Portsmouth, New Hampshire - We are cautiously optimistic. For the first time since President Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House, renewable energy is once again a key public policy issue. Back in 1979, the United States was experiencing spiraling costs to heat homes and operate cars due to an Arab oil embargo. Today, we know oil for what it is, a greenhouse gas that has significantly contributed to global warming, bringing us to the brink of a climate tipping point, say scientists.
Four major wind energy developers submitted 18 different proposals last week for new offshore wind farms of varying scopes that would potentially pump electricity to New York State—including at least one set of alternatives that would seek to bring power ashore in Hampton Bays.
Almost seven years have passed since Hurricane Sandy left its mark in the city. Neighborhoods like the East Village and Lower East Side were severely impacted by flooded streets and loss of electric power. Beyond the loss of life and the price of rebuilding, the storm also delivered a warning about what the city can expect as sea levels rise.
Plan promotes 'sustainable' opportunities in federal waters
Vineyard Wind, which plans to build the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind farm just south of the Vineyard, is set to go before the Martha’s Vineyard Commission for a public hearing next week, offering a more detailed view of the giant renewable energy project.
New Amendments Gut Overall Purpose of Beach Public Access Bill Yesterday the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee held bill A4221 (Pinkin). The original bill provided protection of public’s rights under public trust doctrine. There were very late amendments added to the bill by the Murphy Administration that actually weakened the legislation.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The federal government outlined an ambitious, potentially costly new plan to restore Atlantic salmon in the United States, where rivers teemed with the fish before dams, pollution and overfishing decimated their populations.
Advocates for public beach access have sued the Borough of Deal to block the sale of a small patch of roadway to a private property owner. The group asserts the move is yet another attempt by the wealthy borough to exclude the general public from its sandy waterfront.
Deal, New Jersey, a little beach town in the northern part of the state, just tried to make itself a tidy $1 million by selling off the end of a street that accesses the beach. A developer thought where the beach meets Neptune Ave would make for a nice little building project. So he decided to buy that street end from Deal.
It’s a shiny little fish, easy to catch, but not gastronomically appealing enough for us fussy humans to cook and eat. Scientists know it as Brevoortia tyrannus. New York fisherman call it bunker. To the fishing industry, it’s Atlantic menhaden.
In a sign of a maturing domestic offshore wind industry, Eversource, New England’s largest energy company, has acquired a 50-percent interest in two of the Danish energy giant Orsted’s proposed installations, including the 15-turbine South Fork Wind Farm, which is to be constructed approximately 35 miles off Montauk.
WELLFLEET — The annual beach nourishment required at 1440 Chequessett Neck Road, known locally as the Blasch property, is underway with the approval in January of the Wellfleet Conservation Commission.
POINT PLEASANT BEACH - A borough couple was awarded $330,000 Feb. 7 as compensation for the loss of about 60 percent of their oceanfront property to accommodate a federal beach replenishment project.
The price of Canadian lobster is soaring, thanks to the U.S.-China trade war. So, alas, are dockside heists.
Egg Harbor Township has applied for a federal grant of $2.4 million to tear down four eyesore motels in West Atlantic City as a way to mitigate flooding on properties severely and repeatedly inundated with water.
DEAL, N.J. It was hard to tell what had Matt Schwartz more stoked: the waves rolling in, or the relatively balmy 64-degree February weather as he wrapped up a day of surfing. But something else was bothering him: the possibility that he won't be able to surf here for much longer
One of the problems of a warming planet is glacial, the melting of ice that contributes to rising sea levels and flooding. The flight from that flooding at the Jersey Shore hasn’t even managed the other meaning of glacial — extremely slow.
The American Lobster Management Board says a reduction of as much as 40 percent is needed to protect the endangered species and avoid stricter federal restrictions on the lobster fishery.
NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — The federal government is again stretching the duration of a protected area off of Massachusetts to try to keep endangered right whales safe.
TONINGTON, MAINE A project to assess the flooding vulnerability of one of Maine's most important lobstering ports is among a slate of improvements that will receive state funding.
PROVIDENCE — Although the risks of sea level rise to coastal properties are becoming more widely understood, they may not being fully accounted for in the real estate market.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — There are few things in Maine as coveted as a lobster fishing license, and a proposal to bring dozens of people off the state’s license waiting list has fishermen in the state ready for a debate.
The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced the execution of two multiyear contracts to study the meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) conditions in the waters off the Atlantic coast of New York, called the New York Bight.
The artificial build-up of beaches is buffering the U.S. Atlantic coastline against the effects of sea level rise, but that benefit may not last as sand gets harder to come by in the coming decades.
