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CZM Marine Invasive Species Publications

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

Marine invasive species are species that are not known to naturally occur in a certain area but have been introduced by humans at some point in time. These animals, plants, and algae—like the European green crab (Carcinus maenas) and the green fleece seaweed (Codium fragile)—have forever changed the ecology and economy of Massachusetts. To promote understanding, effective monitoring, and management of these species, CZM has published or funded the publications described below, which are listed under the following categories: general information on marine invasive species, management, identification, monitoring, Rapid Assessment Surveys, impacts, and prevention. 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 Information on Marine Invasive Species

  • Marine Invasive Species - State of the Gulf of Maine Report (PDF, 2 MB) - This paper, written by CZM and published in 2010 by the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, provides a review of established marine invasive species in the Gulf of Maine and describes impacts, vectors, emerging threats, and management responses.
  • Defending Massachusetts Against Biological Invaders - This article on page 33 of the Summer 2002 Coastlines (PDF, 4 MB) provides an overview of the marine aquatic species issue.
  • BLOG: Not from Around Here - Green Crabs (originally posted on the EEA Mass Great Outdoor Blog on August 22, 2014) - A CZM intern explains her experience participating in a summer field project surveying green crab populations in the 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.
  • Massachusetts Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan (PDF, 2 MB) - In 2002, the Aquatic Invasive Species Working Group—a partnership of state, federal ,and nonprofit managers—released this plan to manage threats from aquatic invaders. Major components of the plan include a description of existing state and federal authorities and programs, a focus on the impacts of invasive species and management priorities, management objectives and actions, a five-year strategy, and an implementation timeline.


  • Identification Cards - To help detect and monitor marine invasive species, CZM developed species identification cards for 18 common marine invaders in New England.
  • 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.


Rapid Assessment Surveys


  • Codium Up, Eelgrass Down: Invasives Impact Buzzards Bay - This article on page 59 of the 2007 Coastlines (PDF, 39 MB) discusses the impact of the invasive Codium alga on eelgrass habitat.


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