The ocean plan provides protections for critical marine habitat and natural resources in the Commonwealth's waters and sets standards for the development of offshore renewable energy, as well as for other infrastructure, to foster sustainable uses in the state's ocean waters. It was developed to maximize integration and coordination among state agencies and to encourage consistency and synchronization with federal, regional, and local levels of government. In addition, the management framework of the plan was designed to be implemented within the existing regulatory structure, relying on a networked approach where the scope and expertise of agency authorities are coordinated in project reviews and approvals.
Since the plan’s release, significant effort has gone into implementation, including the development and promulgation of implementing regulations (301 CMR 28.00), the incorporation of the plan into the state’s federally approved Coastal Management Program, and agency review of projects subject to the plan. Significant progress has also been made on the science and data actions identified as priorities in the ocean plan, including: important advancements in marine seafloor and habitat characterization; major expansion of data and information on human use patterns such as recreational boating activity; and key updates in both functionality and data contents to the publicly accessible online data and mapping system (Massachusetts Ocean Resources Information Systems, or MORIS) for the plan. All of the spatial data in the ocean plan are provided on a dedicated MORIS: Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan Data page.
The Oceans Act requires that EEA review and update the plan at least once every five years, and in January 2013, EEA initiated this review. Select a link below for updates on the review process; copies of the final 2009 plan, draft plan, and technical reports; and information on the ocean planning process.
Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan: Review and Updates
In January 2013, EEA initiated a review and update of the 2009 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan. In May 2013, after review by the Ocean Advisory Commission and the Ocean Science Advisory Council, two documents were released for public review and comment: a Draft Review of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan file size 1MB (which reports on progress made to date and opportunities for enhancement) and a Draft Scope for Updates Proposed for the 2009 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan . Four public meetings were held in June, and the 60-day public comment period closed on July 19. Technical working groups have been convened to review spatial data, science, and other information, and to identify and characterize important trends in ocean resources and uses. In the Fall of 2013, EEA will work with the Ocean Advisory Commission and the Ocean Science Advisory Council to finalize the review and scope for plan update and begin the initial work on plan revisions.
- These documents present the final Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan that was promulgated on December 31, 2009.
All of the spatial data provided in the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan are hosted in the Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System, or MORIS. MORIS is an online mapping tool that can be used to search and display spatial data pertaining to the Massachusetts coastal zone and is the official data repository for the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan. Launch MORIS to view, query, and map the data
- This page includes links to the draft of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan along with technical reports and other materials that were produced to support plan development.