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CZ-Mail - September 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

Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Awards Announced - On August 5, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) announced $500,000 in funding through CZM’s Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program for projects to protect coastal water quality in Massachusetts. These local water quality improvement projects will reduce nutrients, bacteria, sediments, and other pollutants in the coastal watershed—helping to keep beaches and shellfish harvesting areas open and protecting anadromous fish habitat. The grants are being matched by $177,577 from municipal sources, demonstrating a strong local commitment to coastal water quality. Five CPR grants were awarded:

  • Arlington - $184,774.50 to construct multiple infiltration trenches to treat stormwater runoff entering the Mystic River Watershed. Conducted in partnership with the Town of Lexington and the Mystic River Watershed Association, this project builds on past CPR funding to address nutrient contamination from stormwater runoff in the Mystic River, which has one of the largest herring runs in Massachusetts.
  • Barnstable - $173,255.50 to construct stormwater green infrastructure to treat runoff at South County Road through a nature-based approach. This project, a partnership with the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, builds on a multi-year effort by the town to improve water quality within the Three Bays watershed, with a goal to reduce nutrient pollution and improve water quality for coastal habitat, swimming, and shellfishing.
  • Kingston - $73,000 to finalize the design of a system to treat nutrients and pathogens in stormwater runoff. This project continues Kingston’s long-term work to treat bacterial pollution to help expand opportunities for shellfish harvesting in the Jones River and Kingston Bay.
  • Milton - $23,870 to finalize the design of stormwater infrastructure to treat nutrients and bacteria from road runoff. The goal of the project is to help improve water quality in Unquity Brook, an important habitat for rainbow smelt.
  • Salem - $45,100 to develop a series of videos in partnership with Salem Sound Coastwatch that demonstrate operation and maintenance of stormwater green infrastructure, such as rain gardens. The videos will be shared widely and be designed to be transferable to other communities to help build green infrastructure capacity across the state. Projects funded by past CPR grants will be featured in these videos.

For more information, see the Press Release issued by EEA.

CPR Project Successes on the Cape Featured in EPA Webinar - This summer, CZM’s Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program closed out another round of successful projects to protect and restore coastal water quality and habitat in Massachusetts. The recently completed Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) CPR projects included the construction of multiple infiltration trenches in Arlington, the construction of two green infrastructure stormwater treatment systems in Barnstable, and the retrofit of an existing rain garden and catch basin system in Kingston. Additionally, Sandwich and Yarmouth maintained their long-term commitment for improving water quality in their communities through stormwater mitigation that included the installation of porous pavement systems—featured in an August 11 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Soak Up the Rain New England Series webinar entitled Clean Water on the Cape: Green Infrastructure in Sandwich and Yarmouth, MA. The following summaries highlight how these two Cape Cod communities used CPR funds in their effort to improve water quality, protect coastal habitat, and reopen shellfish beds.

  • Sandwich Harbor Stormwater Mitigation Project - The goal of the project is to reclassify Sandwich Harbor as fully approved for shellfishing. To achieve this, Sandwich and its consultant the Horsley Witten Group, launched a multi-year Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration effort funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service and CPR FY19 and FY20 grants. The project led to the design, permitting, and installation of multiple bioretention and linear swale systems along the Town Neck Beach parking lot and Boardwalk Road, as well as three underground infiltration chambers, and four porous pavement and sand filter systems in the surrounding neighborhoods. These stormwater systems not only target bacteria in stormwater runoff from nearby parking lots, roads, and driveways, but also treat nitrogen and other stormwater pollutants, and reduce flooding.
  • Yarmouth Impaired Waters Project - In the past several years, Yarmouth, working with its consultant Comprehensive Environmental Inc., has been awarded five CPR grants to build green infrastructure to target nitrogen and bacteria in stormwater runoff entering Yarmouth’s estuaries. The town’s long-term goal is to improve water quality by reducing eutrophication, restore and protect coastal habitat such as eelgrass, and reopen shellfish beds to harvesting. To achieve this goal, Yarmouth conducted an assessment to find suitable sites, and designed, permitted and constructed four hybrid bioretention/gravel wetland systems, two infiltration trench systems, and a porous pavement parking lot with sub-surface storage and a gravel wetland. Additionally, the town evaluated existing stormwater infrastructure within areas most vulnerable to climate change and developed climate resilience retrofit designs for priority locations that addressed anticipated increases in precipitation, flooding, and rising groundwater tables. One priority location with a poor-functioning beach parking lot infiltration basin was retrofitted to a bioretention and gravel wetland system using a later CPR grant.

