Massachusetts Oceans Act of 2008
On May 28, 2008, Governor Deval Patrick signed the Oceans Act of 2008, legislation that will require Massachusetts to develop a first-in-the-nation comprehensive plan to manage development in its state waters, balancing natural resource preservation with traditional and new uses, including renewable energy. See the Governor's press release.
The new ocean management plan, which must be completed by December 31, 2009, will be developed by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs in consultation with a 17-member ocean advisory commission, staffed by CZM, and an ocean science advisory council.
Upon final adoption, the ocean plan will be incorporated into the existing coastal zone management plan and enforced through the state’s regulatory and permitting processes, including the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) and Chapter 91, the state’s waterways law.
- See the full text of the Oceans Act of 2008.
- See the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ocean Plan website for information on the development process for the Massachusetts Ocean Plan.
- See a map of the Ocean Management Planning Area and the Ocean Sanctuaries (PDF, 889 KB).
- See a map of the Nearshore Ocean Management Planning Area Boundary (PDF, 1.2 MB) - This map shows the nearshore boundary created for the Ocean Management Planning Area pursuant to "Oceans Act of 2008" for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Nearshore Ocean Management Planning Area Boundary (NOMPAB) was developed to establish a fixed boundary (i.e. not associated with an ambulatory natural feature) defining the nearshore limit of the Ocean Management Planning Area. The NOMPAB was created by merging a line buffered 0.3 nautical miles from an approximate mean high water (MHW) shoreline with closing lines digitized manually to ensure that most developed coastal embayments, ports, harbors, etc. are located landward of the nearshore boundary.
- Download the Nearshore Ocean Management Planning Area Boundary GIS shape file (ZIP, 114 KB)