CZM Coastal Habitat Publications

Find summaries of and links to publications developed by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) on a variety of coastal habitat topics.

CZM has published and/or funded the following materials on coastal habitat, which are listed alphabetically by title under the following categories: general habitat, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, eelgrass, salt marsh, and other. See CZM Publications for the full list of materials published by CZM.

(Note: Any views or opinions presented in publications prepared for CZM are solely those of the author[s] and do not necessarily represent those of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Please see our website policies.)

General Habitat

Areas of Critical Environmental Concern


Salt Marsh


  • Managing Seaweed Accumulations on Recreational Beaches (PDF, 2 MB) - This guidance published by CZM in 2013 was developed to help local officials and beach managers effectively address seaweed accumulations on recreational beaches while protecting coastal resources. It focuses on how seaweed is a natural and important part of the marine ecosystem, but when accumulations occur on recreational beaches, conflicts can arise that need to be addressed.
  • Non-Native Seaweed in Massachusetts (PDF, 2 MB) - Published by CZM in 2013, this fact sheet summarizes information on invasive seaweed species in Massachusetts, their ecology, and potential impacts to the marine ecosystem and economy.
  • Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Assessment Gloucester Harbor, Massachusetts (PDF, 1 MB) - Prepared by the Maguire Group Inc. under contract to CZM as part of the dredged material management planning process, this 2001 publication was prepared for use in determining the potential impact of pending or future projects within Gloucester Harbor on the existing fisheries resources.
  • Gloucester Harbor Characterization Report: Environmental History, Human Influences, and Status of Marine Resources (PDF, 1 MB) - This 2004 report describes human and natural resources, discusses the environmental history of development and human influences, characterizes current understanding of environmental quality, examines lobster fishing and lobster population structure, investigates fish community structure, and describes seafloor habitat in Gloucester Harbor.
  • Massachusetts Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan (PDF, 2 MB) - This plan, prepared by CZM in 2002 on behalf of the Massachusetts Aquatic Invasive Species Working Group, outlines a five-year strategy to manage threats from aquatic invaders.
  • Not from Around Here: Green Crabs - This August 2014 blog post describes the invasive European green crab and discusses CZM work to examine potential impacts of green crabs in salt marsh habitats, including the impact of burrowing activity.

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