This interactive GIS map presents the MassDEP Division of Watershed Management (DWM), Watershed Planning Program (WPP) 2012 Integrated List of Waters (305(b)/303(d)) data layer representing the combined reporting elements for the 2012 cycle of both sections 305(b) and 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA). The objective of this statute is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters. As one step toward meeting this goal each state must administer a program to monitor and assess the quality of its surface waters and provide periodic status reports to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Congress, and the public.

Section 305(b) of the CWA codifies the process whereby waters are evaluated with respect to their capacity to support designated uses as defined in the 314 CMR 4.00: Surface Water Quality Standards pdf format of    314 CMR 4.00: Surface Water Quality Standards  . These uses include fish, other aquatic life and wildlife (i.e. aquatic life), fish consumption, public water supply, shellfish harvesting, primary contact-recreation (e.g., swimming), secondary contact-recreation (e.g., boating), and aesthetics. The 305(b) process entails assessing each of these uses, where applicable, for rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Causes and sources of use impairment are also identified where possible. Section 303(d) of the CWA requires states to identify those water bodies that are not expected to meet surface water quality standards after the implementation of technology-based controls and to prioritize and schedule them for the derivation of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) .

The Massachusetts Year 2012 Integrated List of Waters report was approved by the EPA in May 2013. Therefore, it has become static and will not change. The information presented in this map viewer represents a subset of all Massachusetts rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes; only those waters that have been assessed under sections 305(b)/303(d) (referred to as segments or assessment units) for the 2012 reporting cycle are shown. The next planned update of 305(b)/303(d) assessments and associated geo-references will be for the 2014 reporting cycle. Questions regarding the programmatic content of these data should be directed to Arthur Johnson (508-767-2873) or Richard McVoy (508-767-2877) in the MassDEP, Watershed Planning Program.

Links to relevant reports and supporting documents pertaining to the data displayed on this interactive map are provided in this introduction. Click on the map image to open the map viewer.

 

screenshot of interactive map

  legend for interactive map

To use this interactive map: Ease of access is the primary reason this material is being presented as an interactive map that allows users to locate a water body geographically. For users with ArcGIS resources, free download of shapefiles or geodatabase formats of this information is available at MassGIS Data - MassDEP 2012 Integrated List of Waters (305(b)/303(d)) . For convenience, links to the MassDEP Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) reports and a summary of the Clean Water Act are embedded in the title header of the viewer.

  for convenience the title bar contains links to the clean water act and tmdl page for reference

Navigation tools are embedded in the upper left-hand corner of the map in the "Map Tools" toolbar.

  tool bar showing the navigation elements of the map

Here are some other key concepts to help you navigate the map and find the information of interest to you.

  • Operational layers of information are presented: 2012 Integrated List Features, Hydrography Features, NRCS HUC 12 Basins, Political Boundaries, and the DWM WPP Integrated List of Watershed Delineations. More information about the 2012 Integrated List Features layer is presented below. The Hydrography Features depict the 1:25,000 scale statewide hydrography. The NRCS HUC 12 Basins are represented as hollow outlines of the watersheds defined by digital elevation model data, with basin names and 12 digit hydrologic unit code numbers appearing when you are sufficiently zoomed in. The NRCS HUC 12 Basins is a subset of the coverage found at  MassGIS Data - NRCS HUC Basins (8,10,12) . The Political Boundaries are shown as dashed outlines of towns with town names appearing when you are sufficiently zoomed in and a solid outline for the state boundary. The DWM WPP Integrated List Watershed Delineations which reflect drainage patterns for assessment purposes, are uniquely solidly colored, and are labeled with the watershed names, is comprised of the River Basins (major inland river basins), the River Basins & Coastal Drainage Areas (major inland river basins that are coupled with smaller areas draining directly to coastal waters within the general geographic area of the associated river basin), the Coastal Drainage Areas (subdivisions of the coastal drainage system that have been partitioned into specific geographic areas which all drain to coastal waters but may have multiple small-scale drainages), and All DWM WPP Watersheds (selection depicting all drainage patterns simultaneously). You can control the visibility of these Operational Layers after clicking the Table of Contents icon on the toolbar and checking the boxes next to the layers on or off. Different Base Maps can also be selected in this window.

