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Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan

Find information on and links to this blueprint for the protection and sustainable use of state ocean waters.

The Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan protects critical marine habitat and important water-dependent uses and provides a management framework for ocean-based projects in Massachusetts. The ocean plan’s management framework is implemented within the existing regulatory structure, with the relevant agencies coordinating review and approval of proposed ocean projects.

In response to the Oceans Act of 2008, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) issued the original ocean plan in 2009. The Oceans Act requires EEA to review the ocean plan at least once every five years, a process led by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). To receive email updates on the review process, please send a blank email to join-env-oceanplan@listserv.state.ma.us.

The 2021 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan is the current ocean plan, superseding all previous versions.

Links to Ocean Plan Information

  • Ocean Management Plan Regulations - Regulations at 301 CMR 28.00 codify management areas and performance standards for activities allowed within the Ocean Management Planning Area.
  • 2021 Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan - This page includes links to the current ocean plan—which was released on January 3, 2022—along with information on its development and links to supporting documents, including the technical work group reports.
  • Previous Versions of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan - Links to all previous ocean plan versions are provided on this page, along with information on the plan development process and links to supporting documents, including the technical work group reports.
  • Review and Update of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan - This page describes the ocean plan review and update process.
  • Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan Overview - This brief summary of the ocean plan is organized around key plan elements and review requirements.
  • Ocean Plan Data - This page provides links to information on the ocean plan data layers, along with tools for viewing and downloading the data.
  • Ocean Management Planning Area (PDF, 5 MB) - This map shows the official planning area boundary. A GIS shape file (ZIP, 308 KB) is also available.
  • Ocean Advisory Commission - This 18-member commission is made up of legislators, agency representatives, and stakeholder representatives charged with assisting the EEA Secretary in developing the ocean plan.
  • Ocean Science Advisory Council - This council of nine scientists with expertise in the marine sciences and data management assists the EEA Secretary in the science and technical aspects of the ocean plan.
  • Ocean Resources and Waterways Trust - This fund was developed for projects subject to ocean plan requirements.
  • Northeast Ocean Plan - This regional ocean plan for the Northeast was developed by the Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB)—a group with representatives from six New England states, six federally recognized tribes, nine federal agencies, and the New England Fishery Management Council.

To receive email updates on the ocean plan review process, please send a blank email to join-env-oceanplan@listserv.state.ma.us. For additional information about the ocean plan, contact Prassede Vella at prassede.vella@mass.gov.

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