The Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, which was originally released in 2009 as a landmark blueprint for the protection and sustainable use of state ocean waters, protects critical marine habitat and important water-dependent uses and sets standards for new ocean-based development. The ocean plan’s management framework is implemented within the existing regulatory structure, with the relevant agencies coordinating review and approval of proposed ocean projects.

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) issued the Commonwealth’s first‐ever ocean plan in December 2009, the result of an intensive planning process launched with the signing of the Oceans Act in May 2008. The Oceans Act requires EEA to review and update the ocean plan at least once every five years. As with the development of the original plan, this thorough and collaborative two-year process was led by EEA’s Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). On January 6, 2015, the 2015 ocean plan was released, which presents the first formal amendment of the 2009 ocean plan.

See the following links for access to: the 2015 ocean plan, information on the ocean plan review and update process (with links to the draft ocean plan released in September 2014 and other relevant documents), ocean plan data, the final 2009 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, and the 2009 draft ocean plan and related documents.

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