Regulation 310 CMR 9.00: The Massachusetts Waterways Regulation

These regulations protect the public's right to access the state's tidelands and waterways. They also regulate the kinds of activities that can take place on coastal and inland waterways. 

Contact for 310 CMR 9.00: The Massachusetts Waterways Regulation

MassDEP Waterways Program

Table of Contents

Current Regulations

These regulations, 310 CMR 9.00, became effective as of November 25, 2022.

Note: This is an unofficial version of Commonwealth regulations and is posted here for the convenience of the public. It is not an official statement of the regulations.

Recently Promulgated Amendments

Amendments to 310 CMR 9.00 were promulgated in November 2022.

Proposed Amendments & Public Comment

MassDEP is proposing amendments that would add to the list of MassDEP “Approved Municipal Harbor Plans” (MHP) at 310 CMR 9.57, including the substitute provisions stipulated in the Chelsea Municipal Harbor Plan and Designated Port Area Master Plan, April 1, 2022.

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Public Hearings and Public Comment Period

MassDEP will conduct two virtual public hearings:

Written comments will be accepted until 11:59 PM on January 16, 2023. The Department encourages electronic submission by email to; please include Waterways - Chelsea MHP Comments in the subject line. In lieu of electronic submittal, written comments may be mailed to:

    MassDEP - BWR, Waterways Program
    Attention: Waterways - Chelsea MHP Comments
    100 Cambridge Street, 9th Floor
    Boston, MA 02114

Proposed Revisions

310 CMR 9.00 Proposed Revisions: Redline-Strikeout

310 CMR 9.00 Proposed Revisions: Clean

Background Documents: Decision on Chelsea MHP and DPA Master Plan

Chapter 91 Resiliency Stakeholder Outreach (February 2022)

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) implements Chapter 91 Waterways Regulations (310 CMR 9.00), which govern structures, fill, and uses in jurisdictional tidelands, great ponds and non-tidal rivers and streams.

MassDEP is considering regulatory revisions in response to the effects of a changing climate, including sea level rise, increased precipitation, and intensifying storms. The Department has invited a wide range of stakeholders to participate in a stakeholder advisory panel to inform MassDEP’s proposed resilience-focused regulatory updates.

The advisory panel will bring together key stakeholders and subject matter experts to provide input as MassDEP develops policy and regulatory updates. The Department anticipates convening the stakeholder advisory panel in a meeting to focus on specific, near-term provisions under consideration, as well as a scoping discussion to identify broader, longer-term issues. 

We expect to cover near-term issues in a single session, after which MassDEP will prepare and file Draft Regulations later this fall. Depending on the nature of the comments received during the meeting of the advisory panel or through the public comment period of the draft regulations, we will consider a second round of meetings later in 2022, to focus on longer-term challenges. Advisory panel meetings will be conducted virtually and are open to all interested parties and members of the public.

The Department held a virtual public stakeholder meeting Wednesday February 9, 2022.

Chapter 91 Municipal Harbor Planning Proposed Amendments (May 2021)

Downloads for 310 CMR 9.00: The Massachusetts Waterways Regulation

Contact for 310 CMR 9.00: The Massachusetts Waterways Regulation

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