Coastal Smart Growth Program
Closed shellfish beds and swimming areas; shrinking habitats for coastal species; rivers running dry before reaching the sea; working waterfront businesses displaced by non-marine development like luxury condos; polluted runoff from sprawling subdivisions and suburban malls. Many coastal management issues have a common link—historic and current development patterns. Recognizing the connection between land and sea, the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) launched the Coastal Smart Growth Program in 2004 to:
- Catalogue, develop, and distribute planning, technical, regulatory, and outreach tools for real-world growth management that protects coastal resources.
- Ensure that other CZM programs promote and support Coastal Smart Growth and the Commonwealth's Sustainable Development Principles.
- Technical Assistance and Workshops - providing successful Massachusetts case studies, publications and slideshow presentations, model bylaws and regulations, site design manuals, and direct support to communities, developers, related businesses, and environmental groups.
- Low Impact Development - using an integrated approach to site design, stormwater management, and water conservation that protects the natural terrain and hydrology.
- Coastal Landscaping - supporting the use of native plants to prevent storm damage and erosion, provide wildlife habitat, and reduce coastal water pollution—all while improving a property's visual appeal and natural character
- StormSmart Coasts - Designed to help people working in coastal communities address the challenges arising from storms, floods, sea level rise, and climate change—this program provides a menu of tools for successful coastal floodplain management.
- Coastal Hazards Program - Erosion and storm damage can destroy property and endanger lives when shoreline development is poorly planned.
- Coastal Water Quality/Nonpoint Source Pollution Program - The nation's biggest coastal pollution problem, nonpoint source (NPS) pollution occurs when forest and field are converted to roads and rooftops, causing contaminated runoff to be carried to the coast.
- Port and Harbor Planning Program - Without planning and commitment, new waterfront development can displace fishing docks, boat yards, and other water-dependent facilities vital to the coastal economy.
- Regional Program - CZM's five regional offices serve as liaisons for the Commonwealth's 78 coastal communities.