restoration projects to be funded by NOAA, and other marine fisheries habitat news.

Right Whale News - The March 2020 issue of Right Whale News (PDF, 258 KB), a quarterly e-newsletter distributed by the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium, includes a report on the 2020 calving season off the southeast U.S. coast, the 2020 Year of the Right Whale, and other right whale news and commentary.

The Sandbar - The April 2020 issue of The Sandbar, a quarterly publication from the National Sea Grant College Program on U.S. ocean and coastal legal issues, covers a court ruling to preserve a National Monument designation in waters off the New England coast, a Rhode Island Superior Court ruling to support oyster farming activities in a coastal pond, and other ocean- and coastal-related legal issues.

USGS Sound Waves - The January-March 2020 issue of Sound Waves, a USGS newsletter, includes articles on a new 10-year strategic plan for the USGS Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program, 12 years of climate data collection in the Gulf of Mexico, recent USGS fieldwork, and other coastal and marine research news.

Regulatory Decisions

Ballast Water Regulations Compliance Extension - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Coast Guard is extending Coast Guard Ballast Water Management Regulation compliance deadlines in certain circumstances where the pandemic has made compliance difficult. Extensions will be granted to eligible vessels for up to 12 months or longer upon request. For complete details, see the COVID-19: Ballast Water Management (BWM) Extensions bulletin (PDF, 170 KB).

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.

Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges—Comment Deadline Extended - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comments on the proposed 2020 Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity (MSGP). The proposed five-year permit, once finalized, will replace the EPA’s existing MSGP that will expire on June 4 and will provide permit coverage to eligible operators in all areas of the country where EPA is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting authority, including Massachusetts. The proposed permit and fact sheet can be found on the EPA website. Submit comments through regulations.gov by May 31.

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. EPA will present informational webinars on May 4 and June 1 to provide details on the proposed changes, 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.

The Science of Shipwrecks - May 6, webinar presented by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Effective Public Outreach in Massachusetts MS4 Communities - May 7, a webinar presented by EPA.

Resilient Mystic Collaborative Webinar - May 8, webinar presented by the Environmental Business Council of New England as part of the Climate Change Leadership Webinar Series.

Hurricane Preparedness Webinars for 4th, 5th, and 6th Graders (PDF, 331 KB) - May 12 and 14, webinars presented by the NOAA National Hurricane Center.

BUAR Public Meeting - May 28, hosted by the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR). The event has been modified for COVID-19 outbreak response.

Flood Management Association Annual Conference—Call for Abstracts - September 8-11, sponsored by the Flood Management Association and held in Sacramento, California. Abstracts are due by May 29.

Plastics or Planet? Moving Beyond Plastics - June 4, a webinar sponsored by Open Communications for the Ocean (OCTO).

NEERS Spring Meeting - June 4-6, sponsored by the New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS) and held in Salem. The event will be modified for COVID-19 outbreak response.

Spectacle Island 5K - June 13, sponsored by Boston Harbor Now and held on Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor.

2020 Ipswich River Paddle-a-thon - June 20, sponsored by the Ipswich River Watershed Association and held in Topsfield.

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.

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

Calendar - Multiple/Ongoing Events

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

Boating Safety - Massachusetts Environmental Police Boating Safety Courses were scheduled through July across Massachusetts. Many 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 Bird Club Walks and Activities - Free bird watching field trips across Cape Cod.

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

Conservation Commission Education - Workshops, webinars, and trainings scheduled across Massachusetts and posted by the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC). See the MACC Complete Education Catalog and Community Calendar.

Mass Audubon Cape Cod Walks, Lectures, and Events - Programs for children and adults hosted by Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary.

Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary Programs and Activities - Programs for children and adults in and around Ipswich.

Mass Audubon Joppa Flats Education Center Programs and Events - Programs for children and adults in and around Newburyport.

Mass Audubon North River Wildlife Sanctuary Activities and Events - Programs for children and adults in and around Marshfield.

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.

Hurricane Preparedness Week - May 3-9 is Hurricane Preparedness Week, an annual reminder from the National Weather Service to help residents prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, which begins on June 1. See the Hurricane Preparedness Week website for information on hurricane safety, preparedness videos, current forecasts, social media ideas, and other resources.

Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards for Natural Resources - The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is seeking nominations for the 2020 Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards for Natural Resources, which recognize “outstanding efforts to increase the resilience of America’s valuable living natural resources and the many people, businesses, and communities that depend on them.” Individuals, groups, organizations, and government agencies are eligible to apply. Submit nominations online by May 15.

Green Infrastructure and Excellence in Communications Awards - The National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies is seeking applications for its 2020 Flood Risk and Water Quality Excellence in Communications and Stormwater Management Green Infrastructure Awards, which recognize outstanding green stormwater infrastructure and low impact development projects and excellence in communicating about flood risk awareness and water quality issues. Applications are due for each award by May 15.

Coastal Management Photo Contest - NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management is seeking photos of “coastal management in action” for the 2020 Coastal Management Photo Contest. Winning images will be featured in an Office for Coastal Management social media campaign in May. Please submit photos in one of the following categories: areas that coastal programs protect, recreation, public access, permitting, costal hazards, marine debris, ocean planning, hazard mitigation, or economics by May 8 to ocm.nerrs.photocontest@noaa.gov (limit 10 images per entry).

e360 Video Contest - The seventh annual Yale Environment 360 Video Contest recognizes the best environmental films that have not been widely viewed online and are less than 20 minutes in length. First-place prize is $2,000 and two runners-up will each receive $500. The winning entries will also be posted on the Yale Environment 360 website. Submissions are due by May 15.

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