Information on the Buzzards Bay Action Committee
Overview of the BBACThe Buzzards Bay Action Committee or "BBAC" is a not-for-profit organization, composed of municipal officials, which is involved with state, local, and federal legislative and regulatory issues. The BBAC also helps guide state and federal agencies as to the needs of Buzzards Bay municipalities in better protecting the environment. The primary goal of the BBAC, like the other two Buzzards Bay focused organizations, is the implementation of the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan that was approved by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the US EPA in 1991. The slogan of the BBAC is "Communities united to preserve and protect Buzzards Bay."
The BBAC is also a member of the six-member Buzzards Bay NEP Steering Committee along with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), the MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the US EPA, the Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development District and the citizen group, the Buzzards Bay Coalition.
Upcoming Meetings & EventsGo to the Buzzards Bay Action Committee website buzzardsbayaction.org for the agenda to their latest meeting.
BBAC meeting on Thursday April 25, 2013 at 9 AM
Speaker: Jim Ricci - City of New Bedford’s Superintendent of Water
Title: Review of energy efficiency and renewable projects at the City's Water Treatment Plant.
Selected Recent Meeting HighlightsMarch 28, 2013 Presentation on sea-level rise and potential impacts to public infrastructure – given by John Rockwell/BBNEP (Rockwell's presentation)
February 28, 2013 A Recap of the Blizzard of 2013 - Things we did that were successes and what we would do differently.
January 24, 2013 Jessica Whritenour, of Falmouth's 300 Committee Land Trust will be in to discuss how local land trusts can help municipalities acquire public land.
November 28, 2012 David Gould with the Department of Marine and Environmental Affairs for the Town of Plymouth discussed restoration work that has been conducted within the Eel River watershed.
October 24, 2012: David R. Vallee, Hydrologist-in-Charge, NOAA/NWS/Northeast River Forecast Center, Taunton. "Examining Hurricane Irene’s Hydro-meteorological Impacts on the Northeast United States; A Classic New England Tropical Storm in many aspects but a far cry from reality for upper Buzzards Bay"
June 2012: Lealdon Langley, Director of MassDEP's Wetland and Waterways Program will discuss revisions to state wetland regulations
May 2012: Joe Costa, BBNEP/MCZM, Update on the draft CCMP/ Briefing on effort to remap historical trends of eelgrass in Buzzards Bay
April 2012: Patrick O’Neale, Tata & Howard, Water Management Permitting: Looking Forward (O'Neale's presentation)
March 2012: Dan Sampson, MCZM, Updated MORIS website mapping tool
February 2012: Final destination of solid waste in SE Mass
January 2012: Andrea Langhauser, DEP, Massachusetts regulatory reform and streamlining efforts
December 2011: Greg Berman, WHOI Coastal Processes Specialist, Transport, coastal erosion/shoreline stabilization, sea level rise, and storm surge issues in Buzzards Bay
November 2011: Scott Durkee, Director of Energy for the City of New Bedford, Energy reduction goals and projects in the City of New Bedford including the Solar Renewable Energy Initiative for the Sullivan’s Ledge Superfund Site
October 2011: Meg Colclough and Seth Pickering of the Green Communities Division of the Department of Energy Resources (DER), gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Green Communities initiative to Help Massachusetts Municipalities Create a Cleaner Energy Future.
Download their Green Communities Presentation
Special Meeting, September 29, 2011: The BBAC hosted a special night-time workshop for area Conservation Commission board members and staff given by the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commission on Erosion and Sedimentation Control at the New Bedford City Hall.
September 2011: Scott MacLeod from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) spoke on the FY 2012 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program as well as hazard mitigation planning.
June 16, 2011: Don Cooper and Pete Hanrahan, consultants from E.J. Prescott, Inc. who specialize in erosion control and stormwater issues, gave a presentation regarding various types of erosion control materials and techniques to assist in holding on to sediment onsite. Topics included turf reinforcement mats, nets/erosion control blankets, silt fence installation, ditching to slow down surface water flow, silt sacks, vegetated gabions, and other methods.
March 2011: Brendan Annett, from the Buzzards Bay Coalition, spoke about the groups efforts to protect Buzzards Bay watershed lands.
February 17, 2011 Special Workshop: At the New Bedford Fort Rodman Community Center on 1000 South Rodney French Boulevard New Bedford, MA, the BBAC hosted a StormSmart Coasts Pilot Projects and South Coastal Partnership Opportunities Workshop. .
February 2011: Guest speaker John Weber, Ocean Services Manager for MA CZM, spoke about the about Ocean Management Plan and what it means for the future of Buzzards Bay.
