FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ben Sherman
News Releases 2003
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NOAA, MASSACHUSETTS OFFICIALS INAUGURATE
THE FIRST COASTAL TRAINING PROGRAM IN THE NATION
The Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Woods Hole Sea Grant Program, launched the first Coastal Training Program in the nation during a special ceremony at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, today.
The Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is a partnership program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere for the U.S. Department of Commerce Tim Keeney joined Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs Ellen Roy Herzfelder to kickoff the Massachusetts Coastal Training Program.
“Partnerships are the key to the program’s success,” stated Keeney. “NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System is based on a federal-state partnership, and our Coastal Training Program is a wonderful example of how collaboration can benefit local communities. This partnership program will help ensure that coastal decision makers have the knowledge and tools they need to address critical local and regional coastal resource management issues.”
Environmental Affairs Secretary Herzfelder said, “The Coastal Training Program will help state and municipal officials, civic associations and business people to expand their knowledge of coastal issues. Coastal resources are not just part of our heritage but are also a key part of our economic future. I am particularly proud that Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to have such a program.”
The Coastal Training Program targets issues such as coastal habitat conservation and restoration, biodiversity, water quality and sustainable resource management. The Program is a nationwide effort by NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve System to provide up-to-date scientific information and skill-building opportunities focusing on coastal issues.
According to some recent studies, U.S. coastal counties are growing three times faster that counties elsewhere in the country. This population is expected to increase by an average of 3,600 people per day. Over the next 15 years, coastal population is projected to increase by 24.7 million people, reaching 165 million by 2015.
Across the United States, development is increasingly concentrated along the coast, with about 820,000 new homes constructed in coastal areas every year, and more than half of all new industrial, office, retail and recreational building.
Decisions made by coastal communities can have significant, long-term consequences on natural resources within coastal watersheds, estuaries and near shore waters. With these dramatic increases in coastal populations and significant development pressures, it is important that decision-makers have sound information on which to base decisions—whether the decision-maker is an elected official, land use planner or agricultural or fisheries interest.
The Coastal Training Program offers coastal communities science-based information, training and technology to make informed decisions about these critical resources.
In Massachusetts, the Coastal Training Program builds upon a recently conducted market analysis and audience needs assessments to provide accurate and timely science based information through workshops, courses, demonstrations and written materials.
The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and NOAA Sea Grant’s program at Woods Hole are equal partners with the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in establishing the Massachusetts Coastal Training Program. The partners offer staff to facilitate additional partnerships; conduct audience needs assessments; and sponsor training sessions, seminars and conferences.
The Coastal Training Program can respond to individuals, businesses, municipal officials, state agency staff, legislators, non-governmental organizations and associations on topics ranging from wastewater management to shoreline erosion and shellfish habitat. Woods Hole Sea Grant, as part of NOAA Sea Grant’s “Coastal Communities” program, sponsored the original needs assessment focusing on the needs of municipal officials and volunteers. The Massachusetts Coastal Training Program will soon begin a second evaluation of the needs for state level officials.
Woods Hole Sea Grant participate in CTP through the National Sea Grant Coastal Communities and Economies Initiative. This program was created to help bridge the information and coordination gaps between coastal stakeholders something that CTP can address by strengthening the interactions among coastal training providers and the needs of coastal decision makers.
The Massachusetts Coastal Training Program efforts will be available in coastal Massachusetts, which includes the North Shore, Greater Boston, the South Shore, Buzzard’s Bay and Cape Cod and the Islands.
Similar coastal training programs are planned for each of the 25 Estuarine Research Reserves located in 21 coastal and Great Lakes states and territories. Reserves will work closely with state Coastal Zone Management programs, Sea Grant College extension and education staff and a host of local partners in determining key coastal resource issues to address and to identify appropriate audiences.
The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is part of NOAA National Ocean Service which is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans. NOAA Ocean Service balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.
On the Web:
NOAA National Ocean Service: http://www.nos.noaa.gov
National Estuarine Reserve System: http://www.ocrm.nos.noaa.gov/nerr
Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve: http://www.waquoitbayreserve.org/
Massachusetts Coastal Training Program: http://www.coastaltraining.org
Woods Hole Sea Grant Program: http://www.whoi.edu/seagrant/
Coastal Zone Management: http://www.state.ma.us/czm/