The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Massachusetts Watershed Initiative

Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

 

    

     ARGEO PAUL CELLUCCI                                                                              KARL HONKONEN             

               Governor                                                                                              Watershed Manager

 

              JANE SWIFT                                                                                               

        Lieutenant Governor                                                                                            

                                                                                                                                          

 BOB DURAND                                                                

Secretary of Environmental Affairs

 

 

December 19, 2000

 

Dear Watershed Partner,

 

Thank you for your interest and support for the Massachusetts Watershed Initiative.  The Watershed Teams, including our Community Partners have been instrumental in implementing all of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs’ priority initiatives in FY2001.  The results of the April 2000 Roundtable have been realized in a variety of projects now in various stages of implementation.  Because of the unfailing commitment and hard work of the Watershed Teams and the many environmental interests across Massachusetts, the Watershed Initiative has made a powerful impact in advancing local priorities.

 

Enclosed you will find Draft copies of the Watershed Team’s FY 2002 Work Plans.  These plans address an 18-month period from January 2001 (the start of the watershed year) through June 2002 (end of fiscal year 2002). They are not to be confused with the Team's five-year action plan, which is compiled in year 4 of the Watershed Initiative five-year Cycle, and can be viewed as "living documents" that can be appended to adapt to unexpected changes.

 

Your careful review of these plans is required to fully prepare for the Roundtable this coming April.  Our goal in this review process is to convene the “Interagency Workplan Review Committee” (IWRC, or “I- Work”, formerly known as the Monday Group) of EOEA agency representatives in early January and meet bi-weekly thereafter with Massachusetts Watershed Initiative staff and Watershed Team Leaders.  I hope that this thorough review process will create a smooth transition to final workplans which can receive timely approval by the Roundtable and proceed to plan implementation early in FY2002.

 

Your thoughts are always welcome.  By working together we can all make a difference in improving the state of Massachusetts Watersheds.

 

 

Sincerely,

Karl Honkonen

Watershed Manager

 

 

251 Causeway St., 9th fl. Boston, MA 02114 ¨(617) 626-1138 ¨(617) 626-1181 Fax ¨email:karl.honkonen@state.ma.us

For information on the Massachusetts Watershed Initiative set web browser at http://www.magnet.state.ma.us/envir/eoea.htm

 

North Coastal Watershed

Watershed Team Leader

Lawrence W. Gil

Contact Information

EOEA – Massachusetts Watershed Initiative

205A Lowell Street

Wilmington, MA 01887

Phone:  978 661 7746

FAX:    978 661 7615

Email: lawrence.gil@state.ma.us

1.     Active Members of the North Coastal Watershed Team

Last Name

First Name

Organization

Alain

Mark

SESD

Balsemma

Joseph

NAHANT SWIM INC

Blanchard

William

EOEA DFA

Boundy

Vicky

8 Towns and the Bay

Buchsbaum

Robert

Massachusetts Audubon Society North Shore Chapter

Chase

Bradford

DFWELE Division of Marine Fisheries

Cleaves

Sam

Regional Planner, Metropolitan Area Planner Commissioner

Clish

Heather

MCZM

Comeau

James

MDC Right of Way Agent

Dawe

Richard

Lynn Water and Sewer Commission

DelPapa

Cindy

DFWELE Riverways Program

Dunn

Cynthia

Salem Sound 2000

Ferris

David

MA Division of Water Pollution Control

Fortier

Scott

EOEA Office of Technical Assistance

Gil

Lawrence

EOEA, North Coastal Watershed Team Leader

Hall

Andrew

Lynn Water and Sewer Commission

Hayes

John

Geographer, Salem State College

Hill

Michael

EPA, Region I NCW liaison

Hopkins

Karen

Salem Sound 2000

Hutchins

Eric

National Marine Fisheries Service

LeBlanc

Joan

Program Director, SRWC

Lenthall

Daniel

National Resource Conservation Service

Lozzi

Wayne

Environmental Engineer, Mass Div of Wetlands and Waterways

Marler

Linda

Geologist,DEM

Millhouse

Christine

Environmental Engineer, City of Gloucester

Port

Andy

Dept. of Community Dev. and Planning City of Peabody

Rasmussen

Christine

Ward 5 Councilor, City of Gloucester

Resnick

Mark

Town Planner Salisbury

Smith

Timothy

Circuit Rider, Wetlands Banking and Restoration Program

Sorenson

Elizabeth

DEM ACEC Program Coordinator

Straub

James

DEM Lakes and Ponds Program

Stringi

Frank

Planner, City of Revere

Tomaszewski

Gregory

MA Division of Water Pollution Control

Watson

Gregory

Planner, City of Malden

Wheelock

Anthony C.

US Generating Company

Wrynn

Kathy

President, Saugus River Watershed Council

Young

Bernadine

Cape Ann Sustainable Committee


 

Map of the North Coastal Watershed

 


 

2.     Issues, Activities & Accomplishments in 2000

 

The top 5 issues in the North Coastal Watershed continue to be:

 

Ø      Contaminated stormwater emanating from street drainage systems along highways and local roads.

Ø      Sustainable growth management innovative land use planning.

Ø      Conservation of Open Space.

Ø      Habitat Preservation focusing on salt marsh restoration, reduction of, invasive plant species, reopening productive shellfish habitat, restoration of anadramous fish runs.

