Welcome to the Winter 2015 edition of the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program newsletter
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State of the Bays Symposium

Don't miss hearing from scientists and policy makers as they report on the current health and future trends of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays.

April 15, 2015

More info and Register
Cape Cod Internships Association to Preserve Cape Cod posted three summer opportunities
Deadline 3/13 

The Future of Nature Series hosted by The Nature Conservancy on 3/30 (Cities) and 6/15 (Fish)
More info

New England Estuarine Research Society
Spring Meeting
Bristol RI 4/16 - 4/18

Watershed Action Alliance of Southeastern MA
Spring Conference 4/24

Barnstable Harbor (I. Ives)

Upper North Shore 

The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, MassBays Upper North Shore regional partner, is hosting a series of three public workshops in March and April. The workshops, designed for Public Works and Public Parks maintenance professionals, will focus on best practices for stormwater management for municipal systems. View the press release to learn more and to register. 
Vuvuzela, long horn, found at Fresh Pond Connector clean-up  (S. Grady)
Salem Sound Winter Lecture Series
Learn more about the natural systems of the Lower North Shore by attending a talk in the Underwater in Salem Sound lecture series, held on the third Wednesday of February, March, and April. Details on the Salem Sound Coastwatch website.  
Regional Coordinators & Service Providers

News from the Bays 
Winter 2015

Investigating Marsh Edge Erosion

A team of researchers including MassBays Upper North Shore regional partner, the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, is investigating why tidal marsh edge erosion may be increasing on the North Shore. Through the Marsh Edge Erosion Project, the research team will monitor and collect chemical, physical, and biological data at twelve sites within Plum Island Sound, Essex Bay, and Salem Sound. The team will monitor the differing sites' rates of marsh bank erosion and to try to gain a better
understanding of the underlying cause(s).
Potential factors contributing to marsh edge loss include: 1) wave action; 2) increased water logging; 3)
eutrophication; 4) ice scour; and 5) green crab activities. MassBays will report on this project as it progresses. (Photo: Essex Bay; P. Phippen)

Documenting Storm Impacts in Brewster

As reported in the Summer 2014 newsletter, the MassBays Cape Cod regional partner, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC), is helping the Town of Brewster document shoreline change at nine locations as part of a MA Coastal Zone Management's Coastal Community Resilience Grant. The value of these efforts is especially evident when winter storms hit. The recent January blizzard and Nor'easter, Juno, caused extensive coastal erosion and flooding in MassBays' Cape Cod region. In 
Truro, the storm surge breached dunes at Ballston Beach; in Brewster, erosion of coastal dunes at town beaches continued; and in Sandwich, dunes were severely eroded, low-lying roads including Route 6A were flooded, and shorefront homes were flooded and undermined. 
Storm impacts in Brewster are evident in the photos above and to the right showing Saint's Landing before (Oct. 2014) and after (Feb. 2015) winter storms. Seven feet of pipe was exposed when the dune eroded. Photos such as these will inform options for 
managed retreat from vulnerable areas. Because of winter storm impacts, Brewster and other Cape Cod communities will continue to look for ways to study and mitigate coastal erosion and abate and block storm surges. (Photos: Saint's Landing in Brewster in Oct. 2014 and Feb. 2015; J. Muramoto)

Tidmarsh Farms Restoration 

The Tidmarsh Farms Restoration Project in Plymouth recently received over $790,000 in funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service's 2015 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants
Program. MassBays' South Shore regional coordinator, Sara Grady, is involved with two different aspects of the project. First, Sara, conducted quantitative vegetation monitoring of two of the former bog areas with MassAudubon. 
MassBays has also been involved with monitoring flow in the Fresh Pond connector, a brook that connects anadramous fish habitat in
Fresh Pond to Beaver Dam Brook, the primary stream that flows through Tidmarsh Farms. In partnership with the MA Division of Ecological Restoration and NOAA, MassBays conducted a cleanup of the connector and has been monitoring water levels using in situ loggers and a stream gauge. The Tidmarsh Farms project, a tool for documenting changing landscapes, was discussed at the Living Observatory - Tidmarsh Farms Research Summit. (Photos : quadrat dominated by cranberry vines, Fresh Pond Connector culvert; by S. Grady)

Lower North Shore Discusses Water Quality 

In late January, MassDEP and EPA shared knowledge with local constituents on the Lower North Shore about the North Coastal Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for pathogens, stormwater permitting, and stormwater best management practice implementation. A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still safely meet federal water quality standards. The well-attended program concluded with the MassBays Lower North Shore regional partner, Salem Sound Coastwatch (SSCW), presenting local case studies that have led to reductions in bacteria in local waterways. SSCW's Clean Beaches and Streams Program targets the reduction of pathogens in the North Coastal region. Contact SSCW if you'd like to learn more about TMDL's or help improve water quality in Salem Sound.

The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program is dedicated to protecting, restoring, and enhancing the estuarine resources of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays. One of 28 NEPs funded by EPA under Section 320 the Clean Water Act, we facilitate partnerships to prompt local, state, and federal action and stewardship, convene stakeholders on the local and regional level, provide scientific basis for management decisions, and help decision makers identify problems and solutions.
The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program is a cooperative venture of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts - Charles D. Baker, Governor; Karyn E. Polito, Lieutenant Governor
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs - Matthew A. Beatton, Secretary
Office of Coastal Zone Management - Bruce K. Carlisle, Director
Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program - Pam DiBona, Executive Director
Copyright © 2015 Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Partnership, All rights reserved.
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