The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) has published, contributed to, and/or funded the following materials on coastal erosion, flooding, storms, and sea level rise, as well as other publications on coastal geology. The products are categorized below and then listed alphabetically by title. (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.)

General

  • Ecosystems and Resources of the Massachusetts Coast pdf format of ecosystem-resources.pdf
file size 10MB - This CZM publication from 1975 gives an excellent overview of the geology and ecosystems of coastal Massachusetts.
  • 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 that govern CZM’s review of projects that affect coastal erosion, flooding, and other shoreline processes.
  • Outsmarting the Storm: The Massachusetts StormSmart Coasts Program - This article on page 69 of CZM’s 2008 Coastlines pdf format of Coastal Recreation
file size 8MB magazine gives an overview of CZM’s initial StormSmart Coasts program (which has since evolved into StormSmart Communities), along with information on the No Adverse Impact approach to coastal land management (which is based on a set of "do no harm" principles that communities can use when planning, designing, and evaluating public and private projects).

Tools for Communities to Reduce Risk

  • Sea Level Rise: Understanding and Applying Trends and Future Scenarios for Analysis and Planning pdf format of Sea Level Rise Guidance
file size 3MB - This 2013 guidance document was developed by CZM to help coastal communities and others plan for and address potential sea level rise effects on residential and commercial development, infrastructure and critical facilities, and natural resources and ecosystems. The document includes background information on local and global sea level rise trends, summarizes the best available sea level rise projections, and provides general guidance in the selection and application of sea level rise scenarios for coastal vulnerability assessments, planning, and decision making for areas that may be at present or future risk from the effects of sea level rise.
  • StormSmart Coasts Fact Sheet 1: Introduction to No Adverse Impact (NAI) Land Management in the Coastal Zone pdf format of ssc1-nai.pdf
file size 1MB - This CZM fact sheet published in 2008 describes the No Adverse Impact (NAI) approach to coastal land management (which is based on a set of "do no harm" principles that communities can use when planning, designing, and evaluating public and private projects), its benefits, and ways that NAI can be successfully applied by communities.
  • StormSmart Coasts Fact Sheet 2: No Adverse Impact and the Legal Framework of Coastal Management pdf format of ssc2-legal.pdf
- Also produced by CZM in 2008, this fact sheet discusses how the NAI approach can help communities protect people and property while reducing the number of lawsuits filed against the community and greatly increasing the chances that the community will win legal challenges to their floodplain management practices.
  • StormSmart Coasts Fact Sheet 3: Case Study - A Cape Cod Community Prevents New Residences in Floodplains pdf format of ssc3-chatham.pdf
file size 1MB - This 2008 fact sheet summarizes Chatham’s zoning bylaw that designates “conservancy districts” in the town’s 100-year floodplain and specifies prohibited uses (such as filling of land and construction of residences), permitted uses (such as maintenance of existing raised roadways and installation of utilities), and special uses requiring permits (such as construction of piers and boat shelters). It also discusses the lawsuit against the bylaw and why Chatham won the case.
  • StormSmart Coasts Fact Sheet 4: Case Study - Massachusetts Communities Reduce Storm Risk in Developed Areas pdf format of ssc4-quincy.pdf
file size 1MB - Another in this series, this 2009 fact sheet summarizes Quincy’s efforts to use Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant money to help property owners elevate either utilities or entire homes above mapped base flood elevations by providing grants that pay for up to half of the engineering fees and three-quarters of the total costs of these elevation projects. It also describes Scituate’s local grant program that uses FEMA funding to pay up to 75 percent of the costs of building elevation projects, not to exceed $40,000 for any property.

Other Tools to Protect Coastal Property

Management and Policy

  • Guidelines for Barrier Beach Management in Massachusetts pdf format of Barrier Beach Management Guidelines
file size 12MB - Published by CZM in 1994, this report of the Massachusetts Barrier Beach Task Force was designed as a reference tool for those charged with the responsibility of preparing, reviewing, and implementing barrier beach management plans.
  • The Massachusetts Barrier Beach Inventory - In 1982, CZM completed the Massachusetts Barrier Beach Inventory Project, which identified and delineated 681 barrier beaches in Massachusetts and placed them on topographic maps.
  • Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report - This 2011 report, prepared by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee with support from CZM, provides a broad overview of climate change impacts and includes a coastal chapter with a range of potential strategies to address sea level rise and coastal storms.
  • Preparing for the Storm: Recommendations for Management of Risk from Coastal Hazards in Massachusetts pdf format of chc-final-report-2007.pdf
- This 2007 report of the Massachusetts Coastal Hazards Commission gives an overview of coastal hazards in Massachusetts, such as storms, sea level rise, and reduced sediment supplies. It also provides 29 recommendations from the commission for addressing those hazards.

