Coastal Alteration Projects

Dr. Kathryn Ford, Tay Evans, Eileen Feeney, John Logan
New Bedford Harbor
New Bedford Harbor


To aid in protecting the marine fisheries resources of the Commonwealth, MarineFisheries maintains an ongoing Technical Environmental Review Program to review activities and alteration projects in coastal waters and advise local, state, and federal regulatory agencies on measures to protect fishery resources and habitat. Program staff coordinate the efforts of MarineFisheries staff biologists to complete reviews, conduct directed surveys, provide technical assistance, and submit formal recommendations for the avoidance, minimization, and mitigation of impacts. The program reviews individual coastal alteration projects by region.

Regions covered by each biologist:

North Shore Contacts North of Cohasset (including Hull and Hingham)

South Shore Contacts Cohasset and south (including Cape Cod and the Islands)

Working cooperatively with other state, federal, and local agencies, the goals of the Technical Review are to 1) seek to avoid impacts to fisheries resources; 2) minimize impacts through project modifications, sequencing, and Time of Year Restriction Guidelines pdf format of TR-47
(see the Appendix B sortable file xls format of TR-47 Appendices A and B revised 2015
); 3) seek restoration of habitat for direct short-term impacts; 4) recommend options for compensatory mitigation. Projects and activities reviewed by the program generally fall into six categories:

  1. Docks & Piers
  2. Dredging and dredge material disposal
  3. Fill projects - revetments, bulkheads, ramps, highway projects
  4. Beach Nourishment
  5. Harbor Development and wastewater planning
  6. Cables and pipelines
  7. Renewable energy - wind mills, tidal power
Propeller Dredging
An example of motor boat propeller dredging at a marina


Review of these projects includes close coordination with federal and state agencies including National Marine Fisheries Service, EPA, and the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers, Department of Environmental Protection, and Coastal Zone Management as well as local Conservation Commissions.