Ø      Impacts of growth on drinking water supplies, maintaining adequate base flows in rivers and streams

 

The North Coastal Watershed Team (NCW) has effectively functioned as a confederation with team members coming together on various projects on as needed basis.  Three Local Governance Committees, Salem Sound 2000 (SS2000), Eight Towns and the Bay (8T&B) and Metropolitan Boston (MB), play a pivotal role in organizing and promoting citizen involvement.  Major stewards include the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management (MCZM/North Shore), Mass Audubon Society North Shore (MAS/NS) the Saugus River Watershed Council (SRWC), State agency participation from the Department of Environmental Management (DEM), Department of Environmental Protection's Northeast Regional Office (DEP/NERO), Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MDMF), Division of Fisheries Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement (DFWELE) Riverways Program, DEP Watershed Management, Federal participants include USFWS and EPA Boston.  One of the original themes we have consistently tried to adhere to in the NCW is to build on existing projects and efforts.  So we try to keep the message consistent and build on past successes. We have also tried to implement projects at the subwatershed scale wherever possible since we believe that is where we will have the most tangible success.

 

The following section organized under the 7 MWI program elements provides more specific examples of the many accomplishments during calendar year 2000.

 

Outreach and Education 

The watershed population is large and contains many interest groups.  The strategy has been to establish local contacts through the existing regional and local governance committees wherever possible.  Prioritize problems within the subregions and map out strategies to effect positive change.

 

Accomplishments:  Utilizing Roundtable grant monies SS2000, MAS/NS and SRWC formed the North Coastal Alliance.  The Alliance organized a series of interactive forums, targeted to reach local officials, environmental groups and concerned citizens with information compiled during previous grant about the pollution sources, environmental conditions and natural resources within each subwatershed.  The forums also provided the opportunity for valuable input from the attendees on their knowledge and concerns.

 


The Saugus River subwatershed forum earned full-page coverage in the Lynn Daily Item newspaper.

 

The Smallpox Brook subwatershed forum prompted the formation of new Stream team.  Local participation included Salisbury residents, the local Board of Health, a Selectmen, and the Salisbury Director of Planning.  They recently completed a stream walk with assistance and training of the Riverways Program, 8T&B, and the NCW team leader.

Team leader is an attendee to meetings of the MAPC North Shore Task Force (NSTF), Salem Harbor Task Force, Cape Ann Sustainable Committee (CASC), Great Marsh Summit Team, Rumney Marsh Task Force, North Suburban Planning Commission (NSPC), SS2000 Technical Advisory Committee, North Shore Workshops for Health Agents and Conservation Commissions, Friends of Lake Quannapowitt (FOLQ), Eight Towns and the Bay, Saugus River Watershed Council, Saugus River Watershed Commission and Essex Facility Planning Task Force, Safer Waters in Massachusetts (SWIM).

 

Team leader met with the Project Coordinator for the Gloucester Harbor Plan to offer the team’s assistance in the Gloucester Harbor on a number of issues including stormwater management, the elimination of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO’s) and the siting of the Yankee Whale Watch Fleet in Gloucester Harbor versus Annisquam River.  The meeting was directly related and in response to the forum by North Coastal Alliance on Gloucester Harbor.

 

Team leader served as liaison between the EOEA Boston Office, DEP/NERO Wetlands Program and a disgruntled citizen.

 

Met with Boards of Health bordering Salem Sound and SS2000 to discuss results of Clean Beaches and Stream sampling program and lobby for an increase in municipal efforts to curtail or eliminate pollution sources.

 

Local Capacity Building

Ø      The strategy employed by the team has been an integrated, incremental and a projected effort over time.  The North Coastal Watershed is effectively serviced by a number of governance committees, NGO’s and other entities dedicated to either focused interests and/or to working with local communities and their citizens.  Our focus has been to:

Ø      integrate activities, responses and assistance to local communities and citizens with existing team members where ever and as often as possible,

Ø      work in increments as contacts are made with local officials incorporate them into the team,

Ø      project the local successes and collaborative demonstrations to other communities as examples of the MWI approach working to address problems.

 

Accomplishments:  The growth of Salem Sound 2000 (SS2000) as a strong advocate for a cleaner environment within and outside of Salem Sound continues as one of our real success stories.  Since their receipt of a 1998 Capacity Building Grant, they have: instituted the Clean Beaches Clean Streams Program, partnered with the MAS North Shore and the SRWC to conduct the North Coastal Alliance Water Quality Assessment, later, the Alliance applied for and received a follow up contract to conduct a series of forums with local officials on the water quality assessments.  Eight Town and the Bay (8T&B) has also matured into a strong environmental steward.  Their influence has been most keenly felt in the areas of environmental education and in the restoration of degraded salt marshes on the upper North Shore.  Most recently they brought interested citizens, local government officials and the Riverways Program together to form the Smallpox Brook Stream team.  To the south, the SRWC has a new Program Director to compliment a very active constituency.  They have established leadership roles in promoting environmental education, the long term monitoring of the health of the Saugus River, land acquisition and environmental advocacy for water quality.  Local capacity successes within the NCW can also be measured by the increased participation and team representation from the communities of Gloucester, Lynn, Malden, Peabody, Rockport, Revere and Salisbury and their success in receiving grants.  Team membership has included representatives from U.S Generating Company in Salem, South Essex Sewage District and the General Electric Lynn.  Successful contact with the business community has not been successfully maintained and needs to be a focus for the upcoming Year 1 outreach activities.  The team helped alert MAS/NS and MAPC to citizen and community requests for assistance in protecting open space land in Nahant

 

Water Quality 

The Watershed is “naturally “ divided into subregions: The Saugus/Pines River Estuary, Salem Sound, Cape Ann, Swampscott/Lynn/Nahant Bay and portions of Amesbury and Salisbury forming its own subregion.  Accordingly, there is not a individual source for the water quality problems within the watershed.  The team as a priority effort has identified addressing contaminated stormwater across most of the watershed.  The team’s efforts wherever possible utilize pilot projects at the subwatershed level and “follow ups” to establish the skills and methodologies to deal effectively with these kinds of problems and transfer the knowledge gained to projects in the other subwatersheds.

 

Accomplishments:  The Watershed Team Leader collected bacterial data from street drains discharging onto local beaches within greater Salem Sound to assist DEP/NERO in the verification of chronic bacterial contamination documented by the SS2000 Clean Beaches Clean Streams monitoring program.  These findings resulted in the issuance of Notices of Non Compliance by DEP/NERO to the cities of Beverly and Salem.

