Welcome to the year-in-review edition of CZ-Mail, which highlights many of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) accomplishments in 2004, provides news and information about our programs and regions, and discusses the notable achievements of our partners. CZM would like to thank all of the people and organizations that contribute their time, effort, and passion to working on issues important to the Massachusetts coast. It has been a pleasure to work with you over the past year, and we look forward to a positive and productive 2005.
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Overview of 2004 at CZM
This past year was exciting and productive for CZM and our partners in coastal management. Under the guidance of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA), Ocean Management emerged as a major program initiative. Faced with the challenges and opportunities of new ocean proposals, the Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force developed a suite of recommendations designed to strengthen governance of Massachusetts ocean resources. CZM is now working with partner agencies to implement many of those recommendations. CZM also continued to develop science, planning, and policy tools to address issues from aquatic invasive species to wetlands restoration; distributed $1.3 million in grant funds to communities and non-profit organizations to improve water quality, manage resources in critical areas, and implement local coastal projects; and provided thousands of hours of technical assistance to communities, non-profit organizations, and coastal businesses to work on issues important to the health and vitality of the coast. This edition of CZ-Mail highlights our accomplishments in 2004, provides news and information about CZM programs and regions, and discusses our partners' notable achievements.
CZM would like to thank all of the people and organizations that contribute their time, effort, and passion to working on issues important to the Massachusetts coast. It has been a pleasure to work with you over the past year, and we look forward to a positive and productive year in 2005.
Ocean Management Task Force Report and Recommendations - In the year since it was charged with examining the evolving uses of the ocean and develop recommendations to better manage the state's ocean resources, the Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force completed its research and presented its final report and recommendations to the EOEA Secretary in March. Waves of Change: The Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force Report and Recommendations, provides 16 recommendations, including strengthening state agencies capacities to address environmental, planning, and public trust issues in both state and federal waters; supporting state legislation that would provide authority to plan for multiple uses of state ocean areas; mapping the Massachusetts seafloor as a basis for greater understanding and improved planning; and initiating ocean education and stewardship initiatives. The accompanying Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force Technical Report provides detailed background information on ocean management issues. Through this effort, the Task Force has laid the foundation for a proactive ocean resources management process, and work is underway to begin implementing its recommendations.
Ocean Resources Conservation Act - In response to the Ocean Management Task Force's recommendations, EOEA, working with CZM and others, has drafted ocean management legislation, titled The Ocean Resources Conservation Act (ORCA). Major components of ORCA include authorization to develop ocean plans to be implemented via existing authorities; maintenance of Ocean Sanctuaries Act prohibitions; and establishment of a dedicated fund for tideland license fees to be used for Chapter 91 licensing and planning. The EOEA Secretary met with the Ocean Management Task Force on December 16 to discuss the legislation, which is expected to be introduced by the Governor in early 2005.
CZM/USGS Geologic Mapping Initiative - In September, CZM and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) completed studies of the Boston Harbor, South Essex Ocean Sanctuary, and Ipswich Bay seafloors. The goal of this project is to produce high-resolution geologic maps that will be used in other resource studies by state and federal agencies. The maps, which will be available in mid 2005, include bathymetry, shaded relief, and interpretations of seafloor geology data. For additional information, see the project page. To learn about the seafloor investigations being conducted, see the USGS Sound Waves articles High-Resolution Geologic Mapping of the Shallow Sea Floor off Massachusetts and Ground-Truthing Sea-Floor Data with the New Mini SEABOSS—Mapping the South Essex Ocean Sanctuary.
Coastal WEB Initiative - The EOEA Secretary charged CZM in October with leading the Coastal Wetlands, Estuaries, and Bays (WEB) Initiative. Coastal WEB's mission is to safeguard and ensure healthy estuaries, productive marine and wetland ecosystems, and fishable/swimmable bays and beaches. Coastal WEB has since secured approximately $175,000 to be allocated to several programs, including $31,000 for coastal wetlands trends assessment, $20,000 for anadromous fish restoration, $30,000 for stormwater management technical assistance in Buzzards Bay, $35,000 for smart growth, and $25,000 for public access planning.
Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan - CZM led and coordinated a planning process with state and federal agencies and major land conservation organizations to develop a preliminary draft Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan for Massachusetts. A plan is expected to be a future requirement to participate in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Grant Program. The draft plan builds upon existing state planning documents and discusses potential project areas for coastal land acquisition opportunities. In early 2005, the draft will be posted on CZM's website for comment, and CZM will hold a public meeting during the comment period.
Aquatic Invasive Species Program
Management Tools - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) awarded CZM and the Interagency Aquatic Invasive Species Working Group $71,000 in March to implement action items outlined in The Massachusetts Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan. The plan outlines a five-year strategy to manage threats from aquatic invaders such as the snakehead fish and an introduced colonial tunicate found on George's Bank. Program highlights include the completion of marineID, an online marine invasive species database, and the development of a Lakes and Ponds Weed-Watcher Program led by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
Coastal ACEC Program
ACEC Resource Management Guidelines - In July, EOEA approved the Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) Resource Management Plan Guidelines (PDF, 485 KB), which outline a framework for ACEC communities interested in resource management planning and identify additional guidelines for communities preparing state-approved ACEC resource management plans.
Coastal ACEC Stewardship Grants - CZM's Coastal ACEC grants provide funding to groups working on stewardship projects in designated coastal ACECs. In 2004, the Coastal ACEC program awarded $25,000 for six projects that support resource management and stewardship of natural resources and demonstrate cooperation between municipalities and other groups.
Coastal and Ocean Habitat Program
New Habitat Data - CZM has updated the Massachusetts Ocean Resources Information System with marine habitat data. CZM collected 100 habitat data layers, including regional data sets, such as USFWS habitat suitability data, and state-specific data, including benthic data collected through CZM's dredged material management planning surveys and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority's benthic habitat monitoring program. The habitat data are readily available for use in project review, resource assessment, and ocean planning.
Strategic Plan for Benthic Habitat Mapping - CZM recently published the Strategic Plan for Mapping Massachusetts Benthic Habitats, which addresses conducting coordinated, comprehensive mapping of Massachusetts benthic habitats to improve their management. The plan identifies technology required for comprehensive mapping and recommends the type of equipment, including remote sensing technologies and groundtruthing sensors, most suited for mapping in various water depths. As benthic habitat mapping techniques evolve the plan will be updated. The plan will be posted online in early 2005.
Gloucester Harbor Characterization Report - In May, CZM published the Gloucester Harbor Characterization Report: Environmental History, Human Influences, and Status of Marine Resources (PDF, 1 MB), which describes human and natural resources, discusses the environmental history of development and human influences, characterizes current understanding of environmental quality, examines lobster fishing and lobster population structure, investigates fish community structure, and describes seafloor habitat in Gloucester Harbor.
Coastal Geology Program
Dune Mapping Methodology for Updating Flood Maps - CZM has assisted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with updating flood maps. Flood boundaries on the current maps were produced using a simpler methodology that underestimated the extent of the velocity zone (V-Zone)—the flood zone subject to the highest waves and storm damage. CZM's methodology, using geographic information system, remote sensing techniques, and principles of coastal geomorphology, produces a scientifically based, quantitative delineation of primary frontal dunes—one of several factors FEMA uses to determine the landward extent of the V-Zone. By accurately mapping the V-Zone, the revised flood maps will help property owners and decision-makers mitigate flood zone risks. FEMA will issue revised flood maps, and is expected to adopt the methodology for eventual use nationwide.
Coastal Smart Growth Program
Coastal Smart Growth Program and Coordinator - CZM formally began its Coastal Smart Growth Program in September by appointing Andrea Cooper, CZM's former North Shore Regional Coordinator, as CZM's Smart Growth Coordinator. This elevated focus will allow CZM to better advance coastal smart growth, including promoting the Commonwealth Sustainable Development Principles, protecting coastal habitat and land and water resources, and reducing urban runoff and associated nonpoint source pollution. Through this program, CZM coordinates and provides technical assistance on smart growth programs, including green neighborhoods, low impact development, green landscaping, and more.
