CZM Port and Harbor Planning Publications

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

CZM has published and/or funded the following materials on port and harbor planning, which are listed under the following categories: general, Designated Port Areas, regulatory decisions on Municipal Harbor Plans and Designated Port Areas, port and harbor characterizations through the Dredged Material Management Plan, 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.)


  • Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management Policy Guide - October 2011 - The Policy Guide is the official statement of Massachusetts coastal program policies and legal authorities and includes the policies that govern CZM’s Port and Harbor Planning Program and project review efforts.
  • Coastlines 2003 - This edition of CZM’s magazine focuses on ports and harbors, with articles on the port of Boston, the other major ports in Massachusetts, Designated Port Areas, shipping, and related issues.

Designated Port Areas

  • Designated Port Area Boundary Maps - In 2011, CZM updated the Designated Port Area boundary maps and descriptions, which are now available online. The data layers for the maps are also available in GIS format.

Regulatory Decisions on Municipal Harbor Plans and Designated Port Areas

Organized by region and listed in reverse date order.

Boston Harbor

North Shore

South Coastal

Cape Cod and Islands

Port and Harbor Characterizations through the Dredged Material Management Plan

Alphabetized after first entry.


  • Gloucester Harbor Characterization: Environmental History, Human Influences, and Status of Marine Resources (PDF, 1 MB) - This 2004 document describes human and natural resources of Gloucester Harbor, one of Massachusetts's oldest and productive harbors. It examines and describes 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.
  • Urban Marine Habitats—Spotlight on Gloucester Harbor - This article on page 31 of the winter 2004/2005 Coastlines (PDF, 38 MB) discusses the marine life and habitats of Gloucester Harbor.

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