New Jersey - The 11.625 percent tax — higher in some towns that have their own fees — went into effect late last year, a group of property owners, some from Pennsylvania and New York, have taken their concerns to lawmakers.
A team of researchers at Rutgers University has used new forecasting methods to predict offshore sea breeze patterns on the Jersey Shore — data that could be useful for companies hoping to build wind farms off Atlantic City.
Federal officials say that the long-awaited Fire Island to Montauk Point Reformulation Study, or FIMP, is finally expected to begin pumping money, and sand, into shoreline reconstruction projects along all of Long Island in 2020 or 2021.
Vineyard Wind officials are not waiting for federal officials to return to their desks: The company has reached an agreement with environmental groups to protect North Atlantic right whales and has offered Rhode Island fishermen a $6.3 million deal to compensate them for any economic damages they may incur from the wind farm’s construction and operations.
BOSTON — The offshore wind industry is poised for a wave of growth in the Northeast with expanding solicitations, falling contract prices and increasingly competitive auctions for new project sites, Massachusetts officials and wind developers shared Wednesday.
Suffolk County, NY - January 21, 2019 - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced the completion of more than $7 million in dredge work as part of the county 2018-2019 Priority Waterway Dredging Program. The Suffolk County Department of Public Works has now completed dredge work in seventeen priority waterways across six towns to ensure safe passage for the commercial and residential fishing and boating industries. Dredged Materials Utilized to Help Restore More Than 11,000 Feet of Shoreline.
By any measure, Penobscot Bay pilot David Gelinas has a hard job. In all weather and conditions, he travels miles out to sea to clamber aboard vessels in order to steer them and their cargos safely into port.
With no ferry service, the only access to mainland Canada is through the United States. Victoria Matthews can understand the attraction of Campobello Island, N.B., to an outsider. It can seem a magical place, with rocky coastlines, dramatic ocean vistas, big tides, bogs, lichen-shrouded forests, clams to dig for and wild blueberries to pick by the bucketful come summer.
For more than a decade, the impact of sea level rise and tidal flooding has been making waves on the real estate market of coastal New England, costing homeowners more than $400 million in lost value.
DOVER – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Watershed Stewardship in partnership with public and private environmental organizations have introduced the Delaware Living Shorelines Monitoring Framework, a tool to help landowners, professionals, and scientists develop plans for gauging the success of living shoreline projects installed throughout the state.
Last July, Rebuild by Design, a collaborative organization formed to address the affects of climate change, released an RFP for a stewardship partner for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR), a reconstruction of the 64-acre, 1.5-mile East River Park.
ALBANY, N.Y. The state of New York is filing a lawsuit against the federal government over quota allocations for an important species of commercial fish that Gov. Andrew Cuomo says are unfair.
Ocean City has been a leader in addressing the backlog of dredging necessary to keep Jersey Shore marinas and channels functional for the state’s boating and waterfront community. That’s crucial to the shore’s character and economy.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A new tax in New Jersey on short-term lodging such as Airbnb rentals is rattling some property owners and renters who worry that it could deal a blow to the state’s multi-billion dollar shore tourism industry by pushing people to consider other destinations.
Bridgeport, Conn. -- In a new plan to address flooding in the South End of Bridgeport, city officials see an opportunity to kick-start private investment and development in the waterfront area. Bridgeport received more than $50 million in federal grants in the last four years to funding the flood protection project in the South End.
Last week, the city kicked off its public design process for the Brooklyn Bridge Esplanade, the quarter-mile stretch of East River waterfront from Peck Slip to Catherine Slip. But it was a small sandy patch, just 191 feet long and lapped by the river’s waves, that grabbed much of the attention.
As the Maine town with the longest coastline, Harpswell is particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise. But the town government is up to the job, with its dedicated, hard-working Conservation Commission studying the effects of climate change on town roads and wetlands since 2010.
In 2016, village residents rejected a proposal to restore a section of the beach using federal funds because of a mandate that would allow public access there. In 2011, a damaged portion of the wall underwent a $2.2 million rehabilitation project by the Army Corps of Engineers. In 2016, village residents rejected a proposal to restore a 2.4-mile section of the beach — including a small section in front of the sea wall — using federal funds because of a mandate to allow public access to private beaches.
Lawmakers are optimistic bills to implement bipartisan commission's 2014 recommendations will advance after years of delay.
Five developers are vying for a state contract for off-shore wind energy. The other sites would be off Massachusetts/Rhode Island and New Jersey.
As the country’s lowest-lying state, Delaware is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels — and the influence of saltwater on the wildlife that depends on freshwater wetlands. What’s more, water quality throughout the state is poor.
