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Previous Versions of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan

Find links to all previous ocean plan versions, information on plan development, and links to supporting documents.

The Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan protects critical marine habitat and important water-dependent uses and provides a management framework for ocean-based projects in Massachusetts. In response to the Oceans Act of 2008, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) issued the first Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan in 2009. The Oceans Act requires EEA to review the ocean plan at least once every five years, a process led by EEA’s Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).

The 2021 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan is the current version and supersedes all previous ocean plans.

This page provides links to all previous ocean plan versions (listed in reverse chronological order), along with information on the plan development process and links to relevant relevant supporting documents, including the technical work group reports.

Table of Contents

2015 Ocean Plan

Superseded by the current ocean plan (2021 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan). 

In January 2013, EEA initiated a formal review of the 2009 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, beginning with a comprehensive assessment of progress and performance to achieve the requirements and commitments established by the Oceans Act and the ocean plan. EEA released the results of this assessment in Review of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan (January 2014) (PDF, 2 MB), which provides a summary of the context for ocean planning in Massachusetts and reports on the ocean plan development process, including the policies and management framework, plan administration and implementation, and work on science and data priorities identified in the Science Framework. The document also synthesizes the views of the members of the state’s Ocean Advisory Commission and Ocean Science Advisory Council on the ocean planning and implementation process, and summarizes stakeholder and public input received during a public review process in June 2013.

In June 2013, through four public meetings and a formal 60-day comment period, EEA gathered input on the proposed scope for updates to the 2009 ocean plan. Also that month, EEA convened six technical work groups to review scientific data and geospatial information and characterize important trends in ocean resources and uses. At meetings in the fall and winter of 2013-2014, the Ocean Advisory Commission and Ocean Science Advisory Council reviewed draft technical work group reports. In March 2014, CZM, with support from SeaPlan (formerly the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership), held two public workshops to share information and solicit input and feedback on the findings and recommendations of the work groups. The final work group reports are provided below.

For additional details on the review and update process through May 2014, see the Review and Update of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan fact sheet (PDF, 2 MB).

Based on the work group technical reports and input from advisory bodies, workshops, and public and stakeholder meetings, efforts over the spring and summer 2014 were focused on the development of the 2014 draft ocean plan, which was released for public review and comment on September 24, 2014.

The release of the draft plan launched a 60-day public comment period. Five regional public hearings were held in Ipswich, Hyannis, New Bedford, Vineyard Haven, and Boston to solicit feedback. More than 75 organizations and individuals provided written and oral comments on the draft plan. With guidance from the Ocean Advisory Commission and Ocean Science Advisory Council, adjustments to the draft ocean plan were made, and the final 2015 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan was released on January 6, 2015.

2009 Ocean Plan

Superseded by the current ocean plan (2021 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan). 

The errata sheet for the final 2009 ocean plan is provided below, followed by links to Volumes 1 and 2 of the document and links to the technical work group reports and other supporting documents.


The following typographical/printing errors have been noted in the promulgated version of the plan:

Volume 1

  1. On page 2-15, the correct figure reference in the footnote should be 2-19.
  2. On page 2-19, the title for Table 2-5 should read as follows: Table 2-5 - Siting and performance standards for cables and pipelines (see Figures 2-23 and 2-24).
  3. Figure 2-21 should include intertidal flats as a special, sensitive, or unique resource, as referenced in Table 2-3 on page 2-13.

Volume 2

  1. Table 4-6 of the Baseline Assessment (page BA-53) contained misspelled species names, which are correct in this edited table 4-6 (PDF, 91 KB).
  2. Due to a printer error, Figure 6.3 of the Baseline Assessment is missing the data layers. See the correct Figure 6.3 (PDF, 1 MB) with its intended layers.

The following documents were developed to support the 2009 ocean plan.

Ocean Planning Work Group Reports

Agency work groups prepared the following six reports, organized by topic area, which synthesized available data for the ocean planning area:

Massachusetts Ocean Partnership-Funded Reports

In partnership with EEA, the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership funded the following reports to support the ocean planning effort during the development of the 2009 ocean plan:

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