 

The communities of Essex and Gloucester have entered into a mutual agreement that allows Essex to connect to and pump wastewater from Essex to the city of Gloucester’s wastewater treatment system.  The agreement benefits both communities and eliminates the potential discharge of municipal wastewater to the Essex River and the Great Marsh ACEC.

 

The communities of Rockport and Gloucester have entered into a mutual agreement that allows the Long Beach section of Rockport to connect to the Gloucester municipal wastewater treatment system.  The agreement benefits both communities and eliminates a long outstanding pollution problem attributed to poor individual subsurface disposal facilities

 

Worked closely with the DEP’s Division of Watershed Management to produce the North Coastal 1997/1998 Water Quality Assessment Report.

 

Worked with the North Coastal Alliance by providing data sources, review and comment for the report entitled “North Coastal Alliance Water Quality Assessment in four targeted subwatersheds Gloucester Harbor, North River, Saugus River and Smallpox Brook”.

Provided review and comments to the MDMF draft study of “Marine Resources of Salem Sound”.

 

Participated in the SS2000 sponsored Symposium on the State of Salem Sound.

 

Participated in water quality collections with MDEP, MDC and LWSC to assess stormwater contamination emanating from stormdrains and CSO’s within the Lynn Water and Sewer Commission service area and the neighboring town of Swampscott.

 

The team leader has been involved in a long-term project with DEP/NERO staff including  Division of Water Pollution Control, Bureau Waste Prevention and EPA Boston to update the files and records of all of the NPDES permits issued within the watershed.

 

Worked with DEP’s Bureau of Waste Site Control, William X. Wall Experiment Station and the Friends of Lake Quannapowitt in the collection of sediment samples from the lake to supplement a Phase I Initial Site Investigation, Tier Classification and Imminent Hazard Evaluation of a former coal gasification plant.

 

Assisted DEP and the consulting firm of URS Consulting Group in crafting the scope of work, their Quality Assurance Project Plan and in providing them local community contacts for a project entitled “Targeting and Eliminating Untreated Sewage Discharges in Four Subwatersheds in the North Coastal Watershed”.

 

Water Quantity

The NCW does not have a single water source. The basin is "naturally" divided into subregions: Saugus/Pines River Estuary, Salem Sound, Cape Ann, Swampscott, Lynn, Nahant Bay with portions of Salisbury and Amesbury forming another subregion.  “Community” water is supplied through surface reservoirs, community well fields, from the Ipswich and Saugus Rivers and by MWRA.  Droughts have plagued the region in the past.

 

Accomplishments: In July 1999 DEM issued a contract to conduct a $60,000 study entitled “Impacts on Streamflows in the Saugus River from Human Manipulation.  The Team as one of the priority projects targeted the project for FY99.  Funding for the project was received through the Roundtable for FY99 and work began in July 1999.  However project oversight highlighted problems with the original contractor and the contract was terminated.  Working closely with DEM, the Lynn Water Sewer Commission, the Saugus River Watershed Council and the Saugus River Watershed Commission, the contract was readvertised and a new vendor selected.  Substantial progress towards meeting the original goals set out in the Scope of Work have been made since the contract was reissued .

 

In addition, the NCW team leader has worked closely with the DEP/NERO Drinking Water Program in the review and reissuance of Water Management Act permits within the NCW.

 


Habitat 

The restoration of degraded wetlands and the reopening of productive shellfish resources have been identified by the Team as a priority issues.  The NCW has supported a number of on-going projects within the watershed targeted to restoring or remediating degraded wetlands and reopening productive shellfish beds.  Much of the work has been sponsored by 8T&B, Rumney Marsh ACEC Task Force, the Great Marsh ACEC Task Force and in cooperation with the EOEA Wetlands Banking and Restoration Program, MCZM/North Shore and MAS/NS. Support has largely been in the form of site assessment and the writing of endorsement letters to the various funding sources.

 

Accomplishments: sites receiving attention of the team include:

 

Ø      Argilla Rd. Ipswich, installation of a larger culvert to increase tidal flooding and promote the regrowth of salt marsh and control the expansion of the invasive plants Phragmites sp.

Ø      Conomo Pt. Essex, installation of a larger culvert to increase tidal influence to promote the regrowth of salt marsh and control the expansion of Phragmites sp.

Ø      Installation of self regulating tide gates at 7 tidal crossings along Rt1A in Revere

Ø      Installation of self regulating tide gates at Town Line Brook Revere/Saugus.

Ø      Installation of a self regulating tide gate structure at Oak Island, Revere.  This project was funded by a grant from the USFWS.

Ø      Worked with multi agency task force in the development of the Ballard Street saltmarsh restoration in Saugus

Ø      Installation of aVortex Unit pollution control system to a stormwater drainage system discharging to the Forest River in Salem. The project was funded through a MCZM CPR grant to the city of Salem.  Salem partnered with SS2000 and engineering consultant Metcalf & Eddy to assist in wet weather monitoring

Ø      EOEA #12063 Rockport - Saratoga Creek Salt Marsh Restoration Project, between Saratoga Court and Seaview Street on Thatcher Road (Route 127). Phase II - restoration of 4,110 square feet of salt marsh and restoration of 880 square feet/1160 linear feet of mosquito ditching.  An accumulation of sediments and intrusion of Phragmites have degraded the salt marsh area.

Ø      Salisbury Blackwater Salt Marshes: an ACOE project which widened the RT 286 Bridge has resulted in increased flooding to Salisbury homes bordering the marshes.  ACOE has been charged with the task of designing a structure or method to alleviate the increased flooding in the least intrusive manner as possible.  The project has involved federal, state and local authorities. Permitting and design has been complicated.  To date the Team leader has attended 2 site inspections, reviewed several design options, and attended meetings to help resolve jurisdictional issues.

