CZM Publications

Find summaries of and links to the publications developed by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).

The complete list of CZM publications is provided below, organized by document type (i.e., Periodicals, Guides and Guidance Documents, Maps, etc.). Note: If you are looking for a specific CZM publication, please use the “find on page” option in your browser to search for the publication title.

To submit a public records request to CZM, please fill out this online form.

Most of these publications are available online. For a hard copy, please email your request to or call the CZM Information Line at (617) 626-1212. (Please note that not all documents are available in hard copy.)

(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.)

Topic-Based Lists

Topic-based lists of publications are available for each CZM program area:


  • CZM Press Releases - This page provides an index of CZM press releases published since 2015, categorized by year and presented in reverse date order.


  • CZ-Mail - CZM’s monthly electronic newsletter covers major CZM initiatives, available tools and publications, upcoming workshops and events, grants, contracting opportunities, job openings, coastal legislation, and other news of interest to people working on coastal issues. To be added to the mailing list, please send a blank email to For daily updates from CZM, please follow us on Twitter.
  • Coastlines - From 2002-2008, CZM produced this publication as a periodic magazine. These editions are available online and each focuses on a major coastal topic:
    • Coastlines 2008 - Discusses how actions on land affect coastal water quality and gives detailed information on what people can do to help.
    • Coastlines 2007 - Focuses on coastal recreation.
    • Coastlines 2006 - Discusses Smart Growth techniques and how they can address coastal water quality and other issues.
    • Coastlines Winter 2004-2005 - Features coastal and marine habitats.
    • Coastlines 2003 - Focuses on shipping and ports and harbors in Massachusetts.
    • Coastlines 2002 - Explores hurricane preparedness and the history of Massachusetts hurricanes.
    From 1975-2001, Coastlines was published in newsletter format. See the Coastlines Archives 1975-2001 for a table of contents for each newsletter edition.

Guides and Guidance Documents

(Listed Alphabetically)

