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.
- 2015 Ocean Plan - On January 6, 2015, EEA released the first formal amendment of the 2009 ocean plan. See the 2015 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan web page for copies of this document.
- Review and Update of the 2009 Ocean Plan - Description of the Process and Links to Relevant Documents - In January 2013, EEA initiated a formal review and update of the 2009 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, which included a comprehensive assessment of progress to date, as well as extensive public and expert participation efforts. For details, see the Process to Review and Update the 2009 Ocean Plan web page, which includes links to all relevant publications developed during the review and update process, and the Draft Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, September 2014 web page for copies of the draft for the 2015 ocean plan.
- Ocean Plan Data - 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.
- 2009 Ocean Plan - See the 2009 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan web page for links to the final version of the original ocean plan, which was promulgated on December 31, 2009.
- 2009 Draft Ocean Plan and Related Documents - See the 2009 Draft Ocean Plan, Technical Reports, and Planning Documents web page for links to the draft 2009 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, along with technical reports and other materials that were produced to support plan development.