Ø      Provided support of a MCZM CPR project to conduct water quality sampling of stormwater discharging to a MAS/NS “Thicket” Sanctuary in Nahant 

 

Open Space

Formulating an Open Space plan compatible with the needs and interests of 27 communities was beyond the capabilities of the team. Several years ago the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and its North Shore Task Force (NSTF) sponsored a “Harvard School of Design” project to investigate the potential to create a metropolitan open space system for the Greater Boston Metropolitan region and adjoining areas of Eastern Massachusetts.  The final report entitled Mass Bays Common proposed a network of large protected natural resource systems. As a natural progression from this larger effort, the NSTF commissioned a similar effort for the 15 communities in the North Shore area.  The report entitled Grow Smart North Shore proposes a network of interconnected existing preservation areas, new preservation areas, riparian corridors setbacks and a harbor walk as the means to consider the needs and character of the region's resources and people; the needs of the regional ecology; address the issues of water quality and quantity; address the rich cultural heritage of the region; and create a realistic, regional open space reserve on the North Shore and Cape Ann.  Several NCW team members were active in the formulation of this project and the subsequent presentations to local officials and the public.  It was the consensus of the team that Grow Smart North Shore could effectively serve as the NCW comprehensive Open Space plan.

 

Accomplishments:  Adopted the Grow Smart North Shore plan presented by Harvard School of Design and the MAPC/NSTF as the NCW comprehensive Open Space plan.

 

Worked with MDC and SWRC in the identification of suitable parcels of land for acquisition as part of the Saugus River Greenways Project.

 

Provided letters of endorsements grant submittals by the towns of Hamilton, Peabody, Saugus and Wakefield to EOEA Conservation Services for Open Space.  Wakefield was recently awarded a Self Help grant for $250,000 for the acquisition of the Lanai Island restaurant property located along the shores of Lake Quannapowitt.

 

Recreation 

The team has not identified the element of recreation as a specific priority issue to be addressed by the team at this time.  Often it is imbedded or included in open space planning and habitat issues.

 

The Year in Review

 

The 168 square mile North Coastal Watershed (NCW) has an estimated populace of 500,000 distributed within portions of 27 communities, including Salisbury and Amesbury, all of Cape Ann, the coastal and near shore communities of Greater Salem south to Lynn/Revere/Everett.  The rivers are small, tidal and historically heavily exploited.  The abundance of open beaches, coastal wetlands and harbors are used by residents and non-residents in support of a host of outdoor recreational activities including swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, and hunting.  The dominant resource industries include commercial fishing for finfish, lobsters and shellfish particularly within upper North Shore communities of Essex and Gloucester.  Numerous shellfish beds have been closed due to pollution with only partial restoration in recent years.  Addressing the numerous problems within the basin will require a range of solutions.  One of the goals of the North Coastal Watershed team effort has been to foster a true partnership between citizens, business people, municipal officials, non-profit organizations and government agencies to protect and restore our threatened resources of land and water. The team has a core group made up of  representatives from Salem Sound 2000 (SS2000), Eight Towns and the Bay (8T&B) and Metropolitan Boston (MB), Major stewards include, Mass Audubon Society North Shore (MAS/NS) the Saugus River Watershed Council (SRWC), State agency participation from the MCZM/North Shore, Department of Environmental Management (DEM), Department of Environmental Protection's Northeast Regional Office (DEP/NERO), Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MDMF), and Division of Fisheries Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement Riverways Program.  Membership on the North Coastal Watershed team at large continues to broaden with the inclusion of community and business partners, however their participation is generally focused on specific issues.  Our strategy has been to gain inclusion by performance and word of mouth.  We reinforce this by keeping our message consistent and building on existing projects and efforts at the subwatershed scale wherever possible since we believe that is where we will have the most tangible success.  During this past year the North Coastal Watershed completed a number of projects which carried over from years

 

The following is a summary of the many accomplishments

 

Ø      The communities of Essex and Gloucester have entered into an agreement that allows Essex to connect to and pump wastewater from the town of Essex to the city of Gloucester’s municipal wastewater treatment facility.  The agreement benefits both communities and eliminates the potential discharge of municipal wastewater to the Essex River and the Great Marsh ACEC.

 

Ø      Worked closely with the DEP’s Division of Watershed Management to produce the North Coastal 1997/1998 Water Quality Assessment Report. The Assessment report summarizes the water quality data collections of 1997 and 1998 conducted by DEP/WSM, MDMF, MAS/NS, SS2000, and SWRC.  The report is notable in that it is the first time that CH 21e sites have been identified and included in an assessment report.  The report evaluates trends in the data and provides the basis for establishing priority actions within the respective subwatersheds.

 

Ø      Provided review and comments to the MDMF draft study “Marine Resources of Salem Sound”.  The report is the most comprehensive assessment of marine resources and water quality within Salem Sound in decades.  The report documents nutrient loading into Salem Sound, the impacts of South Essex Sewage District discharge to the Sound, verifies thermal influences of the Salem Electric Generating Facility on local waters, establishes significant changes in the population dynamics of adult and juvenile fishes, a decline in landings of lobsters and verifies the establishment of several invasive species most notably the European Oyster.  MAS/NS, the NCW team leader, SS2000, USGS, Salem State College, Northeastern University, and a local dive club provided assistance to this effort.

 

Ø      Salem Sound 2000 (SS2000) partnered with the MAS North Shore and the SRWC to conduct the North Coastal Alliance Water Quality Assessment Report.  The report provided a comprehensive review of the available water quality and resource information for the targeted subwatersheds of the Saugus River, North River Gloucester Harbor and Smallpox Brook.  It’s purpose was to educate local government officials and other stakeholders, to target priority problems and disseminate this information.  Later, the Alliance applied for and received a follow up contract to conduct a series of forums with local officials on the water quality assessments.