  • Applying the Massachusetts Coastal Wetlands Regulations - Published by CZM and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) in August 2017, this guidance document was developed to help Conservation Commissions evaluate projects proposed in coastal resource areas for their potential to impact the storm damage prevention and flood control interests of the Wetlands Protection Act. It gives Commissions tools, data, and information to delineate the coastal resource areas, determine resource area functions, assess potential project impacts, and evaluate whether the project meets or can be conditioned to meet the performance standards and includes step-by-step instructions, checklists, and example scenarios.
  • Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Stormwater BMPs and Recommended BMP Design Considerations in Coastal Communities - Prepared for CZM and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in 2015 by the Horsley Witten Group, Inc., with support from the Woods Hole Group, this report is intended to help municipalities address the unique challenges of siting, designing, and constructing stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) in coastal areas. The report assesses the impacts of flooding, storm damage, and salt and wind exposure on existing BMPs; evaluates expected increased impacts due to sea level rise, higher groundwater levels, and increased frequency and intensity of storm impacts due to climate change; and makes recommendations for potential BMP design modifications.
  • Beach Nourishment: MassDEP's Guide to Best Management Practices for Projects in Massachusetts (PDF, 2 MB) - This 2007 guidance document establishes best management practices to minimize impacts of beach nourishment projects. In addition, the Technical Attachments to Beach Nourishment: MassDEP's Guide to Best Management Practices for Projects in Massachusetts (PDF, 1 MB) provide technical guidance regarding nourishment design to maximize longevity of the project. While published by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, CZM helped both write and review the documents.
  • Coast Guide to Boston and the North Shore - This 2004 CZM publication, which is available electronically, includes 22 maps and nearly 400 public access sites from Salisbury to Hull, ranging from expansive parks with concession stands to small public landings and out-of-the-way spots.
  • Coastal Landscaping - This CZM website provides information on storm-damage prevention and other benefits of appropriate coastal landscaping approaches, step-by-step instructions on landscaping coastal areas, plant lists and photos, sample landscape plans, permitting information, and more.
  • Ecosystems and Resources of the Massachusetts Coast (PDF, 10 MB) - This CZM publication from 1975 gives an excellent overview of the ecosystems and geological processes of coastal Massachusetts.
  • Environmental Permitting in Massachusetts - This guide, published by CZM in 2003, provides brief descriptions of the major Massachusetts environmental permits.
  • A Guide to Selecting Pressure Washing Management Practices and Technologies: Supplement to the Massachusetts Clean Marina Guide (PDF, 1 MB) - This 2008 CZM publication is a comprehensive guide to pressure washing practices in Massachusetts. It was developed to help marina operators identify the most environmentally sensitive, cost-effective, and practical pressure washing management practices for their facility and inform them of the regulations relevant to pressure washing activities.
  • Interpreting Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Maps and Studies in the Coastal Zone - Updated in 2017, this publication developed by CZM in cooperation with the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Flood Hazard Management Program, provides guidance on how to use Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Maps and Studies to better understand the potential effects of flooding on buildings, properties, and the underlying natural resource areas. This information can be used by homeowners and consultants to ensure that the safest possible coastal projects are designed, as well as by public officials to successfully evaluate projects to ensure they are designed to minimize storm damage, protect public safety, and reduce the financial burden on individuals and municipalities from losses due to coastal storms.
  • 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 Clean Marina Guide - Produced by CZM in 2001, this detailed reference for owners and operators of marine boating facilities provides information on strategies and practices for reducing marina and boating impacts on the coastal environment.
  • Massachusetts Coastal and Ocean Education Guide for K-12 Teachers - CZM maintains an on-line list of educational resources that cover coastal and ocean issues, with a special focus on Massachusetts-based programs and K-12 materials.
  • Massachusetts Homeowner's Handbook to Prepare for Coastal Hazards (PDF, 13 MB) - Developed by the Woods Hole and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant programs with the assistance of CZM, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Federal Emergency Management Agency, this publication provides information to coastal homeowners on how to stay safe and minimize damages during hurricanes and northeasters.
  • Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management Policy Guide - October 2011 - The Policy Guide provides CZM’s official program policies and includes information on the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, the history and operation of the Massachusetts coastal program, federal consistency review, and the application of coastal policy in other state regulatory programs.
  • Monitoring for Marine Invasive Species: Guidance and Protocols for Volunteer Monitoring Groups (PDF, 2 MB) - Published in 2011, this is the primary guidance document for CZM’s Marine Invader Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC), a network of community groups and citizens that use a standard monitoring protocol to survey for marine invasive species. The document includes information on site selection, monitoring protocols, safety, and identification resources.
  • Personal Watercraft (PWC) Management Guide - Published by CZM in 2002 and written by a Coastal Services Center Coastal Fellow, this guide serves as a reference handbook for assessing and managing PWC-related environmental impacts.
  • 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, 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 the public.
  • Sea Level Rise: Understanding and Applying Trends and Future Scenarios for Analysis and Planning (PDF, 3 MB) - This 2013 guidance document was developed by CZM to help coastal communities and others plan for and address potential sea level rise effects on residential and commercial development, infrastructure and critical facilities, and natural resources and ecosystems. The document includes background information on local and global sea level rise trends, summarizes the best available sea level rise projections, and provides general guidance in the selection and application of sea level rise scenarios for coastal vulnerability assessments, planning, and decision making for areas that may be at present or future risk from the effects of sea level rise.

General Information - Brochures, Fact Sheets, etc.

(Listed Alphabetically)

Tips from CZM

(Listed Alphabetically by Category)

Coastal History
Coastal Literature
Coastal Protection
  • CZ-Tip - Be a Coast-Conscious Kid! - This tip helps children of all ages learn everyday actions that positively impact the coast, including ways to keep waters clean, protect animals and their habitats, and more.
Coastal Recreation
Coastal Wildlife
COASTSWEEP/Marine Debris/Recycling
Green Cleaning
  • CZ-Tip - Get Your Home Squeaky Green-Clean! - This CZM tip discusses how to make—and buy—products that effectively clean your house and boat while minimizing impacts to coastal water quality and the rest of the environment.
Invasive Species
Massachusetts Trivia
Social Media
Shoreline Protection
Tales of the Coast
Water Conservation
  • CZ-Tip - Save Water - This page gives water-saving approaches and explains how saving water in your home and yard can keep coastal waters clean.