map layers from GIS  

  • The combined reporting elements of both 305(b) and 303(d) sections of the Clean Water Act are presented graphically in this interactive map. Assessed waters are listed in one of five categories as described below in the Map Viewer Query Results Attribute Descriptions table. Waters listed in Category 5 constitute the 303(d) List while the remaining four categories are submitted in fulfillment of the requirements under Section 305(b). Note that there are no waters assessed as Category 1 due to issuance by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health of a state-wide health advisory pertaining to the consumption of finfish. For the 2012 reporting cycle, Massachusetts is not listing waters in Category 4B.
  • Detailed information about any of the 2012 Integrated List Features can be accessed by using the Information Query tool and clicking on an assessment unit. Results will be displayed in the Query Results tab of the MassDEP Online Map Viewer window (see example depicted below). The assessment unit name appears at the top of the window followed by general information about the water body such as: description, category, watershed, water type, size, class, qualifier, and number of finalized TMDLs. Detailed information about each of the designated uses appears in a table that includes the attainment status for the use, the associated causes and a ‘poltnt_flg’ field identifying the cause as either a “pollutant” requiring a TMDL (Y) or a non-pollutant stressor (N), and sources of impairments for the use, and any associated TMDL report number(s) (TMDL DWM Id). The number of times a Use is repeated in the results table is dependent on the unique Cause and Source combinations detailing the Attainment status. For Attainment "Not Assessed" or "Insufficient Information", no impairment has been identified, therefore neither causes or sources will appear in the table. Finally, only those causes for which TMDLs have been developed and approved by EPA will show a TMDL report number. A link to the TMDL reports will be found on the title bar of the viewer.

  screenshot of Online Map Viewer

Use the scroll bar on the right hand side of the Viewer window to see all use/cause/source combinations. The table can be sorted by clicking any of the table headers.

Map Viewer Query Results Attribute Descriptions:

2012 Assessment Unit ID
Water body segment identification code for the 2012 cycle of the MA Integrated List of Waters report

Water Name
Water body names come from SARIS (Stream & River Identification System), PALIS (Pond & Lake Identification System), or CAMIS (Coastal & Marine Identification System)

Watershed
Watersheds reflects drainage area types: River Basin (major inland river basin), River Basin and Coastal Drainage Area (major inland river basin coupled with smaller areas draining directly to coastal waters within the general geographic area of the associated river basin) and Coastal Drainage Area (subdivisions of the coastal drainage system that have been partitioned into specific geographic areas which all drain to coastal waters but may have multiple small-scale drainages). MassDEP Division of Watershed Management (DWM)  Watershed Planning Program (WPP) watershed delineations (a modified MassGIS Major Basins layer) reflect surface drainage patterns for assessment purposes (e.g.: a portion of the Cape Cod Watershed Area was changed to reflect its drainage into Buzzards Bay; this change resulted in shape changes for both Cape Cod & Buzzards Bay Coastal Watershed delineations). The watershed name is based on the system that includes all Massachusetts watersheds. The DWM WPP watershed name "Boston Harbor (Proper)" applies to those segments physically located in the harbor, while inland "Boston Harbor" segments are reported by DWM WPP as "Boston Harbor: Mystic", "Boston Harbor: Neponset", or "Boston Harbor: Weymouth & Weir".

Water Type
Massachusetts reports three water body segment types: River (including streams, brooks, etc.), Lake (including ponds, reservoirs, etc.), and Estuary (tidally influenced waters).

Water Code
Unique water body code from the SARIS, PALIS, or CAMIS inventory coding systems.