 

Ø      The Watershed Team Leader collected bacterial data from street drains discharging onto local beaches within greater Salem Sound to assist DEP/NERO in the verification of chronic bacterial contamination documented by the SS2000 Clean Beaches Clean Streams monitoring program.  These findings resulted in the issuance of Notices of Non Compliance (NON) by DEP/NERO to the cities of Beverly and Salem.  NON’s are enforcement orders that require specific actions and responses such as, development of plans and solutions to eliminate or reduce the contamination.  The actions should result in the reduction of bacterial contamination being discharged onto local  Salem Sound beaches.

 

Ø      The communities of Rockport and Gloucester have entered into a mutual agreement, which allows the Long Beach section of Rockport to connect to the Gloucester municipal wastewater treatment system.  The agreement benefits both communities and will eliminate a long outstanding pollution problem attributed to poor individual subsurface disposal systems impacting water quality at Long Beach.

 

Ø      Participated in the SS2000 sponsored Symposium on the State of Salem Sound.  The Symposium brought together local citizens, legislators, scientist, government regulators and lobster men to discuss the environmental issues effecting the Sound and what could be done about it.

 

Ø      Participated in water quality collections with MDEP, MDC and Lynn Water and Sewer Commission to assess contamination emanating from stormdrains and CSO’s within the LWSC service area and the neighboring town of Swampscott.  LWSC responded by locating and removing illegal sewer connections to the street drainage system.  Follow up sampling has documented reductions in bacterial contamination from several CSO’s on of which discharges onto Kings Beach.

 

Ø      The team leader has been involved in a long-term project with DEP/NERO staff from the Division of Water Pollution Control, Bureau Waste Prevention and EPA Boston to update the files and records of all of the NPDES permits issued within the watershed.  The results of this effort will be an up to date list which will allow for more focused review of the permits to insure compliance with the terms of the permit.

 

Ø      Worked with DEP’s Bureau of Waste Site Control, William X Wall Experiment Station and the Friends of Lake Quannapowitt in the collection of sediment samples from the lake to supplement a Phase I Initial Site Investigation, Tier Classification and Imminent Hazard Evaluation of a former coal gasification plant.

 

Ø      Assisted DEP and the consulting firm URS Consulting Group in crafting the scope of work, their Quality Assurance Project Plan and in providing them local community contacts for a project entitled “Targeting and Eliminating Untreated Sewage Discharges in Four Subwatersheds in the North Coastal Watershed”.  To date the study has assessed 74 street drains within the 4 subwatersheds, sampled 40, which were flowing and submitted an interim report.

 

Ø      Worked closely with DEM, the LWSC, the Saugus River Watershed Council and the Saugus River Watershed Commission and the consultant firm of Gomez and Sullivan on the study entitled “Impacts on Streamflows in the Saugus River from Human Manipulation.  The goals of the study include, establishment of minimum base flow suitable to support anadramous fish, an assessment of flood issues from the headwaters to Central Street, in Saugus a IFIM

 

Ø      The NCW team leader has worked closely with the DEP/NERO Drinking Water Program in the review and reissuance of Water Management Act permits within the NCW.

 

Ø      The NCW team has supported a number of on-going projects within the watershed targeted to restoring or remediating degraded wetlands and reopening productive shellfish beds.  Team members 8T&B, the Rumney Marsh ACEC Task Force, the Great Marsh ACEC Task Force have sponsored much of the work.  Oversight was provided by the EOEA Wetlands Banking and Restoration Program (WBRP), MCZM/North Shore and MAS/NS.  Team support included the funding of a Wetlands Scientist technical assistant position for WBRP, site assessments and the writing of endorsement letters to the various funding sources.

 

Ø      Installation of a larger culvert on Argilla Road Ipswich to increase tidal flooding and promote the regrowth of salt marsh and control the expansion of the invasive plant Phragmites sp. Proponents included NMFS, MAS/NS, and town of Ipswich

 

Ø      Installation of a larger culvert on Conomo Pt. Essex, to increase tidal influence to promote the regrowth of salt marsh and control the expansion of Phragmites sp. Attended site inspections, provided review and comment.  Proponents include Great Marsh Task Force. MAS/NS, town of Essex, 8T&B

 

Ø      Installation of self regulating tide gates at 7 tidal crossings along Rt1A in Revere. Installation of these tide gates will reduce low level flooding while promoting the regrowth of saltmarsh.  Proponents included Rumney Marsh Task Force, EPA Boston, Essex County Mosquito Control Program, city of Revere MCZM/NS.

 

Ø      Installation of self regulating tidegates at Town Line Brook Revere/Saugus and Malden.  A complex project with the long terms goals of minimizing flooding within abutting neighborhoods, eliminating chronic bacterial contamination due to sewer surcharging, restoration of 3 acres of degraded salt marsh and the reopening of shellfish beds.  Proponents included Rumney Marsh Task Force, EPA Boston, Essex County Mosquito Control Program, city of Revere MCZM/NS, MDMF, MAPC, MDC, MHD, DWPC/NERO, city of Malden.  Working with these partners we have secured $500,000 in Supplemental Environmental Penalties through the Massachusetts Environmental Trust to conduct a complete hydrologic assessment of the subwatershed and to conduct citizen outreach activities.  The partners have also secured a Comprehensive Pollution Remediation Grant from MCZM for work in the Trifone Brook subbasin.

 

Ø      Installation of a self regulating tidegate structure at Oak Island, Revere.  This project was funded by a grant from the USFWS to the city of Revere, with the assistance of EPA Boston, WBRP, NCW, MCZM/NS.  Partial funding is also to be supplied by the MBTA through a Consent Judgement initiated by DEP/NERO.  Installation of the tidegate and related work will result in improvements to tidal flowage to 30 acres of degraded saltmarsh.

