The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) is a part of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). CZM's mission is to balance the impacts of human activity with the protection of coastal and marine resources. As a networked program, CZM works with other state agencies, federal agencies, local governments, academic institutions, nonprofit groups, and the general public to promote sound management of the Massachusetts coast. CZM is funded primarily through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Featured Content

  • Massachusetts Ocean Plan

    Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan

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  • StormSmart Coasts

    StormSmart Coasts - Managing Erosion and Flooding

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  • StormSmart Properties - Options for Property Owners to Reduce Erosion and Storm Damage

    StormSmart Properties - Options for Property Owners to Reduce Erosion and Storm Damage

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  • COASTSWEEP - The Annual Beach Cleanup

    COASTSWEEP - CZM’s Annual Beach Cleanup

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  • Harbor Planning

    Port and Harbor Planning in Massachusetts

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  • Seafloor and Habitat Mapping

    Mapping Massachusetts Seafloor and Ocean Habitats

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    MORIS - Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System for Online Mapping

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  • Coastal Landscaping

    Coastal Landscaping to Reduce Erosion and Storm Damage

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  • Clean Boating

    Clean Boating Practices from Pumpouts to Bilge Socks

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Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan

The 2008 Oceans Act required EEA to develop a comprehensive ocean management plan, and CZM has led the planning process on behalf of EEA. On December 31, 2009, the Commonwealth’s first-ever final Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan was released. The Oceans Act further requires EEA to review and update the plan at least once every five years. On September 24, the 2014 draft ocean plan, which presents the first formal amendment of the 2009 ocean plan, was released for public review and comment. See EEA’s Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan website for details and updates.

StormSmart Coasts

This national model developed by CZM is designed to help communities and homeowners address coastal erosion, storm damage, flooding, and related issues. The StormSmart Coasts website includes information on available grants, assessing the vulnerability of coastal properties to erosion and flooding, tools for local officials to improve coastal floodplain management, options for coastal property owners to effectively reduce erosion and storm damage while minimizing impacts to shoreline systems, information on landscaping options for controlling erosion and storm damage, interactive maps of erosion along the Massachusetts coast, and more.

Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System

The Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System, or MORIS, is a web-based coastal mapping tool that provides detailed geographic data on coastal and ocean management issues. Users can interactively view various data layers, create and share maps, and download the data for use in a Geographic Information System (GIS). While designed for coastal management professionals, MORIS can be easily used by anyone interested in these data and maps.

Coastal Landscaping

Landscaping with native plants can help coastal property owners prevent storm damage and erosion, provide wildlife habitat, and reduce coastal water pollution—all while improving a property's visual appeal and natural character. CZM's Coastal Landscaping website presents detailed information on the benefits of these landscaping techniques, step-by-step instructions on landscaping coastal areas, plant lists and photos, sample landscape plans, permitting information, and more.

CZM Policy Guide

The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management Policy Guide is the official statement of the Massachusetts coastal program policies and legal authorities. It provides the official program policies of the Massachusetts coastal program and includes information on the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, the history and operation of the Massachusetts coastal program, federal consistency review, and the application of coastal policy in other state regulatory programs.

Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
251 Causeway Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA 02114
617-626-1200 ♦ 617-626-1240 (fax) ♦
Deval L. Patrick, Governor
Maeve Vallely Bartlett, Secretary
Bruce K. Carlisle, Director