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Pursuant to the Oceans Act of 2008, projects subject to the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan and its implementing regulations (301 CMR 28.00 et seq.; PDF, 103 KB) shall be subject to an Ocean Development Mitigation Fee, as established by the Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). The Ocean Act also created an Ocean Resources and Waterways Trust Fund which was established to receive payments associated with the fee as well as other appropriations, grants, or investment income.
To date, there have been three deposits to the Ocean Resources and Waterways Trust totaling $1,062,650.
Supplemental mitigation related to benthic impacts associated with construction of the Hubline natural gas pipeline project in Massachusetts Bay
Permit violation associated with unpermitted fill for the Hubline natural gas pipeline project (rock cover used to bury the pipeline)
Ocean development mitigation fee for the Comcast/NSTAR communications/electric cable project between Falmouth and Tisbury
To date, there have been seven projects supported by the trust for a total of $659,701. The EEA Secretary serves as trustee of the Trust. To direct the administration and management of the Trust, EEA has developed Ocean Resources and Waterways Trust Implementation Guidelines, which are contained in Appendix 7 of the 2015 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan.
Sediment and infauna analysis to ground-truth seafloor maps and identify regions with statistically similar sediment types and infaunal communities. Project area included ocean area off of South Shore and northern Cape Cod Bay
High-definition video camera to ground truth seafloor and sediment maps and support habitat classification and fisheries management
Sediment and infauna analysis to ground-truth seafloor maps and identify regions with statistically similar sediment types and infaunal communities. Project area included southern Cape Cod Bay, Buzzards Bay, and south of Islands
Acquisition of seafloor imagery and analysis of benthos in the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area south of the Martha’s Vineyard
Sediment and infauna analysis to ground-truth seafloor maps and identify regions with statistically similar sediment types and infaunal communities. Project area included state waters of Massachusetts Bay from Boston harbor area north to New Hampshire border
Acquisition and data processing of North Atlantic right whale, humpback whale, and fin whale densities in and around Massachusetts waters to convert observations to sightings per unit effort for each species in a five minute by five minute grid and technical guidance to develop maps from these data