 

Ø      Working with multi agency task force in the development of the Ballard Street saltmarsh restoration in Saugus which will result in improved flood protection for low lying neighborhoods and improved tidal flowage to over 40 acres of salt marsh.  Participants include WBRP Corporate Wetlands Program, USEPA, SRWC, NCRS, town of Saugus, MDC

 

Ø      Installation of a Vortex pollution control system to a stormwater drainage system discharging to the Forest River estuary in Salem. The project was funded through a MCZM CPR grant to the city of Salem.  SS2000 developed a wet weather stormwater sampling program to assist in the identification of sources of contamination with oversight and guidance from engineering consultant Metcalf and Eddy..

 

Ø      MCZM Coastal Pollution Remediation Grant to the town of Nahant in cooperation with MAS/NS to conduct a wet weather sampling program on stormwater discharges to the MAS “Thicket” sanctuary.  Project will provide citizen training by MAS/NS to assess stormwater impacts leading to possible pollution remediation efforts as well as habitat restoration.

 

Ø      EOEA #12063 Rockport - Saratoga Creek Salt Marsh Restoration Project, between Saratoga Court and Seaview Street on Thatcher Road (Route 127). Phase II - restoration of 4,110 square feet of salt marsh and restoration of 880 square feet/1160 linear feet of mosquito ditching.  The salt marsh area has been degraded by an accumulation of sediments and intrusion of Phragmites.

 


2.      Status of Previously Funded Roundtable Projects (FY99-01)

 

Fiscal year

Project Name

Vendor

Funding Agency

$allocated/$spent

% complete

accomplishments

99

Determination of minimal base flow Saugus River

Gomez & Sullivan

DEM

$50,000

50

Completed habitat assessment,

99

Water Quality assessment in 4 NCW subwatersheds

SS2000,

SWRC,

MAS/NS

DEP

$36,357

100

Water Quality Assessment: Gloucester Harbor, North River, Saugus River, Smallpox Brook

99

Salem Sound 2000 Capacity Building

Grant

SS2000

EOEA/MWI

$50,000

100

Clean Beaches and Streams, Board of Directors, Citizen Wetland Health Program, North Coastal Watershed Alliance

99

Stormwater Management Workshops for Local Officials

 

MCZM/NORTH SHORE

 

100

3 regional workshops were held, each workshop included examples of BMP’s and projects implemented in both rural and urban settings, workbook and guidance documents were provided.

99

Growth

Management

MCZM/

MAPC

EOEA

PFG

$60,000

100

Conservation Subdivision Guidebook bylaw review

00

Setting action plan priorities in subwatersheds

North Shore Alliance

DEP

$18300

100

Conducted 5 community forums 1 general, 4 specific, brochure for each subwatershed

00

Targeting and Eliminating Untreated Sewage Discharges in Four Subwatersheds in the NCW

URS

Consulting Group

DEP

$60,000

40

Completed Task 1 Identified stormwater drains. Conducted initial round of sampling.  Submitted 1/4ly report, conducted interim project review.


 

00

Implementation of Land

Protection

Tech. Asst.

Saltmarsh

Restoration

WB&RP

MCZM

$35,000

100

Substantially completed Salt Marsh Restoration Plan for Rumney Marsh ACEC, initiated restoration plan for Great Salt Marsh, identified and evaluated saltmarsh restoration project at Eastern Point Gloucester.

01

Inventory and Evaluation of

Brownfield sites in the NCW

 

DFWELE

$27,000

0

Initial scope of work developed, options are under review

01

IMPLEMENTATION OF LAND PROTECTION TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM IN NORTH SHORE COMMUNITIES

 

MCZM

$35,000

 

 

01

Technical

Assistance for

NPDES

Stormwater

Phase II Comp.

Vanasse Hangen Brustlin

DEP

$54,000

0

RFP issued contract recently awarded  and Notice to Proceed issued

 


 

3.     Potential Activities of the Team

 

Sustainable Growth Management continues to be THE high profile issue on the North Shore.  The North Coastal Watershed seems to have been a place “where people have always wanted to live”. The unique juxtaposition of historic towns and neighborhoods, intact open spaces, high technology centers as become increasingly threatened with the emergence of  “low density sprawl” as a serious threat to both the character and resources of this watershed

 

The team can be an important player addressing Sustainable Growth Management first and foremost by working in conjunction with EOEA Boston and the Merrimack Valley and the Metropolitian Area Planning Commissions in providing communities with information on the Community Development Plan, Executive Order 418 and the Community Preservation Act.

 

The team is seeking funding through the Roundtable to conduct 4 workshops to provide Training for Local Zoning Boards of Appeals (ZBA) and Planning Boards on Comprehensive Permit (Chapter 40B) Guidelines.

 

The team is seeking funding through the Roundtable to hire an Open Space Circuit rider for North Coastal Watershed.  This project would create an Open Space Circuit Rider for the North Coastal Watershed to integrate a sense of watershed management with local planning and open space protection activities and to assist communities in developing a Community Development Plan

 

The Roundtable provided funding to compile a list of Brownfields sites within the North Coastal Watershed.

 


 

4.     Priority Watershed Projects for FY 2002

 

Project 1:  Technical Assistance with Storm Drainage Mapping for NPDES Phase II Compliance

 

In 1999, EPA finalized its NPDES Phase II Stormwater regulations.  Despite an effort to educate municipalities about the requirements and necessary actions under the new rule, most local officials are still confused about the steps they should take for compliance and have not even started to address the issue.  Many communities do not even have current, accurate maps of their storm drain systems.  Mapping the storm drain systems is the first step that most communities will need to take to start investigating and remediating storm water problems. 

 

This project proposes to assist North Coastal Watershed communities with mapping their storm drain systems as a first step toward Phase II compliance.  The goal of the project would be to produce a map of the storm drainage systems in these communities as the basis for investigation and remediation work.  The project would serve as a model for approaching Phase II in other communities and would encourage communities to begin thinking about the Phase II rule.  This project is a logical next step to the FY01 Priority Project that provided informational workshops and initial technical assistance to North Coastal watershed communities on Phase II. 