SACO — A nearly $4 million project to dredge the lower Saco River is set to begin later this month. The Saco River originates in New Hampshire and serves as a natural border between the cities of Saco and Biddeford, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.
Big environmental groups get most of the press, but there are also many unsung heroes
The City Council plans to grill de Blasio administration officials over their recent decision to swap longstanding plans for a $760 million flood barrier on the Lower East Side with a new design that costs twice as much.
January 8 (Renewables Now) - New Hampshire Governor Christopher Sununu has approached the US federal government with a request to set up an intergovernmental offshore renewable energy task force for the state.
The popular waterfront parking lot at Herring Cove Beach will be rebuilt farther inland than planned due to an emerging "hot spot" of erosion that is expected to last several years at least.
OLD FORGE, NY — The average snowmobiler in Oneida County rides between 100 and 200 miles through the county’s trails each year.
Leave it to our state legislators to craft the most cumbersome and excessive short-term rental tax they could have possibly come up with. Instead of divorcing this tax from the hotel/motel tax and imposing a flat-rate statewide tax, there will be different rates based on which town the rental is located in, whether or not the owner has more than one rental in a town and whether or not the town imposes the additional 2.75 percent wastewater treatment add on.
Hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents live in flood zones that can become inundated with storm water. But the state is trying to move some of them out of harm’s way in one of the biggest home buyout programs in the nation.
Last month's blockbuster Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) triple auction in Massachusetts had significant implications for the wider US offshore wind industry.
When it comes to fishery management controversy never seems to be too far away. Last month you may have read about the dubious nature of a decision by the New England Fishery Management Council to close a large area of https://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20190105/our-surf-clam-fishery-is-headed-for-disaster there, ostensibly to protect fish habitat.
Beach replenishment at Pickering Beach, Kitts Hummock and Bowers Beach is expected to start soon. DNREC announced it will begin the work in February, pending permit approvals.
WELLFLEET — The controversial mansion built in 2010 on the narrow spit of land in the Cape Cod National Seashore known as “the Gut,” between Great Island and Griffin Island, is in danger of collapse because of the rapidly eroding dune on which it sits.
Five developers have told New York that they will submit bids in the state's current solicitation for offshore wind projects targeting 800 megawatts of new capacity. The level of interest is greater than in several other states seeking to take the lead on offshore wind and is expected to support Gov. Andrew Cuomo's goal of securing 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030.
NARRAGANSETT — Less than three weeks before Rhode Island coastal regulators are set to vote on a key approval for its $2-billion offshore wind farm, Vineyard Wind has yet to come forward with a compensation package for the state’s commercial fishermen who say that the layout of the company’s 84 turbines will block access to valuable Atlantic Ocean fishing grounds.
One of the last actions taken by Pres. Donald Trump in 2018 was to sign the Modern Fish Act into law. The act amended some of the recreational fishing management rules in the Magnuson-Stevens Act, or MSA, the principal body of fisheries' laws.
The Maine Legislature is back to work and already has 25 bills moving through the process, including one that would ask voters to support a $50 million bonding package meant to help coastal cities and towns prepare for rising sea levels.
There’s a lot at stake for utility customers who may end up subsidizing projects to the tune of billions of dollars
At Thursday's high tide, a tiny tugboat named Bonnie pulled a red barge through the Great Egg Harbor Bay. It headed to Beesley's Point two miles away to be filled with up to 300 tons of rock before returning to Shooting Island, an eroding wetland within eyesight of Ocean City's back bay.
Steve Castillo reclined in a vinyl seat in the cramped cockpit of the New York, a 3,400-horsepower monster dredge, manipulating controls that extended the vessel’s mighty excavator arm deep into the dark waters of the Delaware River.
The fishing year began with a changing of the guard at the helm of the regional headquarters of NOAA Fisheries and ended with a federal government shutdown that halted many of the agency's administrative tasks.
In early January 2018, a nor’easter pummeled the East Coast. A record-breaking high tide rendered many streets in Boston impassable and seawater rushed down Seaport Boulevard in Boston’s Seaport District. A deluge of water poured down the steps leading down to the Aquarium subway station, forcing it to close.
New York has few flood protections, but that will soon change. In 2012, Lower Manhattan flooded and was left in the dark during Hurricane Sandy, with the greatest extent of inland flooding along the borough’s eastern edge, costing the public billions of dollars. Floodwaters up to three feet deep not only inundated the East River Park esplanade, ball fields and plantings, but they also crossed FDR Drive, enveloping streets and buildings.