Green Neighborhoods - Because the Town of Newbury adopted an open space residential development (OSRD) model bylaw last year, two newly constructed residential developments, totaling 137 acres, include 106 acres of preserved fields, forest, and freshwater and saltwater wetlands. OSRD protects land and water resources, provides flexible incentives for economic viability, and promotes mixed use and affordable housing. Newbury was the first municipality in the Commonwealth to adopt the bylaw, which was drafted by CZM and the Green Neighborhoods Alliance, and progress continues—several coastal municipalities are planning to adopt OSRD (PDF, 43 KB). For more information about Green Neighborhoods, click here.
Environmental Merit Award - In April, the Green Neighborhoods Alliance, established by CZM and the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and composed of a diverse group including developers, realtors, engineers, conservation organizations, and local, regional, state, and federal agencies, received the prestigious U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) New England 2004 Environmental Merit Award for its efforts to reshape suburban development.
Nonpoint Source Pollution Program
CPR Grants - CZM's Coastal Pollution Remediation (CPR) Grant Program distributed $612,339 to eight coastal communities for stormwater remediation in October. Funded projects include stormwater treatment installation, an assessment of bacterial contamination sources along roadways, and development of a stormwater management strategy to protect shellfish beds.
Coastal NPS Grants - In July, CZM distributed $193,777 to local communities and $32,600 to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) through the Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution (Coastal NPS) Grant Program. Ten coastal communities received funding to identify nonpoint sources of pollution through water quality testing and land use analysis, develop outreach materials to promote reduction of pollution sources, and provide capacity for local communities to limit pollution. DAR received Coastal NPS Grant Program funding to promote the development of agricultural commissions.
Marina Pressure Washwater Treatment Projects - In June, CZM provided $25,000 in grant funding for two pressure washwater treatment system demonstration projects at Cape Ann Marina in Gloucester and at Arey's Pond Boatyard in Orleans, and demonstrated the effectiveness of these systems at public events in December. Most boat bottoms are coated with anti-fouling paints to prevent biological growth. During pressure washing, paint chips and residue, which can be harmful to marine organisms, accumulate in the washwater. When untreated, washwater not only impairs groundwater and surface water quality, but discharging this waste also requires permits. The treatment systems remove pollutants from washwater. For information about clean marinas, click here.
COASTSWEEP - The 17th annual COASTSWEEP, the statewide annual beach cleanup sponsored by CZM, was held in September and October. Thousands of volunteers removed trash from hundreds of miles of Massachusetts coast. In total, 1,822 volunteers participated in 89 cleanups. For more information about the COASTSWEEP effort and the marine debris collected, go to CZM's COASTSWEEP web page.
Port and Harbor Planning Program
Designated Port Area Boundary Mapping - To assist developers and project owners, improve project site planning, and replace 30-year old port maps, CZM performed a comprehensive redrawing of all Designated Port Area (DPA) boundaries and is producing new orthophotos (11 in total), which will be available in spring 2005. The new DPA maps will provide a more user-friendly display of port boundaries, include several minor adjustments to facilitate identification of property lines and other physical or legal landmarks, and be accompanied by detailed segment-by-segment text descriptions.
Shoreline Public Access Program
Coast Guide - To help the public get to and enjoy the shoreline, CZM published the Massachusetts Coast Guide to Boston and the North Shore, an 80+ page, full-color guide that includes 22 maps and more than 400 public access sites. Released in October, the spiral-bound guide covers the Massachusetts coastline from Salisbury to Hingham with brief site descriptions and facility and parking information. Coast Guide is being distributed by the University of Massachusetts Boston Urban Harbors Institute at cost ($6.00 including shipping).