 

Communities receiving assistance will be selected based on agreed upon criteria including dedication of municipal staff time to the project; 303D listing of local waterways; and other criteria.  The mapping will be comprehensive and, to the extent possible, will include state highway storm drainage.

 

Estimated Cost:  $45,000

 

Deliverables:  GIS storm drain maps

 

Timeframe:  Fall, 2001 – Fall, 2002.  Could be repeated with additional communities in the future or could provide the foundation for future work on Phase II compliance in the selected communities

 

Agency(ies) best suited for oversight:  Mass Bays Program, CZM, DEP

 

An RFR offering funds to individual communities could be pursued in implementing this effort.  Communities could apply for funds, and indicate their commitment through both cash and inkind match.  If this strategy is employed, EOEA should be cited as the oversight agency with technical guidance supplied by MassGIS.  It is anticipated that, for the funds provided, three to four communities could be funded.


 

Project 2:  Training for Local Zoning Boards of Appeals (ZBA) and Planning Boards on Comprehensive Permit (Chapter 40B) Guidelines  

Note:  This Project has been proposed as a regional project among the North Coastal, Ipswich, and Parker Watershed Teams

 

Project Description:  North Coastal communities are faced with an increasing number of Comprehensive Permit applications due to rising development pressure.  While the intent of the Chapter 40B rule to help provide more affordable housing is benevolent, many of these projects may have potential for serious environmental impacts due to the limited environmental review they undergo.  Further, many local officials are not aware of their rights, roles, and responsibilities under the Chapter 40B guidelines.  The comprehensive permit process is also occasionally used as a loophole by developers that are frustrated with the more traditional permitting process.  The result of the lack of specific knowledge on the part of Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) and other local officials and the confusion and intimidation associated with the process can result in projects which do not adequately protect the environment.

 

The Department of Housing and Community Development currently offers training for local officials in the Chapter 40B permitting process, however these trainings are held in Boston and are often inconvenient for North Shore residents.  This project proposes to provide more convenient training for members of Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), Planning Boards, and Conservation Commissions in the North Coastal Watershed communities.  Three or four training workshops would be scheduled at local venues around the watershed.  The Department of Housing and Community Development would be invited to present at the trainings.  In addition, members of the North Coastal Watershed Team would attend ZBA trainings to help provide local assistance.

 

Estimated Cost:  Total Cost $10,000.  (North Coastal funding $4,000)

 

Deliverables: A minimum of four training workshops (at least one per watershed) and Ch. 40B training materials

 

Timeframe: Fall 2001

 

Agency(ies) best suited for oversight: Mass Bays Program - MAPC, MCZM, MWI, DHCD, Salem Sound 2000.


 

Project 3:  Assistance to Local Boards of Health (BOH) on Implementation of the BEACH Bill

 

Project Description:  During the last legislative session, the Commonwealth passed the BEACH Bill to protect bathers from poor water quality at beaches.  The Bill mandates that local Boards of Health (BOH) test water quality at all bathing beaches at least weekly and that conspicuous warning signs are posted to warn the public of any health risks due to water quality.  A very similar BEACH Bill was also passed at the federal level and calls for increased public notification of test results.  The federal bill will not take effect for approximately three years but, the State bill will be in effect next summer.

 

Boards of Health do not currently post their testing results publicly and in most municipalities, beaches are seldom closed when necessary.  Boards of Health have little experience in public education and outreach and the closure of beaches is often politically controversial.  This project would provide assistance to local BOH with public notification of water quality test results and closures and assist with public education on water quality impairment, the associated health risks, and the role that citizens can play in reducing these risks.

 

One deliverable for this project would be a packet with examples of public outreach materials such a sample press release, sample beach posting notice, sample educational flyers, etc. to help insure consistency in the approach by BOH to public education and notification.  These packets would be distributed to all area BOH in order to facilitate and encourage public communication of beach testing results.  In addition, a regional mode of communication for all beach testing results such as the Town Online website and/or regional papers such as the North Shore Sunday and Globe North Weekly section would be explored and its use by area BOH for posting data would be facilitated.

 

Estimated Cost:  $10,000

 

Deliverables: 

1)      Public outreach packet (including website and newspaper agreement) produced for each community in the North Coastal Watershed.  This packet should be developed in consultation with both a representative of the Watershed Team and local Boards of Health.

2)      A workshop on the BEACH bill and the responsibilities communities face in response, including the benefit of the outreach packet and how it may assist the community

3)      A personal visit to each community Board of Health or designated representative reinforcing the issues covered during the workshop, including the usage of the outreach packet.

 

Timeframe:  Fall, 2001 – Summer, 2002

 

Agency(ies) best suited for oversight:  Mass Bays Program, CZM, DPH


 

Project 4: Open Space Circuit rider for North Coastal Watershed

 

This Project has been  proposed as a regional project among the North Coastal, Ipswich, and Parker Watershed Teams

 

Background:  Throughout the North Coastal watershed, there is a need for a contact person to promote tools for achieving a holistic approach to open space protection and community planning to better ensure the success of developing and implementing community development plans that integrate a natural resources and watershed approach. 

 

This project would create an Open Space Circuit Rider for the North Coastal Watershed to integrate a sense of watershed management with local planning and open space protection activities.

 

The project would provide technical assistance to municipal planning and open space  officials for the integration of regional watershed  planning principles in local decision making, such as the protection of critical habitat and wildlife corridors, planning for future water projections and the protection of water recharge functions. 