It was a Thursday, so there probably wouldn’t have been too big of a crowd, but luckily there were at least a few beachgoers out at West Beach, near the western tip of the Rockaway Peninsula, when a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle — a member of a critically endangered species — crawled on shore and started building a nest. Even more luckily, a couple of those beachgoers had the presence of mind to report it to a 24-hour marine wildlife rescue hotline.
OGDENSBURG, NY — A $940,000 grant announced by state officials Monday will help whittle the costs associated with dredging Ogdensburg Harbor and extending the port’s dock, but there is still nearly a $10 million gap to fill before the more than $24 million initiative becomes a reality.
Maybe some things really are not meant to be. New England Patriots fans will know what we mean considering the way the Patriots lost to the Miami Dolphins in Miami last Sunday yet again, despite holding a lead with just seconds left in the game.
SCITUATE, Massachutes — The town’s plan for protecting North Humarock from future winter storms is dead in the water after a majority of residents refused to sign easements that would allow a dune nourishment and road elevation project to move forward.
Interior Department challenges role of Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission in park management.
Clean Ocean Access (COA) recently released its annual Marina Trash Skimmer Report detailing the success of the Marina Trash Skimmer (MTS) program over the past three years, as well as the development and expansion of the program in southern New England, which will include the installation of new MTS units in Providence, Rhode Island and New Bedford, Massachusetts this coming spring.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 1 office has launched “Smart Sectors New England,” a partnership initiative between EPA and its regulated sectors, including maritime industries and outdoor recreation, that is focused on achieving better environmental outcomes.
CHARLESTOWN, Rhode Island — For the first time since the construction of the breachway in 1904, the Quonochontaugsalt pond, which straddles Charlestown and Westerly, is being dredged. The project is expected to cost about $2 million. A federal Coastal Resilience grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is providing $980,000.
George H.W. and Barbara Bush's Maine compound will continue to live on for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren
SEABROOK, N.H. — In the wake of a recent push for the dredging of Hampton Harbor, four Seacoast state representatives are filing a bill to create a fund to cover costs of future dredging projects.
A highly-competitive auction for three offshore wind lease areas off the coast of Massachusetts concluded today with winning bids totaling a record-breaking $405 million dollars from Equinor; Mayflower Wind Energy, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and EDP Renewables; and Vineyard Wind. Earlier this year, Massachusetts doubled its offshore wind goal to 3.2 GW by 2035 – one of the most ambitious offshore wind policies in the nation.
Hempstead Town Board members are to vote Jan. 8 on an agreement to sell the seabed land for $55,250 for city bulkhead projects. The Town of Hempstead plans to sell 0.2 acres of shoreline to Long Beach as the city plans a $20 million bulkheading project around its utilities and critical infrastructure.
Flipping through his captain’s log, Larry Colangelo looks at the water temperatures off Atlantic City’s coast this past summer. Unusually warm 70- and 80-degree days are jotted down inside the record-keeping book he’s had for nearly two decades.
The warming waters south of Cape Cod have decimated the region’s lobster fishery. But it’s an ambitious effort to fight climate change that has lobstermen like Lanny Dillinger concerned for their livelihoods.
PROVINCETOWN – The Center for Coastal Studies’ (CCS) aerial surveillance team spotted nine critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales in Cape Cod Bay, the first confirmed sighting of the species in the bay this season.
The state bond commission has officially approved a $14.6 million award the City of Bridgeport to be used for infrastructure and economic development.
BALTIMORE – Crews will begin removing approximately 2 million cubic yards of material today from shipping channels leading to the Port of Baltimore as part of a contract managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Fishermen who seek one of the most important bait fish on the East Coast are likely to see a dramatic reduction next year in the amount they are allowed to harvest, and the change could have major implications for lobster consumers. NOAA said it wants to cut the annual catch limit from nearly 110 million pounds this year to less than half that in 2019.
The Coastal Resources Management Council was created in 1971 to manage coastal development along Rhode Island’s 420 miles of shoreline, including the beachfront town of Westerly. A citizen board lacking coastal knowledge and appointed by politicians has often ignored years of experience to overrule staff on shoreline development projects.
Blue crabs are ecologically important and represent one of the most valuable fisheries in the United States.
From oyster farms to cultivated seaweed and farm-raised salmon, aquaculture is often described as essential to the economic future of Maine’s fisheries in the face of a changing ecosystem. Warming waters from climate change are pushing lobster farther Down East and have shut down the shrimp fishery, and threats such as ocean acidification and invasive green crabs are harming Maine’s natural fisheries.
The mind balks at predictions of rising sea levels that threaten, in the not-distant future, to drown or dramatically alter Connecticut's treasured shoreline and lowlands. How distant? How altered? What should be done? What would it cost, and who would pay?