Fishing, boat building, sailing, privateering (well, not anymore), offshore wind turbines, liquified natural gas terminals. There is always something stirring in New England, a region steeped in maritime history. Please e-mail any stories I may have missed.

SPOTLIGHT: Getting it right: Mass. draft ocean management plan
On December 31, Massachusetts will become the first state with a management plan for its roughly 2,100 square miles of ocean and the often-competing interests of conservationists, the fishing industry, recreation and development.

Since June
this plan has been circulating in draft form for the public’s consideration. The nearly two-volume tome is rich in data, but many fear it doesn’t go far enough to protect the Commonwealth’s more delicate marine assets—the so-called “special, sensitive or unique” (SSU) resources the plan identifies.

“The big problem with the plan—it is not really a plan,” said Mason Weinrich, executive director and chief scientist of the Whale Center of New England, based in Gloucester. “What they have done is gather a really valuable series of data sets to understand where these areas may be. But there isn’t really any more protection than what was already there.”
Read more.

In the News: Week of Nov. 1, 2009

Nantucket Sound may get historic listing, delaying wind farm (Boston Globe, Nov. 6, 2009)
Massachusetts’ top historic preservation officer has dealt a setback to the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm, ruling yesterday that the body of water is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places because of its cultural significance for two Native American tribes.

Week of Oct. 25, 2009

Renewal of Boston Seaport still just a blueprint (WBUR, Oct. 28, 2009)
In the Boston Seaport area, there are some shining examples of how the Seaport District is turning into the next hot spot. One of them is the Sportello in the Fort Point area. “It’s an upscale restaurant that used to be a warehouse,” said Vivian Lee, of the Boston Harbor Association.

Fishermen plan protest at NMFS (Gloucester Daily Times, Oct. 27, 2009)
With participants expected from as far away as Maryland, plans for a massive fishermen's protest Friday against federal policies at the regulators' regional offices got a boost yesterday with the release of a supportive "Dear Colleagues" note from Elinor Ostrom, the new Nobel laureate in economics.

Officials hope Pedrick House will revitalize Derby Wharf as hub of history (Salem Gazette, Oct. 27, 2009)
The modern-day scene at Derby Wharf merely echoes the bustling hub that was once clogged by warehouses bursting with the riches of the world, schooners carrying back war chests of enemy ships and the thriving population of its 17th-century heyday.

4 offshore areas proposed for wind tests (Portland Press Herald, Oct. 27, 2009)
The Maine Department of Conservation has chosen four areas along the Maine coast that could serve as demonstration sites for testing new offshore wind energy technologies.

Week of Oct. 18, 2009

Piracy remains a concern, maritime panelists explain (Bangor Daily News, Oct. 19, 2009)
In reality, only one-third of 1 percent of all seagoing vessels are attacked by pirates, but the threat of an attack remains constant, particularly in certain waters.

Week of Oct. 11, 2009

Fishermen's Wives sets up fund for lost sternman (Gloucester Daily Times, Oct. 17, 2009)
The Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Association has announced the organization for contributions to the family of lobsterman Jaime Ortiz, 43, who was lost Tuesday while working as sternman for Dean Mould on his boat.

Hypothermic turtle rescued on Cape Cod (The Boston Globe, Oct. 14, 2009)
A large sea turtle is recovering in the water tank at New England Aquarium this morning, after being rescued from a salt marsh in Cape Cod where it was stranded and in danger of dying of hypothermia.

Greedy dogfish blamed for Mass. fishery's problems (AP, Oct. 13, 2009)
The sea air isn't all that's salty when fishermen in the Cape Cod town of Chatham talk about the hated spiny dogfish.

Week of Oct. 4, 2009

Scituate Maritime Center opens Oct. 15 (Scituate Mariner, Oct. 7, 2009)
This is Scituate's newly constructed maritime center on Edward Foster Road. The center is a community-driven harbor project, which preserves the town's final working boat yard. The maritime center will also save the waterfront from development, explains Murphy. But the project is more than an attempt to prevent modern development, and more than the preservation of a shipyard. Rather, it is an example of stimulation in the face of an adverse economic climate. Put simply, “An economic stimulus,” says Kreutzberg.

New England Aquarium is the recipient of NOAA ocean education grant! The aquarium received nearly $850,000 for two grants in support of education on climate change and its program, "Summer Science in New England: Ocean Education through Informal Science Centers.

NOAA announces $9 million in ocean education grants to national aquariums (NOAA Press Release, Oct. 5, 2009)
NOAA today announced 11 grants totaling more than $9 million that will create new education projects in aquariums across the nation. The projects will educate visitors about the ocean and encourage better stewardship of the marine environment.

Week of Sept. 27, 2009

Congress sites Coast Guard indecision in Gloucester boat sinking (AP, Oct. 1, 2009)
A congressional subcommittee says help for a sinking Gloucester fishing boat was delayed by information overload on inexperienced Coast Guard staffers while key decision makers slept.

Island update on ocean mapping with energy in mind: 'Lots of people are watching us' (Block Island Times, Sept. 28, 2009)
The SAMP — or special area management plan — is halfway through its two-year course to “develop a zoning, if you will, of the waterways,” said Coastal Resources Management Council Chairman Michael Tikoian at Town Hall Tuesday.