To help ensure that waterfront areas grow in an environmentally sound and economically prosperous manner, CZM works with coastal communities on harbor planning efforts. One option is to follow a voluntary regulatory process to develop a state-approved Municipal Harbor Plan (MHP). For details on this approach, see Municipal Harbor Plans.
While a state-approved MHP is required to modify the state Waterways Regulations (also known as Chapter 91), communities may wish to use a less formal harbor planning approach when modifications of Chapter 91 regulations are not desired. Communities can successfully develop plans for balancing harbor use, resource protection, and/or development without pursuing state MHP approval. See the list below for links to examples of these local harbor planning efforts.
For other information and materials related to port and harbor planning, see:
- Municipal Harbor Plans (MHPs) for details on CZM’s regulatory responsibilities in state-approved MHPs and Designated Port Area Master Plans.
- Designated Port Areas (DPAs) for CZM's efforts in DPA planning and implementation and links to official boundary maps of the 10 DPAs in Massachusetts.
- Regulatory Decisions on MHPs and DPAs for links to copies of these decisions (including any renewals, amendments, and clarifications to the plans), and links to the MHPs and DPA Master Plans when available on municipal websites.
- CZM Port and Harbor Planning Publications for related publications developed by and for CZM, including a link to the technical reports developed from 1998-2004 in support of the Massachusetts Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP).
- Technical Assistance for how to get CZM assistance with harbor planning activities.
- Overview and Index for a full list of all components of the CZM Port and Harbor Planning Program.
Selected Local (Non-State Approved) Harbor Planning Initiatives
See the list below for links to examples of local harbor planning efforts. Organized alphabetically by municipality.
- Padanaram Harbor Management Plan - May 2019
- Marshfield Harbor, Rivers, and Waterways Management Plan (PDF, 7 MB) - December 2014
- Port of New Bedford Strategic Plan 2018-2023 (PDF, 11 MB) - 2018
- Newburyport Waterfront Strategic Plan (PDF, 16 MB) - December 2003
- Plymouth Harbor Management Plan (PDF, 10 MB) - July 2017
- Rockport Municipal Harbor Plan: Issues, Goals and Policies (PDF, 2 MB) - July 1, 2003
- Town of Salisbury Harbor Plan Phase 1 (PDF, 4 MB) - October 2008
- Harbor Management Plan Appendices (PDF, 11 MB) - October 2008
- Town of Scituate Waterways Management Plan (PDF, 4 MB) - June 7, 2011
- Wareham Harbor Management Plan (PDF, 21 MB) - April 19, 1996
- Town of Wareham, Massachusetts, 2015 Marine Resources Commission Harbor Management Plan & Information (PDF, 216 KB) - January 1, 2015