January 2011: The guest speaker was Julio Olimpio, from ESRI, discussed how ESRI can assist the municipalities in implementing GIS, training staff and developing and using applications to facilitate our governmental activities.
November 2010: The guest speaker was David C. Cole, the current Chair of the Westport Estuaries Committee, which is charged with implementing the Mass. Estuaries Project in the Westport River Watershed. David spoke to the BBAC to gauge interest in forming a group to focus on the problems of financing the massive costs of wastewater treatment infrastructure and to address the problems of deteriorating water quality in this region.
October 2010: The guest speaker was Eric Walberg, Manomet's Senior Program Leader for Climate Change, who spoke on Manomet's Climate Change Initiative.
September 2010: The guest speaker was Steve Smith of SRPEDD who spoke about the formation of Sustainability Council for the Southeast Massachusetts SRPEDD region as part of a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development grant application submitted to HUD.
May 2010: The guest speaker was John Weber, Ocean Services Manager for CZM, who spoke about the final approved Ocean Management Plan and what it means for the future of Buzzards Bay.
April 2010: The guest speaker was Dorrie Pizzella of MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, who gave a power point presentation outlining state environmental grant opportunities. Grants include LAND (Local Acquisition for Natural Diversity), PARC (Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities), as well as several other funding sources.
March 2010: Guest Speaker was Robin Lacey, of MA Coastal Zone Management, who discussed his work with marinas and boatyards, including the regulatory challenges that these businesses face from pressure washing considerations to stormwater management.
January 2010: Dr. Jo Ann Muramoto, of the Association for the Preservation of Cape Cod, gave a presentation titled "Stormwater Utilities on Cape Cod: First Steps". She discussed APCC's recent stormwater utility outreach workshops on Cape Cod, and the responses from workshop participants.
December 2009: At this meeting, BBAC members discussed potential changes in future goals, bylaws and objectives of the BBAC. They also discussed planned meeting topics for the coming year.
November 2009: Peter Shelley, Massachusetts Advocacy Center Director of the Conservation Law Foundation discussed recent work by CLF on a range of water withdrawal sustainability issues around the Commonwealth. CLF has prepared and filed a "Notice of Intent To Sue" MassDEP for what they asserted was a failure to protect aquatic ecosystems across the Commonwealth. CLF will also be an active participant in the new "Sustainable Water Initiative" announced by Secretary Bowles, which is designed to look at the cumulative effects of wastewater, storm water, and water withdrawal regulation on ecosystem health, especially stream flow and stream flow quality. Mr. Shelley discussed several other topics including implications of expansion of water withdrawals on the Mattapoisett River, and compliance with nitrogen TMDLs on Cape Cod.
BBAC originsThe origin of the BBAC begins in 1985, with the start of the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program. The Buzzards Bay NEP, then called the "Buzzards Bay Project," is a unit of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. In 1987, the Project became part of the US Environmental Protection Agency's National Estuary Program. At that time, 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.
In 1987, 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 (later renamed the Buzzards Bay Coalition), and was incorporated in 1987. It was a '501(c)3' educational and outreach a citizen-based group. The second group, composed of municipal officials, first remained as an advisory committee to the Buzzards Bay Project and guided the development of the CCMP. When the CCMP was about to be finalized in 1991, these municipal officials signed the Buzzards Bay Action Compact, became the independent Buzzards Bay Action Committee, now also a '501(c)3' organization.
Past BBAC activitiesDuring the past 20 years the Buzzards Bay Action Committee has focused on a wide range of issues. Early on, the BBAC led the effort to develop a local municipal oil spill contingency plan for Buzzards Bay and mutual aid agreements to better assist municipalities in their first response to an oil spill. Municipal first responders have long recognized they provide an essential role until federal and state agencies are able to respond to these emergencies. These early efforts included oil spill training exercises for municipal first responders, and support for better equipping of fire departments and other town departments that respond to oil spills.
Another highly successful BBAC initiative was the "Bilge Sock" program. With a grant from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, the BBAC provided free oil collecting bilge socks to recreational boat owners, in an effort to minimize the discharge of oil from boat bilges into Buzzards Bay. This effort garnered statewide and national attention, and led to similar programs throughout Massachusetts.
The Buzzards Bay Action Committee is also noted for having filed the 2000 application to EPA to designate all of Buzzards Bay as a boat waste no-discharge area.