Vulnerability of Coastal Properties

  • The Art and Science of Identifying Flood Zones - This article on page 26 of CZM’s 2002 Coastlines pdf format of Coastlines 2002 - Hurricanes
file size 4MB magazine defines coastal flood zones, explains how to use federal Flood Insurance Rate Maps to identify flood zones, and discusses what additional information is needed to accurately determine flood zones in areas with coastal dunes.
  • Information on Flood Hazards - This public information brochure on flood hazards was developed by CZM and the communities of Duxbury, Kingston, and Plymouth in 2009 to provide concise information to residents on understanding flood risk, preventing losses, and planning ahead.
  • Mapping and Analysis of Privately-Owned Coastal Structures along the Massachusetts Shoreline - Prepared for CZM in 2013 by Applied Science Associates, Inc., this technical report documents the location and type of privately owned coastal structures, such as seawalls and revetments, and provides a comprehensive assessment of shoreline armoring coast-wide.
  • Massachusetts Coastal Infrastructure Inventory and Assessment Project Reports (Publically Owned Structures) - Prepared for CZM and the Department of Conservation and Recreation from 2006 to 2009, these reports include condition ratings and estimated repair or reconstruction costs for publically owned seawalls, revetments, groins, jetties, and other coastal structures.
  • Massachusetts Shoreline Change Project - This CZM website describes how and why shorelines change, gives an overview of CZM’s Shoreline Change Project, and discusses how to use the Shoreline Change Browser and interpret trends from the mid-1800s to 2009.
  • Massachusetts Shoreline Change Project, 2013 Update - Developed collaboratively by the U.S. Geological Survey and CZM and released in 2013, this report provides information on rates and trends of shoreline change from 1844 through 2009. New coast-wide shoreline data were developed for approximately 1,121 miles of shoreline using color aerial orthoimagery from 2008 and 2009 and topographic Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) data from 2007. The report was done in conjunction with CZM’s Massachusetts Shoreline Change Project.
  • South Shore Coastal Hazards Characterization Atlas - Prepared for CZM in 2005 by Applied Coastal Research and Engineering, Inc., this document was designed to assist local officials in the communities from Hull down to the Cape Cod Canal with the review of coastal projects. It provides technical information necessary to evaluate individual projects and implement sound coastal hazard mitigation strategies for the ocean-facing shores.
  • Visualization of Inundation of Critical Coastal Facilities Due to Flood Events and Sea-Level Rise pdf format of hull-inundation-report.pdf
file size 6MB - Prepared for CZM in 2009 by Applied Science Associates, Inc., this technical report provides a detailed methodology to develop photorealistic 3D models of inundation scenarios, based on a pilot project where 3D models were developed for five flooding scenarios at seven critical facilities around Hull.

Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

  • Sea Level Rise: Understanding and Applying Trends and Future Scenarios for Analysis and Planning pdf format of Sea Level Rise Guidance
file size 3MB - This 2013 guidance document was developed by CZM to help coastal communities and others plan for and address potential sea level rise effects on residential and commercial development, infrastructure and critical facilities, and natural resources and ecosystems. The document includes background information on local and global sea level rise trends, summarizes the best available sea level rise projections, and provides general guidance in the selection and application of sea level rise scenarios for coastal vulnerability assessments, planning, and decision making for areas that may be at present or future risk from the effects of sea level rise. The document is intended to be updated as new science and information becomes available.
  • CZ-Science: Sea Level Rise and Shrinking Salt Marsh - This article on page 72 of CZM’s 2008 Coastlines pdf format of Coastal Recreation
file size 8MB magazine explains the impacts of sea level rise on salt marsh, focusing on the North Shore’s Great Marsh.
  • Global Climate Change—Leading by Example in Massachusetts - On page 3 of the 2008 Coastlines pdf format of Coastal Recreation
file size 8MB , this piece discusses efforts in Massachusetts to address climate change impacts.
  • Global Warming for Dummies - This 2008 Coastlines pdf format of Coastal Recreation
file size 8MB article (on page 75) gives an overview of the extreme and relatively sudden climate changes that are occurring as a result of the human-induced buildup of “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere.

Hurricanes and Northeasters

  • Blizzard of '78 Photo Gallery - This photo gallery chronicles the coastal impacts in Massachusetts from this 1978 "Storm of the Century."
  • Coastlines 2002: Hurricanes pdf format of Coastlines 2002 - Hurricanes
file size 4MB - This edition of CZM’s magazine focuses on hurricanes and includes articles on getting prepared for hurricane season, major hurricanes that have hit New England, hurricane tracking, and several storm-damage prevention topics.
  • CZ-Tip - The Complete Guide to Online Hurricane Tracking for Massachusetts - This tip from CZM gives links to important resources for tracking hurricanes and predicting and assessing their potential impacts.
  • CZ-Tip - Tracking Northeasters and Staying Safe in the Storm - Another CZM tip, this web page provides links to information on winter weather forecasts and includes links to information on the dangers of these storms and how to stay safe.
  • Hurricane Preparedness Kit - This CZM web page includes links to information on hurricanes, hurricane tracking, and protecting your home, family, pets, and boat from hurricane impacts.
  • Massachusetts Homeowner's Handbook to Prepare for Coastal Hazards provides information to coastal homeowners on how to stay safe and minimize damages during hurricanes and northeasters. The handbook was developed by the Woods Hole and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant programs with the assistance of CZM, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Federal Emergency Management Agency.