CZM Public Access and Coast Guide Publications

Find summaries of and links to publications developed by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) on a variety of public access and Coast Guide topics.

CZM has published and/or funded the following materials on public access to the coast. 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.)

Publications List

  • Coast Guide Online - This interactive map was developed by CZM for use on mobile phones and tablets, as well as desktop computers. It includes more than 1,900 sites along the Massachusetts coast that are owned by government agencies and nonprofits and open to the public—from long, sandy beaches and rocky shores to small rights-of-way and public landings.
  • Massachusetts Coast Guide to Boston Harbor and the North Shore - This CZM publication, last printed in 2005, includes nearly 400 public access sites from Salisbury to Hingham—ranging from expansive beaches to out-of-the-way scenic vistas. The online version provides 22 maps with site descriptions.
  • 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 on public access to the coast.
  • Coastal Trails of Massachusetts - This list developed by CZM includes trails with coastal views and links to additional information.
  • Public Rights Along the Shoreline - This electronic fact sheet developed by CZM provides a brief primer on waterfront property law and public access rights.
  • Preserving Historic Rights of Way to the Sea: A Practical Handbook for Preserving Public Access in Massachusetts (PDF, 4 MB) - Written under contract to CZM in 1999, this 200-page guide gives hands-on information for municipal officials, attorneys, and citizen access advocates looking to research and secure public property rights in old footpaths and other pedestrian accessways that still exist in law, but are no longer used by (or even known to) the public.
  • CZ-Tip - Get to the Shore! - This tip from CZM focuses on coastal access in the Commonwealth, including public rights and responsibilities, public access sites, and environmental protection issues.
  • CZ-Tip - Explore the Coastal Outdoors - This CZM tip includes information on finding public access sites in each coastal region of Massachusetts, along with details on coastal hiking, camping, fishing, boating, and more.
  • The Public Trust Doctrine in Massachusetts Coastal Law - This article on page 81 of CZM's 2008 Coastlines (PDF, 9 MB) magazine discusses the Public Trust Doctrine and its impact on public rights in tidal areas.

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