Skip to main content

Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program

News, Features, and Information for Buzzards Bay and the NEP

Buzzards Bay NEP/MCZM seeks to fill two Stormwater Specialist positions

The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, a unit of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, is seeking applicants to fill two Stormwater Specialist positions in their East Wareham, MA office.

One position is full time and will principally work with municipalities by providing technical assistance in an intermunicipal program that will collect and test water samples from stormwater discharges contributing to shellfish bed closures (both dry and wet weather flows), and map the collection network and catchment areas of discharges identified as priorities. The job entails fieldwork, rainfall sampling, GPS data logging, and GIS mapping (in ArcMap). The second position is part-time and principally involves GIS database creation and management (in ArcMap), stormwater design review, contractor management for stormwater designs, and assist in municipal stormwater management efforts. This position also includes some fieldwork and sampling, and the individual must have strong knowledge of local and state stormwater regulations. You can apply online.

The half-time position ($36,767 to $46,957 annually) can be found at: posting=J48450.
The full-time position ($63,313 to $88,046 annually) can be found at: posting=J48487

Both federally funded positions are ongoing, non-civil service, regular employee positions (Regional Planners) with full benefits. The application deadline is July 11, 2015.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Alert: Draft RFP issued for NEP Water Quality grants

In July 2015, the Buzzards Bay and Narragansett Estuary Programs will each issue a request for proposals for up to $900,000 in support of projects that address water quality degradation caused by nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and pathogens. The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program is seeking comments on its DRAFT Request for Proposals for the Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Water Quality Management Grants. Please note that while this request for proposals is focused on the Buzzards Bay watershed, applicants in the Narragansett Bay watershed should also comment on the various criteria because the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program's request for proposals will closely mirror this solicitation.

This grant program supports the U.S. EPA's SNEP mission to protect and restore the southeast New England ecosystem by connecting communities through collaboration and partnerships throughout the region; fostering and promoting innovative approaches; and engaging public stewardship. This grant round is focused on nutrient and pathogen water quality issues. Although certain elements of this draft Request for Proposals may change, potential applicants should use this notification as an opportunity to formulate potential projects.

We are particularly interested in comments on eligible and ineligible projects and applicants, scoring criteria, and the overall schedule and timing. Go to our SNEP Grant Information page for updates and more information.

For those in the Narragansett Bay watershed (in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts), go to to apply to that grant program when the request for proposals is issued.

Wetland and Habitat Restoration and Protection Grants Solicitation soon to be released

The Buzzards Bay NEP, through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), is making available $154,000 in federal funds as part of the Buzzards Bay municipal mini-grant program. This grant round will exclusively focus on the protection or restoration of wetlands, uplands, and important habitat. Go to our grant funding page for more information.

Severe Ice In Buzzards Bay

During much of February and early March 2015, sea ice was extensive in Buzzards Bay, covering at its maximum, nearly the eastern third of Buzzards Bay. The level of icing caused the Coast Guard to recommend that vessels avoid the Woods Hole Passage. The Northeast Marine Pilots adopted the following measures for applicable vessels transiting the waterways of southeastern New England: daylight-only transits and minimum one nautical mile visibility in all serviced harbors, and through the Cape Cod Canal. The MODIS satellite false color image below from February 28, 2015 shows the extent of icing in Buzzards Bay and areas of Cape Cod.

Sea Ice in Buzzards Bay, 28 February 2015 MODIS

Southern New England Program 2014 Funding

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has received a second year of funding to implement an initiative called the Southern New England Program (SNEP; formerly Southern New England Coastal Watershed Restoration Program). The goal of this initiative is to bring together public and private stakeholders to collaborate on initiatives to protect, enhance, and restore watersheds along southeastern New England. The geographic area of the program includes the coastal waters and watershed lands spanning from Westerly, Rhode Island to Pleasant Bay, Massachusetts. The watersheds of Narragansett Bay, Buzzards Bay, the south side of Cape Cod and the Islands face similar opportunities and challenges. The program's goal is to help promote and develop innovative and effective approaches to preserve and restore the region's critical resources.

This summer, the Buzzards Bay NEP and the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program are again assisting EPA in disbursing funds related to this initiative. In last year's funding, the SNEP focus was on the critical issue of nutrient pollution (nitrogen loading to impaired coastal waters and habitat and phosphorus loading to impaired fresh waters and habitat). This year's focus will be expanded to include water quality degradation from pathogens. Stormwater conveys both nutrients and bacterial pathogens so stormwater projects will be broadly eligible. Both large and small proposals are encouraged.

Last year we received 19 nutrient management proposals totaling $3,082,379 from 12 entities (3 non-profits and 9 governmental subdivisions of the Commonwealth) by the June 9, 2014 pre-proposal deadline. We were able to fund six projects totaling $728,459. For more information about the SNEP activities in the Buzzards Bay watershed, go to our website For projects in the Narragansett Bay watershed, which includes areas of Massachusetts in the Blackstone, Ten Mile, and Taunton River watersheds, go to the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission website, as they are administering the funds for the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program.

Other Popular Pages and Downloads

Information on past Wind Farm proposals for Buzzards Bay

Looking for information about the South Coast Offshore Wind Project? Read about meetings, and the information we posted about a similar 2002 proposal for Buzzards Bay that explains many of the regulatory and environmental issues that would need to be addressed for siting wind turbines in Buzzards Bay on our Wind Farms page. Have you noticed a windmill to the south as you have crossed the Bourne Bridge? We have a photo of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy wind turbine that began operation in 2006, as well as information on the water turbines proposed for Vineyard Sound.

Massachusetts Estuaries Project reports for Buzzards Bay

Reports for West Falmouth Harbor and Phinneys Harbor / Back River complex have been released. Other reports will become available in the coming years. We have provided some support for this effort for selected subwatersheds as described on our Subwatershed Land Use and Nitrogen Loading page.

WETLAND LOSS MAPS available for viewing.
We have updated our wetland loss page to include new maps we produced based on DEP's wetland change maps sent to Buzzards Bay municipalities in 2004. Click the link to read more.

Bouchard No. 120 Oil Spill in Buzzards Bay
On April 27, 2003, an oil barge, carrying 4.1 million gallons of No. 6 fuel oil, spilled an estimated 98,000 gallons of oil into Buzzards Bay, the second largest spill in the bay's history. More than 93 miles of coastline were affected, and hundreds of birds killed. Click the link above to see recent cleanup summary reports. Other popular pages and links include our page US Coast Guard: 98,000 gallons best estimate of oil spilled, the New Bedford Standard Times Op Ed article on how the Buzzards Bay NEP helped in this determination, and our Oil Spill Legislation page.

Living Resources of Buzzards Bay: Synthesis reports produced for the 1991 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, 2013 Redux, Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program Technical Report, Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, October 18, 2013. 98 pp.

Have you confused us with another Buzzards Bay organization?

In the 1980s, the Buzzards Bay NEP had a "Citizen Advisory Committee" or CAC that was part of the program and was helping with the evaluation of pollution and identification of management options to protect and restore Buzzards Bay. This CAC broke off from the Buzzards Bay NEP and eventually became two independent, not-for-profit organizations. The first organization called itself The Coalition for Buzzards Bay. It was a '501(c)3' educational and outreach a citizen-based group. The second became the Buzzards Bay Action Committee, a non-profit organization composed of municipal officials, that has become more involved with state, local, and federal legislative and regulatory issues. Today, both organizations are on the Buzzards Bay NEP's Steering Committee, and both have adopted as one of their major goals, the implementation of recommendations contained in the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.

The views or information contained here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the US EPA.