 

The Open Space Circuit Rider would:

 

Ø      Help communities integrate Conservation Subdivision Design into their Community development plans and assist in advocacy efforts  for bylaw adoption where appropriate;

Ø      Work with communities, during the drafting of  their community development plans, to ensure that the community preservation sections adopt a watershed approach, help implement the watershed’s Planning for Growth elements, and recognize regional ecosystems and special natural resources;

Ø      Use existing land protection maps to develop criteria and identify key parcels for prioritizing land acquisition to include in the community development plans and ;

Ø      Work with the communities to integrate the Community Preservation Act into local planning initiatives.

 

The Circuit Rider, as directed by the watershed team leader, would provide buildout analysis and EO 418 follow-up to targeted communities, provide technical assistance, and provide outreach for Green Neighborhood, Planning for Growth and CPA outreach efforts.

 

Estimated Cost: $30,000 with $25,000 for salary and $5,000 for resource mapping. North Coastal portion $10,000

 

Deliverables: Circuit Rider to provide technical assistance.  Projects will vary by community – may include prioritized land acquisition maps, community development plans, etc.

 

Timeframe: FY02

 

Agency(ies) best suited for oversight: EOEA in coordination with the MassBays Program and MCZM.

 

 


 

Project 5: Field Training for Health Agents, Conservation Agents, and Board/Commission members

 

This project has been proposed as a regional project among the North Coastal, Ipswich, and Parker Basin Teams

 

Project Description: This proposed project would fund four field workshops to be held within the Parker, Ipswich, and North Coastal watersheds. The scope of these half-day workshops would be to provide training on soils investigation and field botany for Title 5 and wetland boundary delineation. Workshop materials would include field guidebooks for all registrants. Workshop organization will include selection of sites and registration of participants.

 

Statement of Need:  Soils training sessions have been held throughout CZM’s North Shore region. Feedback from Health Agents, Conservation Agents, and Board/Commission members has been extremely positive for the information they provide and they frequently request the continuation of these field training opportunities. The addition of field botany to the workshops would further increase local capacity for decision-making.

 

Project Goal:  To build field expertise and technical capacity among the municipal officials responsible for the decisions that benefits the North Coastal, Parker, and Ipswich watershed ecosystems.

 

Deliverables:  Four half-day workshops covering soils and field botany, including field guidebooks for all registrants

 

Time Frame:   Fall 2001

 

Estimated Cost: $8,000 North Coastal Portion $3,000

 

Agency(ies) best suited for oversight:  MCZM - NS:  (Note:  CZM has acted as the lead agency for soils training sessions and could do so again in FY02 for project management)


 

Project 6:  Salt Marsh Restoration Project Coordinator

 

Note: This is a multi-watershed project for the Ipswich/Parker, North Coastal watersheds.

 

Project Description:  Working under the supervision of the WRBP Director, the Coordinator will work with communities to facilitate the implementation of salt marsh restoration projects on the North Shore watersheds.  The ACEC salt marsh restoration plans will be presented to the affected communities.  In addition, technical outreach to communities will include a local road-crossing manual that will cover salt marsh restoration and ways to avoid salt marsh alteration.  Presentation will be made to local DPWs. This will be a continuation of work that has progressed in FY01.

 

Statement of Need/Problem: Loss of salt marsh and expansion of Phragmites in former salt marsh areas has been identified by previous work by the Parker River Clean Water Association and others.  Documentation of this has led to much interest from a variety of parties to restore salt marsh habitat and to improve conditions in ACECs and adjacent areas.  Technical assistance and guidance through the myriad of permitting requirements is important to the success of this regional restoration effort.  Development of salt marsh restoration management plans for the two ACECs will further assist this process

 

Project Goal(s):  To provide direct technical assistance to communities on salt marsh restoration and to finalize salt marsh restoration management plans for the two ACECs.

 

Project Deliverables:

 

1)      Salt marsh restoration Project Coordinator

2)      A final restoration plan for the Rumney Marsh Area of Critical Environmental Concern and the Plum Island Sound/Essex Bay Area of Critical Environmental Concern. 

3)      A road-crossing manual, including information on such topics as stormwater and tidal flow, for local DPWs. 

4)      Presentations to communities and the specific DPW directors on these products. 

5)      Assistance for  communities in writing grant/funding proposals for salt marsh restoration projects.

 

Project Cost: $54,000 (split equally, $20,000 each, from among the Parker River watershed, Ipswich River  watershed and North Coastal watershed

 

Agency(ies) best suited for oversight:  EOEA – Wetland Restoration and Banking Program


 

Project 7:  Regional River Herring/Alewife Count Ipswich, Parker, and Little Rivers (Gloucester),and Alewife Brook (Essex) Watersheds: Ipswich/Parker and N. Coastal 

 

This project has been proposed as a regional project among the North Coastal, Ipswich, and Parker Basin Teams

 

Project Summary:  Funding will help continue the volunteer alewife counts on the Ipswich, Little and Parker Rivers and add a new count at Essex River/Alewife Brook.  Preliminary assessments would be made at Sawmill Brook in Manchester and the Saugus River to determine if this approach is applicable to these rivers.  The counts would implement a standardized methodology for purposes of regional comparison. anadramous alewife are an important local fishery, both culturally and ecologically. Information on alewife population, migratory times and migratory patterns will be compiled and analyzed. Data will provide a basis for a Great Marsh anadramous Fish Restoration Plan. Education of volunteers and community outreach are integral parts of this project.  Utilize standardized methodology employed by PRCWA and UMASS Conduct at lest one count, at one fishway per river Data will be shared and compared regionally. Data will provide the foundation for an anadramous restoration plan Maintain the long term commitment to volunteer based science started by PRCWA

 

Estimated Cost:         $14,000  (average $3,500/river, amount per river varies on need)

                                    $9,000 from MWI Roundtable (Ipswich/Parker: $ 4,500, North Coastal: $ 5,000)

                                    $5,000 from Riverways

 

Agency(ies) best suited for oversight:  DFWELE  Assistance from Great Marsh anadramous Fish Team