Underwater Archaeological Resources Program
New Investigations - The Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR) conducted preliminary field investigations of several sites in 2004. Highlights include investigation of the schooner Ada K. Damon, which has been buried for 10 years by layers of sediment that shifted during the winter of 2003. BUAR is preparing for further study to shed light on its construction characteristics, routes and cargos record, and post-wreck uses. Initial investigation was coordinated with the Trustees of Reservations. BUAR also investigated a wreck in the Merrimack River in Haverhill that revealed significant remains of what appears to be a wooden lightship (the U.S. Coast Guard Lightship LV-1) and wooden footings in the Essex River that are remains of the Chebacco Bridge, which stood from 1666 to 1698. Also, BUAR worked with federal agencies to document the remains of the U.S. submarine 0-9 off the Isles of Shoals, which was lost during a 1941 test dive.
Wetlands Assessment Program
Salt Marsh Sampling Program - This year, CZM and its partners trained 50 volunteers who completed intensive sampling at 10 sites in Salem Sound and Cape Cod. CZM works with Salem Sound Coastwatch and the Association to Preserve Cape Cod to train volunteers in measuring various parameters of salt marsh ecology, including plants, birds, fish, and water chemistry. The data are used to evaluate marsh conditions and responses to restoration.
Long-Term Trends Assessment - Working with USFWS and the University of Massachusetts Natural Resource Assessment Group, CZM completed long-term trends assessments of tidal wetlands in Boston Harbor, Cape Cod, and the Islands. Looking at maps and aerial photographs from 1893, 1952, 1971, and 1995, CZM identified patterns of wetlands loss and gain over time. Significant loss—9,000 acres—occurred in the study area during the period 1893-1995. USFWS will release the report in spring 2005, and it will be available on CZM's website.
Wetlands Restoration Program
Coastal America Partnership Award - CZM and partners were honored in August with a Coastal America Partnership Award for the Bridge Creek Salt Marsh Restoration Project. The project, which received more than $600,000 in federal funds along with significant state and private investment, was sponsored by the Town of Barnstable and involved 27 organizations and 50 others coordinating efforts to restore 40 acres of degraded salt marsh wetlands.
Restoration Projects - Over the course of 10 years, the WRP has restored 528 acres of wetlands. In 2004, the WRP distributed $285,000 to fund wetlands restoration and also provided technical assistance to partners and other organizations to implement seven ongoing wetlands restoration projects. Projects completed this year restored more than 100 acres of coastal wetlands. These projects are the Anadromous Fish Passage Improvement Project in Brewster; Cowyards Salt Marsh Restoration Project in Dartmouth; Quivett Creek Salt Marsh Restoration Project in Dennis; Island Road Salt Marsh Restoration Project in Essex; Mill Pond Salt Marsh Restoration Project in Gloucester; Old Town Hill Salt Marsh Restoration Project in Newbury; Post Island Marsh/Mallard Road Salt Marsh Restoration Project in Quincy; and Oak Island Phase I Salt Marsh Restoration Project in Revere.
CZM Regional Programs
Coastal management at the local level is the bedrock of the CZM program, and CZM works closely with communities to ensure that local decision-making is based on sound coastal management principles. CZM serves as a liaison between federal and state programs and municipal authorities on key issues, coordinates regional environmental management initiatives, performs Federal Consistency Review, and provides technical assistance. CZM's regions are Boston Harbor, Cape Cod & Islands, North Shore, South Coastal, and South Shore.
Fort Point Channel Phase II Municipal Harbor Plan - In March, the EOEA Secretary approved Boston's Fort Point Channel Phase II Municipal Harbor Plan, which will lead to major redevelopment along Fort Point Channel. The Boston Redevelopment Authority, the City's planning and development arm, advanced the plan. The Secretary's approval sets enforceable conditions used by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in licensing waterfront projects under the waterways regulations of Chapter 91. For the Secretary's decision and proposal, click here (PDF, 401 KB).
Business on the Waterfront - In 2004, CZM preserved Designated Port Area properties in Boston Harbor by providing technical assistance and demonstrating viable development options that address economic concerns while preserving maritime industrial activity and opportunity.