To view a recording of the webinar when it is posted, visit the Soak Up the Rain website. For questions about these projects or the CPR grant program in general please contact Cristina Kennedy at cristina.kennedy@mass.gov.

Grants Awarded for Healthy Coastal Ecosystems in Southeast New England - On August 26, Restore America’s Estuaries and EPA announced $1.8 million in funding to six local partnerships in Massachusetts through the Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Watershed Grants. SNEP supports partnerships to address water quality and coastal habitat issues in the region. The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program is an advising SNEP partner, and CZM participates on the SNEP grant review committee, along with other state and federal agencies. The 2020 SNEP Massachusetts awardees are:

  • Buzzards Bay Coalition - $118,275 for the Multi-Community Collaboration to Reduce Nitrogen in Upper Buzzards Bay Project to complete engineering and other studies to expand the capacity and service area of the Wareham wastewater treatment plant.
  • Center for Coastal Studies - $8,984 to support the Ecosystem Research Conference for Pleasant Bay, in coordination with the Pleasant Bay Alliance, to inform participants about the science of Pleasant Bay, Cape Cod’s largest estuary.
  • Friends of Bass River - $253,779 for the Upper Bass River Watershed Restoration Project to complete engineering and permitting to replace failed road crossings and reconnect historic cranberry bog wetlands with the riparian system of Cape Cod’s largest river.
  • Massachusetts Audubon Society - $150,000 for the Protecting Salt Marshes Project to study the impacts of sea level rise on salt marshes in Wareham and Dartmouth, implement innovative restoration techniques to address such impacts, and monitor the results of the work.
  • Mt. Holyoke College - $232,352 for the Bioreactors for Nitrogen Removal in Coastal Cranberry Farms Project to implement and study the effectiveness of an innovative method to reduce nitrogen pollution to coastal waters from cranberry farming operations in Barnstable.
  • Pleasant Bay Alliance - $132,178 for the Nitrogen Management in Pleasant Bay Project to support a partnership between the towns of Chatham, Orleans, Harwich, and Brewster to implement innovative solutions to reduce pollution and ensure clean water in Pleasant Bay.

For more information, see the EPA Press Release.

COASTSWEEP 2020 - COASTSWEEP is the state’s volunteer beach cleanup sponsored by CZM as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. CZM’s top priority is to ensure the safety of COASTSWEEP volunteers, and consequently, significant changes have been made to the statewide beach cleanup this year due to COVID-19. For details, including limiting the size of group cleanups to 12 or less, see the COASTSWEEP 2020 - COVID-19 Notice. CZM thanks all of our COASTSWEEP volunteers for their enthusiasm and commitment. Please be sure to put your health and safety first so we can enjoy many years of COASTSWEEP to come!

CZM Offices Remain Closed - Due to COVID-19, all CZM offices remain closed for in-person services. Please see COVID-19: Status of Executive Branch Office Locations for updates. During this time, CZM staff are working remotely and available to assist with coastal management issues. See Contact CZM for details.

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.

Buzzards Bay Municipal Mini-Grant Program - The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program is seeking proposals for the Buzzards Bay Watershed Municipal Mini-Grant Program, with $125,606 in funding available. Eligible projects must implement recommendations in the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan and can include stormwater remediation designs for discharges affecting marine waters, wetland/open space/habitat acquisition, migratory fish passage restoration, and construction of boat pumpout facilities. A 33 percent match of requested funding is required, and only municipalities within the Buzzards Bay watershed are eligible. For details and required forms, see the COMMBUYS website. Proposals are due by October 8 at 4:00 p.m.

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants - The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will be offering a series of webinars and technical assistance regarding the 2020 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Mitigation Assistance program and the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) pre-disaster mitigation grant program. These grants provide funding for the development of hazard mitigation plans and the implementation of hazard mitigation projects to reduce or eliminate the loss of life and property due to natural hazards. For complete grant details, see the MEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Program web page and the 2020 Notice of Funding Opportunity. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in an upcoming grant webinar, which will provide detailed program requirements. For more information, including videos on the BRIC program, upcoming trainings, and application information, see the MEMA website or email questions to mitigation@mass.gov.

Reminders - This opportunity, listed in the last CZ-Mail, is still available:

  • Marine Debris Removal Grants - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program is seeking proposals for marine debris prevention, assessment, and removal projects that improve habitat and waterways. Projects should implement on-the-ground marine debris removal activities, prioritizing medium to large-scale debris, especially derelict fishing gear. Typical awards will range from $50,000 to $150,000. For more information, see the federal funding opportunity. Letters of intent are due by September 4. Full proposals, by invitation only, will be due on December 4.