(Primarily Listed Alphabetically after MORIS, with Some Grouped by Topic)

Plans and Planning Reports

(Listed Alphabetically)

  • Charting the Course: A Blueprint for the Future of Aquatic Habitat Restoration in Massachusetts - This 2008 report provides the findings and recommendations of the Aquatic Habitat Restoration Task Force, which was chaired and staffed by CZM.
  • 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.
  • Massachusetts Aquaculture White Paper and Strategic Plan - Published by CZM in 1995, these publications focus on how the Commonwealth of Massachusetts could proactively assist the aquaculture industry. The White Paper includes information on the biology, technology, support systems, water quality, seafood safety, and legal and economic aspects of the aquaculture industry. The Strategic Plan includes 68 recommendations for the state to implement to overcome constraints and take advantage of opportunities in the aquaculture industry.
  • Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report - This 2011 report, prepared by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee with support from CZM, provides a broad overview of climate change impacts and includes a coastal chapter with a range of potential strategies to address sea level rise and coastal storms.
  • Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan - On behalf of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and in response to the Oceans Act of 2008, CZM led the planning process for and development of this comprehensive plan, which was originally released in 2009 and then updated in 2015. The ocean plan protects critical marine habitat and important water-dependent uses and sets standards for ocean-based development. Volume 1 covers management and administration, while Volume 2 presents a detailed baseline assessment and science framework.
  • Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force Reports and Recommendations - This page provides links to the two reports released in 2004 by the Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force (which was chaired and staffed by CZM): the Waves of Change report with 16 Task Force recommendations and the full technical report, which is a compendium of separate ocean resource briefings prepared for the Task Force.
  • Preparing for the Storm: Recommendations for Management of Risk from Coastal Hazards in Massachusetts (PDF, 1 MB)- This 2007 report of the Massachusetts Coastal Hazards Commission, which was chaired and staffed by CZM, gives an overview of coastal hazards in Massachusetts, such as storms, sea level rise, and reduced sediment supplies. It also provides 29 recommendations from the commission for addressing those hazards.
  • Strategic Plan for Mapping Massachusetts Benthic Marine Habitats (PDF, 1 MB) - This “evolving draft” plan produced by CZM in 2004 gives a brief overview of the equipment used to collect benthic habitat data, recommendations on which types of equipment are most suited for mapping in various water depths, a detailed protocol for groundtruth sampling/data classification and analysis, and recommendations for conducting benthic habitat mapping in Massachusetts.

Technical Materials Prepared by CZM

(Listed Alphabetically)

Technical Reports Prepared for CZM

(Listed Alphabetically)

Note: Any views or opinions presented in papers 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 CZM’s website policies.

Regulatory Decisions and Notices

(Listed in Reverse Date Order)


(Listed Alphabetically)


  • Twitter - CZM’s Twitter feed gives the latest information on CZM projects, job and grant postings, comment opportunities, calendar items, and other time-sensitive notices, along with links to tools and information from the CZM website and related items of interest.
  • Flickr Photo Gallery - CZM maintains sets of catalogued coastal photos for public use.
  • Blizzard of '78 Photo Gallery - This photo gallery chronicles the coastal impacts in Massachusetts from this 1978 "Storm of the Century."
  • Memorial Page for Susan Snow-Cotter (1961-2006) - This page looks at the life and leadership of Susan Snow-Cotter, a long-time CZM staff member who rose naturally and gracefully to Director of the agency. She was a true leader in coastal management and was taken from us too early by Inflammatory Breast Cancer. We miss you, Susan!
  • Aerial Orthophotographs of Coastal Massachusetts - Through a project completed in June 2001, CZM, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Photogrammetry Division, and the National Geodetic Survey produced orthophotos (aerial photos that are digitally corrected for distortions and other errors) that cover most of the coastal zone of Massachusetts. These 1:10,000 images are available on the MassGIS website, along with further details on the project.
  • Massachusetts Tides and Tide Charts - This CZM web page compiles tide information from the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association and US Harbors for the entire coast of Massachusetts.

Additional Resources for Miscellaneous


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