Technical Assistance - In October, CZM provided comments to EPA in reviewing the NPDES permits for Chelsea Creek's four oil terminals. The permitted terminals will be required to upgrade and perform maintenance on the oil-water separation components of their stormwater systems, in order to enhance their ability to prevent polluted stormwater from entering the creek. Also, the new permits will include first-time limits for benzene, a toxic petrochemical.
Cape Cod & Islands
Dock and Pier Zoning Bylaw - CZM provided technical and financial support to Barnstable County for the development of a model zoning bylaw to assist Massachusetts coastal communities in the management of small docks and piers. The bylaw will be modified as necessary to meet local needs and work seamlessly with existing local zoning bylaws or ordinances. The model zoning bylaw is a compilation of approaches used by Massachusetts communities that have had success in dealing with dock and pier management issues. Barnstable County government has embraced the model, and in 2005 it will be presented to conservation commission members, natural resource officers and planners, and community decision-makers.
Financial Assistance - Through the CPR program, CZM awarded Bourne $25,000, Nantucket $109,864, Orleans $37,440, Provincetown $93,750, and Wellfleet $21,300 for projects that address stormwater impacts. Through the Coastal NPS Grant Program, CZM awarded Barnstable $37,150, the Martha's Vineyard Commission $10,869, and Sandwich $16,778 to assess and reduce nonpoint source pollution. Through the ACEC program, the Bourne Conservation Commission received $2,800 for the Herring River ACEC, the Massachusetts Audubon Society Wellfleet Sanctuary in the Wellfleet Harbor ACEC received $2,500, and the Pleasant Bay Alliance received $3,450 for the Pleasant Bay ACEC. CZM also provided $12,500 to an Orleans boatyard for washwater treatment, and the Buzzards Bay Mini-Grants Program provided Plymouth $15,000 for wetlands restoration and stormwater pollution abatement.
Technical Assistance - CZM worked with Provincetown to amend and renew its harbor plan, which will be submitted to the EOEA Secretary in early 2005 for review and approval. Also, CZM assisted Dennis and Yarmouth with a stormwater assessment project for the Bass River system and with planning and development of the Nantucket Harbor Consue Springs Restoration Project.
Green Landscaping - CZM coordinated three green landscaping demonstration sites funded with $50,000 from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust. These include: low maintenance gardens at school entranceways at the Masconomet Regional High and Middle schools in Boxford (community volunteers, the Ipswich River Watershed Association, and the Topsfield Conservation Commission supported this project); transformation of a dangerous Lawrence alleyway full of trash and invasive weeds into a low maintenance neighborhood garden planted with native species (Groundwork Lawrence spearheaded this community effort); and a one-acre native plant demonstration garden at the new Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Visitor's Center in Newburyport (CZM partnered with the USFWS to complete this effort).
Financial Assistance - Through the Coastal NPS Grant Program, CZM awarded the Massachusetts Audubon Society $9,015 for the Lower Merrimack River Watershed, Rockport $22,845, Salem two grants totaling $39,150, and Salem Sound Coastwatch $16,250 to assess and reduce nonpoint source pollution. Through the ACEC program, the Essex County Community Foundation received $5,500 and the Newbury Planning Board received $10,000 for the Parker River/Essex Bay ACEC. CZM also provided $12,500 to a Gloucester marina for marine washwater treatment.
Technical Assistance - CZM worked with Gloucester to update its existing harbor plan and Designated Port Area Master Plan to provide appropriate guidance for port development through 2009. The city contracted with the University of Massachusetts Boston Urban Harbors Institute to solicit public input; review infrastructure, harbor improvement initiatives, local zoning rules, and regulatory requirements; and analyze Designated Port Area properties. CZM also continued to facilitate the North Shore Regional Conservation Commission and Health Agents Networks, with more than 25 communities participating.