Size
Size of the water body segment (Assessment Unit size). Some historic values in this field may be based on measurements made with map wheels & other techniques including, but not limited to, planimetry using USGS Quad sheets at a scale of 1:25,000. New values are generated using GIS tools. Rivers reported as miles; lakes reported as acres; estuaries reported as square miles.  Segment size is the size reported to the EPA for the entire water body segment (within the state), not the size of individual arcs or polygons.

Class and Qualifier
Assigned to water bodies as described in the 314 CMR 4.00: Surface Water Quality Standards pdf format of    314 CMR 4.00: Surface Water Quality Standards  . (NOTE: Classification is reflective of version of Standards available at time when assessment decisions were made.)

Category
The category of the water body segment in the Massachusetts Year 2012 Integrated List of Waters report; category descriptions are as follows:
Category 1: Attaining all designated uses.
Category 2: Attaining some of the designated uses and insufficient information or no data are available to determine if the remaining uses are attained.
Category 3: Insufficient information or no data available to determine if any designated uses are attained.
Category 4A: Impaired for one or more designated uses but does not require the development of a TMDL: TMDL has been completed.
Category 4B: Impaired for one or more designated uses but does not require the development of a TMDL: Other pollution control requirements are reasonably expected to result in the attainment of designated use(s).
Category 4C: Impaired for one or more designated use(s) but does not require the development of a TMDL: Impairment is not caused by a pollutant.
Category 5: Impaired for one or more designated use(s), requires the development of one or more  TMDL(s): Impairment is caused by a pollutant.

TMDL Count
The number of unique DWM WPP TMDLs approved for this segment. (See TMDL DWM ID)

Description
Description of the water body (Assessment Unit) segment

Designated Use
Defined in the 314 CMR 4.00: Surface Water Quality Standards pdf format of    314 CMR 4.00: Surface Water Quality Standards  . Massachusetts designated uses include Aesthetics, Fish, other Aquatic Life and Wildlife (habitat for fish, other aquatic life and wildlife, including for their reproduction, migration, growth, and other critical functions)(i.e. Aquatic Life), Fish Consumption, Primary Contact Recreation, Secondary Contact Recreation, as well as Public Water Supply (for Class A waters), & Shellfish Harvesting (for estuarine waters).

Attainment
Field indicating the use assessment decision: Fully Supporting, Insufficient Information, Not Assessed, or Not Supporting.

Cause
Field identifying the cause(s) of the use impairment. There are 72 different causes named in the Massachusetts Year 2012 Integrated List of Waters Report.

Source
Field identifying source related to cause of the use impairment. There are 87 different sources named in the Massachusetts Year 2012 Integrated List of Waters Report.

Poltnt_Flg
The CWA distinguishes between “pollutants” such as nutrients, metals, pesticides, solids and pathogens that all require TMDLs and “pollution” such as low flow, habitat alterations or non-native species infestations that do not require TMDLs.  The POLTNT_FLG field identifies non-pollutant stressors with an ‘N’ to distinguish them from pollutants requiring TMDLs (which are identified with a “Y”).

TMDL DWM ID
Control number assigned by MassDEP DWM WPP for the TMDL report (see Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) )

MassDEP 2012 Integrated List of Waters (305(b)/303(d)) Materials & Links

Electronic versions (available in MS Word or PDF formats) of the Massachusetts Year 2012 Integrated List of Waters report can be found on the MassDEP Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) website.

MassGIS Data - MassDEP 2012 Integrated List of Waters (305(b)/303(d)) (for a comprehensive overview of the Integrated List features depicted in the  viewer, layer files, spreadsheets, geodatabase, shapefiles, and DBF tables)

MassGIS Datalayer (shapefile) of the Natural Resource Conservation Service Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) along with a comprehensive overview of the HUC features depicted in this viewer can be found at MassGIS Data - NRCS HUC Basins (8,10,12) .

Electronic versions of the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) reports can be found grouped by watershed.

A summary of the Clean Water Act can be found on EPA's website. 

Water body class and designated uses are defined in the 314 CMR 4.00: Surface Water Quality Standards pdf format of    314 CMR 4.00: Surface Water Quality Standards  .