2003-2006: Stormwater Mapping Collaborative for Buzzards BayA more recent endeavor of the BBAC was in working with the Buzzards Bay NEP and Buzzards Bay watershed municipalities to expand the BBNEP's stormwater atlas initiative to map every discharge and catch basin, and their associated drainage networks throughout the Buzzards Bay watershed. Between 2003 and 2006, the Buzzards Bay Action Committee began a partnership with the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School (Voc Tech), the Buzzards Bay NEP, and BBAC member towns dubbed the stormwater mapping collaborative partnership program. The goal of the effort, involving both Voc-Tech students, watershed towns, and BBAC staff, was to assist Buzzards Bay municipalities map stormwater discharge pipes and catch basins in the Buzzards Bay watershed. The BBAC provided more than $10,000 to set up a pilot program, and in 2005 received a received a Coastal Zone Management Non-Point Source Pollution Grant in the amount of $18,951 to complete the work. More information about the effort is on the Buzzards Bay Stormwater Collaborative web page. The Buzzards Bay NEP was a partner on this grant. Under this grant, the BBAC in partnership with the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School developed a detailed stormwater drainage network database to expand upon coastal areas mapped by the Buzzards Bay NEP described in the 2003 "Atlas of Stormwater Discharges in the Buzzards Bay Watershed." The goal of this effort was to map all stormwater drainage systems and discharges in the Buzzards Bay watershed. The information was made available on the Buzzards Bay NEP website late in 2006.
To support the mapping effort, in 2006 the Town of Acushnet, in collaboration with the BBAC, received a $23,500 grant from the Buzzards Bay NEP, to purchase tablet PCs and GPS units for the communities of Acushnet, New Bedford, Dartmouth, Westport, Fairhaven, Rochester, Mattapoisett, Marion, Bourne, Wareham, Carver and Plymouth who are participating in the expanded stormwater mapping program. This initiative will help towns better maintain their drainage systems, identify discharges causing water quality degradation, identify discharge points of road spills, and help towns comply with state and federal requirements to better manage stormwater discharges. Training for municipal officials on the use of the GPS units and tablet PCs was conducted in the summer of 2006.
For the past several years, the BBAC continues to host meetings with invited speakers and to host workshops on issues like Low Impact Development, Transfer of Development Rights, the Storm Smart Program, and state regulatory changes.
BBAC membershipThe Executive Director of the BBAC is Elizabeth Leidhold.
The mailing address of the BBAC is
BUZZARDS BAY ACTION COMMITTEE
PO Box 805
Mattapoisett, MA 02739
email: lizleid @ msn.com
Municipal representatives on the Buzzards Bay Action Committee, and their phone numbers are as follows:
- Acushnet: Al Coutinho, Administrator (508) 998-0200
- Bourne: Brendan Mullaney, Conservation Agent (508) 759-0615 Option 6 (BBAC Vice-Chairman)
- Dartmouth: Mike O'Reilley, Environmental Affairs Coordinator (508) 910-1822
- Fairhaven: Jeff Osuch, Executive Secretary (508) 979-4023
- Falmouth: Jennifer McKay, Conservation Administrator (508) 495-7445
- Gosnold: Ray Pickles, Executive Secretary (508) 990-7408
- Marion: Paul Dawson, Town Administrator (508) 748-3520
- Mattapoisett: Michael Gagne, Executive Secretary (508) 758-4100
- New Bedford*: Jim Ricci, Superintendent Water Division (508) 991-6158
- Rochester: Laurell Farinon, Conservation Agent (508) 763-5421 x3
- Wareham: David Pichette, Conservation Administrator (BBAC Chairman)(508) 291-3100 x6505
- Westport: Craig Dutra, Selectman (508) 636-1150
* New Bedford is a city; all other municipalities are towns
BBAC MeetingsThe Buzzards Bay Action Committee now generally meets the third Wednesday of the month, at the Wareham Multi-Service Center at 48 Marion Road (Rt. 6) Wareham, MA 02571-1014 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM. This is the building on the opposite side of the parking lot across from the Wareham Town Hall (click for Google Directions to the Wareham Multi-Service Center). Previously the meetings were on Thursdays at noontime at the Wareham Town Hall Cafeteria.
1997 Buzzards Bay MOU
1997 Memorandum of Understanding between the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, the Buzzards Bay Coalition, and the Buzzards Bay Action Committee for collaboration and cooperation on Buzzards Bay issues.
2005 updated Buzzards Bay MOU
In the Spring of 2005, during their respective board meetings, both The Buzzards Bay Coalition, and the Buzzards Bay Action Committee adopted this update of the 1997 MOU.