As described in the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management Policy Guide, the official Massachusetts coastal zone includes the lands and waters within an area defined by the seaward limit of the state's territorial sea, extending from the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border south to the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border, and landward to 100 feet inland of specified major roads, rail lines, other visible rights-of-way, or in the absence these, at the coordinates specified below. The coastal zone includes all of Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and the Elizabeth Islands. The coastal zone includes all islands, transitional and intertidal areas, coastal wetlands, and beaches. In isolated instances where the boundary line might exclude coastal resource area(s), these resources are included in the coastal zone although the written description follows the boundary line. Tidal rivers and adjacent uplands are included, at a minimum, to the extent of vegetation affected by measurably saline water. Anadromous fish runs are included, as well as their floodplains, to the freshwater breeding area, if such area is within a coastal town. Land owned or controlled by the federal government is excluded by law from the coastal zone.
The following description and data are available for download:
Massachusetts Coastal Zone Boundary Description (PDF, 111 KB) - The official boundary description provided in the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management Policy Guide.
- GIS Shapefile of Massachusetts Coastal Zone Boundary - The updated digital GIS dataset and metadata, provided as both a line shapefile and a polygon shapefile. Right click and save zip file. Import into GIS program.
- Google Earth File of Massachusetts Coastal Zone Boundary - Select to open in Google Earth.
- Massachusetts Coastal Zone (PDF, 3 MB) - This 2014 map (shown to the right) includes the coastal zone boundary, the CZM regions, and the 78 coastal communities directly served by CZM.