The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) is the lead policy and planning agency on coastal and ocean issues within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). A team of multi-disciplinary professionals working in a range of program areas implements CZM's mission—to balance the impact of human activities with the protection of coastal and marine resources through planning, public involvement, education, research, and sound resource management. As a networked program with a strong regional and local role, CZM emphasizes coordination, collaboration, and partnerships to address coastal issues.
The Massachusetts coastal zone encompasses dozens of habitats. From open water to salt marsh to sandy dune, these habitats provide coastal plants and animals with their requirements for life, including food, shelter, and the basic conditions for survival. These habitats also serve important functions for people, from providing recreational and economic resources to filtering pollutants and reducing storm damage on the coast. The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) strives to better understand coastal habitats and the complex interactions that sustain them and works to protect and restore these valuable resources.
Each September and October, thousands of volunteers throughout Massachusetts turn out for COASTSWEEP—the statewide coastal cleanup sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). COASTSWEEP is part of the International Coastal Cleanup organized by Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC. Volunteers from all over the world collect marine debris—trash, fishing line, and any other human-made items—and record what they find. This information is then analyzed and used to identify sources of marine debris and develop education and policy initiatives to help reduce it.
Landscaping on the coast is no easy task. The wind, salt spray, occasional far-reaching storm waves, and shifting, parched, sandy soils can thwart even the most seasoned gardeners. But with the right plants, you can attain a flourishing coastal landscape and spend less time, money, and labor in the process. Other rewards include: enhanced visual appeal of your coastal property, preservation of the natural character of the coastal environment, habitat for wildlife, a filter for pollution, and natural protection from storm damage and erosion.
With more than 1,500 miles of Massachusetts shoreline, there's so much to explore and enjoy. This web page gives 10 ways to find the best beaches, ensure a safe and fun visit, and protect and improve the environment along the way.