Online Tools and Resources

Online Ocean Education Resource Updates - Whether returning to school in person or remotely, students can find additional opportunities for online learning, educational games, inspirational videos, and live stream events on CZM’s Online Ocean Education Resources for the COVID-19 School Closures page. Developed last spring to help parents, teachers, and students, this clearinghouse of curricula, games, videos, virtual field trips, and activities has been updated and includes the following highlights:

  • Center for Coastal Studies Online Options - This Provincetown-based center features quizzes and activities, simple experiments, and video presentations to help engage and inform kids of all ages about coastal and ocean ecosystems. Students can test their knowledge on humpback whales, create a mini oil spill cleanup response, and watch presentations on horseshoe crabs, northern elephant seals, manta rays, and more.
  • Ocean Protection Advocacy Kids (OPAK) Webinars - OPAK now offers 12 virtual ocean programs for students this fall on topics including plankton, marine protected areas, horseshoe crabs, pinnipeds and whales, and ocean circulation. By teaming up with K-12 teachers, OPAK can tailor webinars to the specific class and hold an individualized Zoom Meeting (or join the virtual platform of the school’s choice). All webinars include follow-up activities and questions and answer sessions. Past webinars, along with links to project materials, can be found on the Webinar Resources page.
  • Seacoast Science Center Student and Educator Resources - Students can access the center’s Your Learning Connection page to find weekly lessons, videos, activity sheets, and other resources with topics that range from whales to shapes in nature to seaweed on the shore. All weekly issues include options to get outside, use STEM curriculum, and participate in art & nature projects. Students can also explore the interactive online Virtual Tide Pool and Rocky Shore Curriculum, and teachers can link to digital choice boards on the Teacher Learning Connection page for more activities, assessments, and videos on various coastal and ocean topics.

NOAA Marine Debris Blog - Recent posts in the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Marine Debris Blog include marine debris curricula and resources for the new school year and the new Fishing for Energy grant awards that will develop new technology to reduce ghost fishing and prevent the loss of fishing gear. All blog topics can be searched by category and date. To receive notifications of new posts, sign up for email updates.

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

Newsletters and Other Periodicals

Buzzards Bay Coalition Newsletter - The latest edition of The Bay Buzz from the Buzzards Bay Coalition features stories on land preservation efforts on Cuttyhunk Island, new septic requirements to protect water quality in Marion, and other regional news, volunteer opportunities, and events.

Coastal Impacts - The August 2020 issue of Coastal Impacts, the newsletter of Woods Hole Sea Grant, includes articles on Woods Hole Sea Grant efforts to fund and support diverse, equitable, and inclusive marine science programs, a new compostable serviceware guide for restaurants and food service businesses, and other Woods Hole Sea Grant news and updates.

DMF News - The latest issue of DMF News, the twice-yearly newsletter of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), features articles on new DMF Director Dan McKiernan, closure of the Cape Cod Canal to commercial striped bass fishing, a report on the Massachusetts squid fishery, and other Massachusetts fisheries updates.

Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The July-August 2020 issue of MPA News covers funding of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by selling blue carbon credits, management challenges for MPAs due to COVID-19, along with other MPA news and notes.

NOAA HabitatNews - The August 2020 issue of HabitatNews, a newsletter of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, includes articles on the success of Habitat Month in July, $13 million in funding awarded to 31 coastal and marine habitat restoration projects, and other marine fisheries habitat news.

Northeast Ocean Data Portal Newsletter - The July 2020 issue of Northeast Ocean Data, which provides updates on the Northeast Ocean Data Portal, provides details on new data available on the portal, including marine transportation, energy and infrastructure, habitat, commercial fishing, and cultural resources and recreation.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management - The May-July 2020 edition of The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management, the monthly newsletter on ocean planning and ecosystem-based management from the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, explores the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on coastal and marine tourism, as well as other ocean resources and news.

USGS Sound Waves - The June-July 2020 issue of Sound Waves, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) newsletter, includes articles on the late USGS research geologist, Monty Allen Hampton, the role of the sand lance in coastal waters, new data collection techniques to track sea turtles, and other coastal and marine research news.

Jobs/Internship Postings

Water Quality Monitoring and Data Coordinator - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Watershed Planning Program is seeking an External Monitoring & Data Coordinator to improve the quality, quantity, and utility of water quality data available for Clean Water Act 305(b) assessments and 303(d) listing decisions from sources outside of MassDEP. The coordinator will provide technical assistance to water quality monitoring groups and develop data analysis tools to help streamline waterbody assessment decision-making. For details, see the job posting.

