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CZM Mapping and Data Management Publications

Find summaries of and links to these publications developed by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).

CZM makes a wide range of coastal and ocean data available to the public through the Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System (MORIS). MORIS is CZM's official data portal and allows users to create customized maps with a variety of data layers related to the Massachusetts coastal zone and nearshore ocean, including tide gauge stations, coastal access points, eelgrass beds, Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan data, and many others. In addition, MORIS users can share and print maps, download Geographic Information System (GIS) data, explore topic-specific online viewers and story maps, and find links to other mapping and coastal data resources.

CZM has also produced final map products and mapping and data management publications, which are listed alphabetically by title under the following categories:

Table of Contents

(Links to any special MORIS features are also provided in each topic area.)

See the Mapping and Data Management Program for more on these CZM services and CZM Publications for the full list of materials published by CZM.

Coastal Zone Maps

  • Massachusetts Coastal Zone (PDF, 3 MB) - This 2014 map shows the five CZM regions and the 78 coastal communities directly served by CZM.
  • Massachusetts Coastal Zone Boundary - The official boundary includes the lands and waters within an area defined by the seaward limit of the state's territorial sea, extending from the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border south to the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border, and landward to 100 feet inland of specified major roads, rail lines, other visible rights-of-way, or in the absence these, at specified coordinates specified. An official description (PDF, 111 KB), GIS shapefile (ZIP, 828 KB), and Google Earth file (KMZ, 293 KB) are available.
  • Story Map Tours of the Massachusetts Coast - As part of the routine review of the Massachusetts coastal program by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management in April 2021, CZM created this story map collection. It includes an overview of the entire 1,500-mile coastline, along with a story map of CZM regions with some highlights of coastal habitats, state parks and sanctuaries, ports and harbors, recreational beaches and waterfront access, and more. See:

Geology, Coastal Erosion, and Flooding

  • Barrier Beach Inventory and Maps - In 1982, CZM completed a comprehensive effort to identify and delineate the 681 barrier beaches in Massachusetts and to place them on topographic maps.
  • Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Viewer - This tool provides interactive maps of potential coastal flooding of public facilities and infrastructure based on: sea level rise scenarios (NOAA and the 2022 Massachusetts Coast Flood Risk Model), Federal Emergency Management Agency coastal flood zones, and hurricane surge models. Examples of mapped facilities include: electrical generation facilities, fire stations, hospitals, police stations, town/city halls, and wastewater treatment plants. All of the spatial data provided in the viewer are hosted in MORIS, where they can be viewed, queried, and downloaded.
  • Shoreline Change Maps - These online and interactive maps show changes in the Massachusetts coastline between the mid-1800s and 1994 as a result of erosion and accretion (deposition), as well as relative sea level rise. The data are hosted in MORIS, where they can be viewed, queried, and downloaded.


Ocean Planning

Port and Harbor Planning

  • Designated Port Area (DPA) Boundary MapsCZM develops and updates boundary maps and descriptions of the DPAs in Massachusetts. The maps can also be downloaded or used to create interactive maps of the DPA boundaries in MORIS.

Public Access to the Coast

  • Coast Guide Online - This interactive mapping tool was developed by CZM for use on mobile phones and tablets, as well as desktop computers. It includes more than 1,900 sites along the Massachusetts coast that are owned by government agencies and nonprofits and open to the public—from long, sandy beaches and rocky shores to small rights-of-way and public landings.
  • Massachusetts Coast Guide to Boston Harbor and the North Shore - This 2004 publication includes 22 maps and nearly 400 public access sites from Salisbury to Hull, ranging from expansive parks with concession stands to small public landings and out-of-the-way spots.

Seafloor Mapping and Seafloor Habitat Mapping

Water Quality - No Discharge Zone and Boat Pumpout Facilities

  • Massachusetts No Discharge Zone (PDF, 1 MB) - This 2014 map shows the Massachusetts coastal waters that are officially designated as a No Discharge Zone (NDZ), where boat sewage discharge is banned.
  • Massachusetts Commercial Pumpouts - This interactive map, created with Google Maps, provides the location of boat sewage pumpout facilities for commercial vessels in coastal Massachusetts.
  • Massachusetts Pumpout Locations - This interactive map, created with Google Maps, provides the location of boat sewage pumpout facilities for recreational vessels in coastal Massachusetts.


  • CZM Grant Viewer This interactive map provides information on the following CZM grant programs: Coastal Resilience, Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR), and Coastal Habitat and Water Quality. Pop-up boxes provide details on each grant award and information can be sorted by grant program, category (including Construction - Living Shoreline or Stormwater Infrastructure, Design & Permitting, Habitat Restoration, and Vulnerability Assessment), and year that mapped data are available.
  • North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88) - This web page briefly explains this topic and provides a figure showing a comparison of common datums. A vertical datum uses a fixed reference point as a baseline (i.e., a zero elevation point) to consistently measure and compare elevations among various maps and surveys, and NAVD 88 is the official vertical datum of the United States.
  • Aerial Orthophotographs of Coastal Massachusetts - Orthopotographs are aerial photos that are digitally corrected for distortions and other errors. Through a project completed in June 2001, CZM, NOAA’s Photogrammetry Division, and the National Geodetic Survey produced orthophotos that cover most of the coastal zone of Massachusetts.

Additional Resources

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