Shoreline Injury Assessment of Buzzards Bay - In April 2003, Buzzards Bay suffered a major oil spill by a Bouchard Transportation Company barge. CZM, as a member of the Shoreline and Aquatic Technical Working groups, is participating in the Natural Resources Damage Assessment to quantify damages and identify restoration opportunities. A draft report has been completed. For more information about the settlement, click here. CZM is also working with the Coalition for Buzzards Bay, state agencies, local municipalities, and others (including the Buzzards Bay Project) to develop a Geographic Response Plan to better prepare for oil spill response.
Land Acquisition Proposal - In November, a federal judge finalized a settlement agreement with the Bouchard Transportation Company for the April 2003 oil spill. Of the $10 million federal settlement, $7 million will be used to acquire and restore wetlands in the Buzzards Bay Watershed through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act Fund (NAWCA). CZM partnered with the Coalition for Buzzards Bay and more than 20 regional, local, state, and national conservation organizations and local municipalities to submit a proposal to protect and restore more than 1,000 acres of the watershed, including a 45-acre salt marsh. The proposal requests more than $6 million of the NAWCA allocation. A decision is pending.
New Bedford Harbor Dredging - CZM, with other state and federal agencies, assisted New Bedford and Fairhaven with efforts to proceed with Phase II dredging of 70,000 cubic yards in New Bedford Harbor, a project funded through the Seaport Advisory Council, during winter 2004-2005. While long-term navigational dredging needs in New Bedford Harbor may exceed two million cubic yards, this short-term project will allow more fully loaded ships into the harbor. CZM and partner agencies helped facilitate project implementation through the State Enhanced Remedy provision of the Superfund Record of Decision.
Financial Assistance - Through the CPR program, CZM awarded Marion $150,443 to address stormwater impacts. Through the Coastal NPS Grant Program, CZM also awarded Marion $6,800 to assess and reduce nonpoint source pollution. The Buzzards Bay Mini-Grants Program provided two grants totaling $26,000 to Fairhaven, two grants totaling $28,000 to Marion, $11,000 to Mattapoisett, $20,000 to Rochester, and $10,000 to Westport for oil spill response mitigation, open space preservation, stormwater improvements, and other projects.
Straits Pond Restoration Project - CZM provided technical support and assisted with securing funding through the Conservation Law Foundation and the NOAA Community Based Restoration Program for water quality and habitat improvements at Straits Pond, a 92-acre salt pond bordered by Hull, Cohasset, and Hingham. The goals of the project are to improve tidal exchange between the pond and estuary by replacing a failing and undersized culvert, recreational use, and the quality-of-life of local residents affected by the pond's impairment.
Financial Assistance - Through the CPR program, CZM awarded Duxbury $150,542 and Plymouth $24,000 to address stormwater impacts. Through the Coastal NPS Grant Program, CZM awarded Duxbury, Marshfield, and Plymouth $34,920 to assess and reduce nonpoint source pollution. Also, the ACEC program provided the Weir River Watershed Association with $750 for the Weir River ACEC.
Technical Assistance - In 2004, CZM conducted a Coastal Processes and Shoreline Management Workshop in partnership with the Plymouth Planning Board and Conservation Commission. Discussion included beach and bluff processes and management alternatives, such as hard and soft engineering and bank stabilization.
National Estuary Programs
CZM administers two National Estuary Programs, the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays) and the Buzzards Bay Project (BBP). MassBays works collaboratively to emphasize the local role in protecting Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays and develops innovative models for improving resource protection. BBP works to protect and restore water quality and living resources in Buzzards Bay and its watershed.
Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program
Massachusetts Bays Estuary Association - In September MassBays launched the Massachusetts Bays Estuary Association (MBEA), a non-profit organization that will be led by a diverse and active board of directors and provide a voice for the MassBays through education, outreach, and advocacy programs. Currently, the MBEA is working with MassBays to develop Storm Windows, a campaign designed to raise public awareness about stormwater runoff and how citizens can help to reduce the impacts to the bays.
