Weather and forecast for New Bedford and the Buzzards Bay watershed.
Septic System Test Center Results
Information on the Bouchard B120 oil spill.
QUIZ: 3 out of 18 specialty plates in Massachusetts fund environmental projects. Do you know which they are?
Wind Turbines in Buzzards Bay
Other Buzzards Bay Organizations
Website of the citizen's group, The Coalition for Buzzards Bay.
Info on the municipal official group, the Buzzards Bay Action Committee.
News, Features, and Information for Buzzards Bay and the NEP
Buzzards Bay NEP hires Polaris Consultants for Westport Stormwater ProjectThe Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program has awarded a $20,000 contract to Polaris Consultants, LLC to develop stormwater treatment plans for the Drift Road drainage system in the Town of Westport, MA. The goal of this project is to reduce stormwater-related pollutants from discharging into the East Branch of the Westport River. The stormwater discharges to an area where the shellfish beds are closed after two-tenths of an inch of rain. Go to our Drift Road stormwater designs procurement page for more information about this project.
Buzzards Bay NEP Launches StormSmart Climate Ready Buzzards Bay WebsiteThe Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program has established this subdomain website to consolidate information, data, and assessments undertaken by the Buzzards Bay NEP and others to help inform and guide local managers and the public about potential impacts from storms, shifting shorelines, rising sea level, and potential changes in climate and adaptation strategies. The site includes interactive maps of the floodplains and other data. Please go to our Storm Smart Climate Ready Buzzards Bay website for more information.
VENDOR SOUGHT: New Bedford Harbor Climate Ready Estuary and Storm Smart Planning StudyThe Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), is making available $22,172 in federal funds to hire an environmental service or planning firm to conduct a climate ready estuary assessment and planning effort for the municipalities surrounding New Bedford Harbor. The purpose of this study is to develop an understanding of possible impacts of climate change and potential future responses by the Towns of Acushnet and Fairhaven, and the City of New Bedford. Of specific concern is how future increases of sea level, precipitation, and frequency or intensity of storms may affect public infrastructure related to water quality and habitat protection. Please go to our Fairhaven-Acushnet-New Bedford climate assessment and planning study page for more information.
Application due date: Thursday, September 5, 2013 by 4:00 PM.
Updated Draft Buzzards Bay Management Plan Distributed for CommentIn 1991, the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (NEP), a unit of Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, developed the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP). This landmark document was a blueprint for the forthcoming efforts to protect and restore the water quality and living resources of Buzzards Bay and its surrounding watershed. The CCMP introduced many new concepts to local government including the need to establish watershed limits on the discharge of nitrogen from wastewater (especially septic systems) and other nitrogen sources, the importance of stormwater discharges as a cause of bathing beach and shellfish bed closures, and the recognition that the climate was changing. The Buzzards Bay NEP has now updated the Buzzards Bay CCMP to reflect progress achieved, new problems facing the bay and its surrounding watershed, and the ongoing unresolved problems that remain since the original plan was finalized. This updated Buzzards Bay CCMP includes existing, new, and revised goals that relate to 21 key issues facing the bay and watershed. In each of the 21 "Action Plans," we identify strategies for government, citizens groups, and the public to employ to meet the continuing challenges we face.
The updated management plan has been mailed to Buzzards Bay watershed municipalities for comment, and we are inviting area residents to review and comment upon the document. While the Buzzards Bay CCMP is not a regulatory document, it lays out a vision that we hope will continue to guide municipalities and non-governmental organizations in their ongoing efforts to protect and restore the environment. It will also assist state and federal agencies to direct grants and technical assistance programs, and to help guide the update of policies and regulations to benefit the bay and watershed for years to come. Go to our New CCMP page to read and comment upon the plan.
Buzzards Bay NEP Undertaking Sea Level Rise studyThe Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (BBNEP) and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management are evaluating the potential expansion of the existing Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 100-year floodplain using Flood Insurance Rate Map base flood elevations for Buzzards Bay municipalities. The floodplain will be expanded with 1-foot, 2-foot, and 4-foot scenario increases in sea level. The existing floodplain will be extrapolated upward based on the FIRM base flood elevations. Using a recent assessor's data set, the number of buildings, their assessed values, and municipal structures are being enumerated within these various sea level rise expansion scenarios for each Buzzards Bay municipality. Go to our Flood Zone Expansion with SLR page for more information about the project and to read 6 new draft reports for Buzzards Bay towns.
Information on past Wind Farm proposals for Buzzards BayLooking 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.
Other Popular Pages and Downloads
1980s Historical Eelgrass GIS Coverage PostedOn our eelgrass page we have posted links to download GIS data showing the distribution of eelgrass mapped in Buzzards Bay during the 1980s. In most of Buzzards Bay, eelgrass reached it post-1930s wasting disease peak abundance in this decade. In the coming weeks we plan on disturbing new GIS coverages, maps, and georeferenced aerial photographs showing eelgrass abundance in the 1940s, 1960s, and 1970s for selected parts of Buzzards Bay.
Massachusetts Estuaries Project reports for Buzzards BayReports 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.
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.