The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) has published, contributed to, and/or funded the following public access publications. (Note: Any views or opinions presented in publications prepared for CZM are solely those of the author[s] and do not necessarily represent those of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Please see our website policies.)

  • Coast Guide Online - This interactive, online mapping tool can be used to find (and find out about) coastal areas that are open to the public. It includes hundreds of sites along the Massachusetts coast—from sandy beaches to secluded coves, rocky shores, and boat ramps—owned by government agencies and major nonprofits. These sites have been mapped in Google Earth, an easy-to-use and powerful online mapping tool, where each public location is tagged with a name, owner, web link, and picture (if available). Users may use additional Google Earth offerings, such as user photos, trails, and places of interest, to create a customized map. As of spring 2013, all federal, state, and county coastal public access sites have been mapped; town and land conservation organization sites will be added as soon as possible.
  • Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management Policy Guide - October 2011 - The Policy Guide is the official statement of Massachusetts coastal program policies and legal authorities and includes the policies on public access to the coast.
  • Massachusetts Coast Guide to Boston Harbor and the North Shore - This CZM publication, last printed in 2005, includes nearly 400 public access sites from Salisbury to Hingham—ranging from expansive beaches to out-of-the-way scenic vistas. The online version provides 22 maps with site descriptions.
  • Public Rights along the Shoreline - This electronic fact sheet developed by CZM provides a brief primer on waterfront property law and public access rights.
  • Preserving Historic Rights of Way to the Sea: A Practical Handbook for Preserving Public Access in Massachusetts pdf format of Preserving Historic Rights of Way to the Sea
file size 4MB - Written under contract to CZM in 1999, this 200-page guide gives hands-on information for municipal officials, attorneys, and citizen access advocates looking to research and secure public property rights in old footpaths and other pedestrian accessways that still exist in law, but are no longer used by (or even known to) the public.
  • CZ-Tip - Get to the Shore! - This tip from CZM focuses on coastal access in the Commonwealth, including public rights and responsibilities, public access sites, and environmental protection issues.
  • CZ-Tip - Explore the Coastal Outdoors - This CZM tip includes information on finding public access sites in each coastal region of Massachusetts, along with details on coastal hiking, camping, fishing, boating, and more.
  • The Public Trust Doctrine in Massachusetts Coastal Law - This article on page 81 of CZM's 2008 Coastlines pdf format of Coastal Recreation
file size 8MB magazine discusses the Public Trust Doctrine and its impact on public rights in tidal areas.