As the estuaries spring to life there are multiple opportunities to get outside and help collect water samples, identify invasive species, measure stream flow, or plant eelgrass. Contact the Regional Coordinator near you for specific opportunities.
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June 12:  Run/Walk for the Beach, Beverly
June 12:  Pontoon boat cruise, "Sunset Landscape and Wildlife Photography on the North River," Marshfield
June 13:  Public Comment Meeting, Draft Northeast Ocean PlanGloucester
June 13: Volunteers needed, Marine Invasive Watch, Salem
June 14:  Public Comment Meeting, Draft Northeast Ocean PlanBoston
June 15:   Public Comment Meeting, Draft Northeast Ocean PlanNew Bedford
June 16: Film, Hometown HabitatDennis
June 23-24: Conference, "One Cape: Implementing Solutions for Clean Water," Hyannis
June 24: Volunteers needed, Marine Invasive Watch, Marblehead
June 28: Volunteers needed, Marine Invasive Watch, Beverly
June 29: Volunteers needed, Marine Invasive Watch, Salem
July 30: Great River Race 2016, Norwell
August 4:  Pontoon boat cruise, "Ecology of the Salt Marsh," Marshfield
August 21: Swim & Fin Swimming Races, Salem

Healthy Estuaries Grants Awarded

Five projects will enhance science and management

Between 2010 and 2014, MassBays distributed more than $450,000 to municipalities, nonprofits, and partner agencies to conduct research and planning in the Bays. This past year, we suspended the program to convene an advisory committeeto help evaluate and align the small-grant program with the goals of our draft comprehensive conservation and management plan. The new Healthy Estuaries Grant Program provides between $8,000 and $35,000 toward projects that address gaps in our understanding of local natural systems, trends, and conditions, and support local progress on protecting, restoring, and enhancing estuarine habitats and informing management efforts. Projects may span two summer field seasons under an 18-month contract.

This year, we are pleased to award nearly $100,000 to five projects on Cape Cod and the South Shore, to the 
Center for Coastal Studies, MIT Sea Grant College Program, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, and the Towns of Braintree and Wellfleet.

Thank you to all who proposed projects this year -- we plan to solicit new proposals in 2017, with increased resources that will allow us to award more grants.
photo of a Cape Cod abandoned bog
With support from MassBays, MIT Sea Grant researcher Rob Vincent will examine habitat preferences of river herring in Fresh Pond in Plymouth, recently made accessible to the fish through a multi-faceted restoration project at Tidmarsh Farms.
Image source: Tichnor Brothers Postcard Collection, Boston Public Library, accessed via

Reducing stormwater pollution in Salem's North River

Low-impact redevelopment planned for Commercial Street 

Spring rains carry pollutants off driveways, sidewalks, and streets into storm drains, where polluted stormwater flows directly to our rivers, streams, ponds,lakes, coastal beaches and estuaries. Low-impact development (LID) approaches reduce water pollution by keeping stormwater onsite for treatment and irrigation. LID principles can be incorporated into both new development and redevelopment projects.

At Salem Sound Coastwatch's (SSCW) 25th Anniversary Symposium, Salem City Engineer David Knowlton described an LID-oriented plan for Commercial Street in Salem. With funding from Coastal Zone Management's Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program (proposals due June 30), and technical assistance from Barbara Warren, MassBays' Lower North Shore Regional Coordinator and SSCW Director, redeveloped streetscape will capture and treat stormwater, reducing the amount of trash, sediments, bacteria, oils, and grease going into the North River (see map below). The plan includes three to five rain gardens, a proprietary ACF Focal Point High Performance Modular Biofiltration System, ACF Stormbasin inserts in catch basins, outlet screens (to catch solids and floatables) and StormSok (to remove suspended sediments and oils) in manholes. SSCW will recruit and host volunteers to help with plantings in the rain gardens, making sure that the state's investment of nearly $200,000 stretches as far as possible. With these improvements, we expect to see better habitat for rainbow smelt, which travel upstream for spawning each spring. For more information, contact Barbara Warren.
Current conditions (above): Sand, trash, and dog waste flow directly from Commercial Street to the North River.
Low-impact plans (below) include rain gardens (blue labels) and stormdrain filters (pink labels).
Images provided by D. Knowlton.
bar chart showing number of burrows per a given diameter

Information, please!

Do you lead citizen science or community monitoring efforts in the Metro Boston region (Revere to Hull)? We would like to know more about your program! Please take this short survey by June 17th. Thank you! 

Tips for successful state grant proposals

MassBays teamed up with the Department of Environmental Protection and Bay State Roads to host a series of professional development workshops during April 2016. You can find presentations and handouts from the events on the MassBays website -- scroll down to "Technical Transfer Resources." 
Regional Coordinators & Service Providers
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 - Charlie Baker, Governor; Karyn E. Polito, Lieutenant Governor
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs - Matthew A. Beaton, Secretary
Office of Coastal Zone Management - Bruce K. Carlisle, Director
Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program - Pam DiBona, Executive Director
Copyright © 2016 Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Partnership, All rights reserved.

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