State of the Bays Symposium and Report - In May, MassBays hosted the Massachusetts Bays Symposium (PDF, 7 MB), which brought together coastal experts throughout the region to discuss the current conditions of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays, review 10 years of progress, strengthen scientific partnerships, and refine future actions. Also, MassBays released its State of the Bays Report 2004 (PDF, 2 MB).
Marine Monitoring Indicators Summit - In January, MassBays helped lead a Regional Coastal Indicators Workshop to help coordinate National Estuary Programs in the Northeast in developing marine monitoring indicators and standards for coastal monitoring efforts. Participants included the Gulf of Maine states (Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts) and Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and the Canadian Maritime Provinces, which requested to participate.
Buzzards Bay Project
Filled Wetlands Atlas - In July, the BBP completed volume one of an atlas that identifies filled wetlands on public or conservation lands and abandoned cranberry bogs in the Buzzards Bay Watershed that are potential wetlands restoration sites. To download the atlas, click here.
Buzzards Bay Grants - Through its Buzzards Bay Mini-Grants Program, the BBP distributed $110,000 to assist eligible watershed municipalities with implementing environmental restoration and protection projects. The six projects include oil spill containment, wetlands habitat and open space preservation, herring run restoration, and stormwater discharge treatment.
Stormwater Collaborative Mapping Program - The BBP worked with the Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School and the Buzzards Bay Action Committee to implement a watershed-wide storm drain mapping project. The effort will help towns identify and better manage stormwater discharges that cause water quality degradation.
Gulf of Maine
Marine Habitat Primer - CZM drafted the Marine Habitat Primer for the Gulf of Maine Council. The primer was developed to enhance understanding of marine habitats in the Gulf of Maine and to present information to coastal managers regarding human uses and conservation. The Council is working with partners in the region to develop and advance marine habitat conservation strategies and science, policy, and management recommendations and will distribute the primer in early 2005.
Summit: Committing to Change - CZM's Acting Director Susan Snow-Cotter served as the U.S. co-chair of the Gulf of Maine Summit, Committing to Change, a week-long conference held in New Brunswick in October. The Summit brought together coastal experts, concerned citizens, fisheries and aquaculture representatives, businesses, and leaders from around the Gulf of Maine to assess current environmental conditions, share knowledge, and develop plans for future actions needed to continue improving the environmental quality of the Gulf. The Summit also provided a forum for critical review for three of six prioritized marine habitat indicators, discussed the need for a consistent approach to ecosystem-based management, and identified the need to involve nongovernmental organizations and the private sector in decision-making.
Mapping the Gulf of Maine - In 2004, the partners of the Gulf of Maine Mapping Initiative (GOMMI), a regional effort to produce high-resolution seafloor maps, completed a mapping needs assessment and a strategic plan titled, A Framework for Ocean Management. The plan addresses the issues involved with mapping the Gulf's seafloor and how GOMMI will assist a range of users to better understand and manage seafloor resources. Currently, GOMMI partners are working to build support for mapping priority areas.
Visionary & Longard Awards - The Massachusetts recipient of the 2004 Gulf of Maine Visionary Award is Salem Sound Coastwatch (SSC), a non-profit coastal watershed association working to protect and enhance the environmental quality of the Salem Sound Watershed. Visionary Awards are given to organizations or individuals that shows exceptional dedication to preserving and maintaining the quality of the Gulf of Maine. The Gulf of Maine Council also recently honored Don Bade, president of the Parker River Clean Water Association, with the Longard Volunteer Award, which is given to one outstanding volunteer in the Gulf of Maine watershed who has made significant contributions to conserving or managing the Gulf's resources. Don is both an advocate for his local watershed and a regional leader in environmental stewardship.
Staff & People
CZM Director - In September, CZM Director Tom Skinner left CZM to take a position with a private consulting firm. During Tom's tenure, CZM increased efforts to respond to emerging coastal issues, redefine its regulatory role, and improve public outreach strategies. Tom oversaw CZM's role coordinating the Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force, implementing new municipal harbor planning regulations, and leading efforts to implement Boston Harbor initiatives that will shape future waterfront development in South Boston, Fort Point Channel, and East Boston. CZM Assistant Director Susan Snow-Cotter was appointed Acting Director.
New Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator - CZM's former Boston Harbor Coordinator Mary Griffin was appointed as EOEA Chief Legal Counsel. Mary has 14 years of regulatory experience and held a host of legal positions, including Chief of Legal Services for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Deputy General Counsel of EOEA. The new Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator, John Weber joined CZM in December. John was previously employed at Bio-West, Inc. and the Department of Community Development in Logan, Utah. Before that, John was CZM's Assistant Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator. Welcome back John!
Project Review Coordinator - After 12 years, CZM's Project Review Coordinator Jane Mead retired. During her tenure, Jane oversaw review of thousands of coastal projects, updated the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Plan and CZM Program Policies, wrote Environmental Permitting in Massachusetts, and served as CZM's energy and marine transportation expert. The new Project Review Coordinator, Alex Strysky, joined CZM in January. Alex is responsible for managing CZM's Federal Consistency Program and the review of major infrastructure projects and is part of CZM's municipal harbor planning team. Previously Alex worked in the Wetlands and Waterways Division of DEP.
Special Assistant - In April, Mary-Lee King, an experienced policy analyst, joined CZM to assist with implementing Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force priority recommendations and developing legislative support for CZM programs, including encouraging an active Coastal Caucus. Mary-Lee has worked as a Special Assistant for the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game and was Chief Policy Advisor to former Governor William F. Weld and Lieutenant Governor A. Paul Cellucci.
New Smart Growth Coordinator - In September, Andrea Cooper, former North Shore Regional Coordinator, was named the first CZM Smart Growth Coordinator. Andrea is assisting agencies, municipalities, and developers to create and implement smart growth approaches in residential and commercial site design. Kathryn Glenn, former North Shore Assistant Regional Coordinator, has been appointed CZM's Acting North Shore Regional Coordinator.
Data Manager - Since 1999, Diane Carle served as CZM's Data Manager, pioneered the Massachusetts Ocean Resources Information System, and played a lead role in the development of the Massachusetts Coast Guide to Boston and the North Shore. Diane assisted staff on a broad range of complex data tools and products. In September, Diane began her studies at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Dan Sampson, one of CZM's coastal geologists, is serving as Acting Data Manager.
Technical Resource Specialist - In July, Steve McKenna, former Cape & Islands Assistant Regional Coordinator, became a member of CZM's Nonpoint Source Pollution Program staff, providing technical assistance and project management assistance to communities for a broad range of nonpoint issues. Also, Steve manages projects funded through CZM's CPR program.
Coastal Management Fellows - In May, Megan Tyrrell finished her two-year fellowship with CZM, sponsored by NOAA's Coastal Service Center. She participated on CZM's team to advance marine habitat management, drafting the Primer of Massachusetts Major Marine Habitats, Strategic Plan for Mapping Massachusetts Benthic Habitats, The Gulf of Maine Council's Marine Habitat Primer, and other materials. She also wrote portions of the statewide marine habitat management plan and added 100 marine habitat data layers to the Massachusetts Ocean Resources Information System. Megan has accepted a Post-Doc position at the Wells Estuarine Research Reserve in southern Maine. Susan Park joined CZM in September as its fifth NOAA Coastal Management Fellow. She will be developing a Gulf of Maine aquatic invaders early detection and rapid response protocol.
Outreach Staff - In May, Robin Lacey, CZM's Clean Marina Program Coordinator, joined the outreach team as CZM's website technical specialist and revamped the site's internal structure to allow for future content development. Andrea Bistany joined CZM in May as the new General Outreach Coordinator responsible for planning, executing, and overseeing publications and general outreach, including writing and editing CZ-Mail and the CZM magazine, Coastlines. Andrea previously was a Communications Specialist at CDM, a Cambridge-based environmental engineering firm.