Coastal Wetlands Ecological Restoration Specialist - The Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration is seeking a Coastal Wetlands Ecological Restoration Specialist to serve as an expert project manager on coastal and estuarine wetlands restoration projects. For additional position details and application instructions, see the job posting.

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.

Lynn Municipal Harbor Plan - The City of Lynn has submitted a Municipal Harbor Plan (MHP) Amendment and Designated Port Area (DPA) Master Plan for approval by the Secretary of EEA. For more information, see the CZM Public Notice (PDF, 102 KB). Email comments by September 9 to kathryn.glenn@mass.gov or mail to: Office of Coastal Zone Management, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA 02114 Attention: Kathryn Glenn.

Cohasset Municipal Harbor Plan - The Town of Cohasset has submitted a Municipal Harbor Plan for approval by the Secretary of EEA. On September 3, EEA and CZM will conduct a virtual public hearing through Zoom. For more information, see the CZM Public Notice (PDF, 102 KB). Email comments by September 9 to jason.burtner@mass.gov or mail to: Office of Coastal Zone Management, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA 02114 Attention: Jason Burtner.

Climate Resilience Design Standards & Guidelines - The Resilient Massachusetts Action Team (RMAT), led by EEA and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, has released draft climate resilience design standards and guidelines for state projects and grant programs to address increases in sea level, storm surge, precipitation, and air temperature. Stakeholders are invited to review draft documents and provide comments by 5:00 p.m. on September 9 using this online form. Email additional questions or ideas regarding implementation of the State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan to rmat@mass.gov.

Calendar - Individual Events and Announcements

Please note: Due to COVID-19, social distancing recommendations and requirements are in place. Consequently, many events are being canceled, 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.

Information Systems to Advance Environmental Justice - September 10, webinar presented by the EPA Office of Environmental Justice.

EBC 27th Annual EBEE Awards Celebration - September 17, sponsored by the Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) and held online. CZM and project partners will receive the EBC James D.P. Farrell Award for Brownfields-Remediation Project of the Year for work on the redevelopment of the former Monsanto Chemical Company site on the Mystic River in Everett that is now Encore Boston Harbor.

Building Resilient, Adaptive, and Inclusive Coastal Communities through Marine Science: Lessons Learned with Plenty Left to Do - September 21, webinar presented by the Coastal & Estuarine Research Foundation.

How We Decide to Get Serious about Climate Solutions: Politics, Communication, and Framing - September 25, webinar presented by EBC.

Boston Harbor Educators Conference - October 3, sponsored by Massachusetts Marine Educators and held online.

Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride - October 4, sponsored by the Buzzards Bay Coalition and held virtually.

Climate Justice in the Mystic - October 6, webinar presented by the Mystic River Watershed Association.

Biological Thresholds in the Context of Climate Adaptation - October 7-8, sponsored by the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center and held online.

National Coastal Conference - October 13-16, sponsored by the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association, and held online.

MACC Fall Conference - October 17-24, sponsored by the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) and held online. This conference will include the presentation Building Foundation Requirements under the Wetlands Protection Act and Building Code: Similarities, Differences and which One Governs from CZM, DCR, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

EBC Climate Change Webinar: What You Need to Know about FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Program - October 20, webinar presented by EBC.

The Clean Currents Coalition: A Global Collaborative Solution to the Complex Plastics Problem - October 20, webinar presented by Open Communications for the Ocean (OCTO).

2020 MassRecycle Conference & Trade Show - October 28-29, sponsored by MassRecycle and held online.

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.

Barnstable Land Trust Events - Programs for children and adults across Barnstable.

Buzzards Bay Events - Events in the Buzzards Bay area compiled by the Buzzards Bay Coalition.

Cape Cod Field Schools - Multi-day field courses offered by Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

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. 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 Watershed Association Events - Events listings on the South Shore.

OneNOAA Science Seminars - Webinars and seminars on science and climate issues from several NOAA partners.

Restoration Webinar Series - Webinars 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 hosted by the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography.

Other Items of Interest

Land Stewardship Volunteer Opportunities - The Harwich Conservation Trust is seeking volunteers on several dates in September for trail trimming and invasive plant removal. Advance registration is required. For more information, email events@harwichconservationtrust.org.

Campus RainWorks Challenge - The EPA Office of Water has announced the 2020 Campus RainWorks Challenge, a green infrastructure design competition for undergraduate and graduate students. Student teams, working with a faculty advisor, will submit designs, a project narrative, and a letter of support for a proposed green infrastructure project for their campus. Winning teams will be awarded cash prizes. Registration is open from September 1-October 1 and entries must be submitted by December 11.

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