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Overview and Index - CZM Mapping and Data Management Program

Find details on the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Mapping and Data Management Program with links to major initiatives and resources.

From developing the state’s first comprehensive ocean plan to helping people get to and enjoy the coast, CZM requires sound data management and effective mapping to fulfill its mission of balancing the protection of natural resources while promoting wise coastal development. The primary goals of CZM’s Mapping and Data Management Program are to:

  1. Support CZM programs and policies with data creation, analysis, and map making
  2. Ensure that CZM data are properly developed, maintained, and archived
  3. Share these data and maps with other Commonwealth agencies and the general public

Program Priorities

CZM’s major mapping and data products/initiatives include:

  • Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System (MORIS) - MORIS is CZM's official data portal and allows users to create customized maps with a variety of data layers related to the Massachusetts coastal zone and nearshore ocean, including tide gauge stations, coastal access points, eelgrass beds, Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan data, and many others. In addition, MORIS users can share and print maps, download Geographic Information System (GIS) data, explore topic-specific online viewers and story maps, and find links to other mapping and coastal data resources.
  • Boundary Delineation - CZM produces maps and updates jurisdictional boundaries to define and describe important features of the coastal zone. Boundaries have been delineated for a range of resource areas, including No Discharge Zones, Designated Port Areas, and the Massachusetts Coastal Zone.
  • Shoreline Change Maps and Data - CZM's Shoreline Change Project illustrates how the shoreline of Massachusetts has shifted between the mid-1800s and 2009, and includes an interactive map of historic shorelines and rates of erosion. Using data from historical and modern sources, more than seven shorelines depicting the local high water line and 26,000 transects along the ocean-facing shore have been generated. For each transect, data is provided on shoreline change rates, confidence intervals, and net distances of shoreline movement. CZM has incorporated these shoreline change data into MORIS.
  • Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Viewer - This tool provides interactive maps of potential coastal flooding of public facilities and infrastructure based on: sea level rise scenarios, Federal Emergency Management Agency coastal flood zones, and hurricane surge models. Examples of mapped facilities include: electrical generation facilities, fire stations, hospitals, police stations, town/city halls, and wastewater treatment plants.
  • CZM Grant Viewer - This interactive map provides information on these grants awarded by CZM, the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (BBNEP), and the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Partnership (MassBays): CZM’s Coastal Resilience Grants and Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grants, BBNEP grants and funding, and the MassBays Healthy Estuaries Grants. Pop-up boxes provide details on each grant award and information can be sorted by grant program, category (including Construction - Living Shoreline or Stormwater Infrastructure, Design & Permitting, Habitat Restoration, and Vulnerability Assessment), and year that mapped data are available.
  • Seafloor and Habitat Mapping Program - Through its Seafloor and Habitat Mapping Program, CZM collects data and develops maps showing the distribution and diversity of seafloor habitats. This information is used by resource managers and project proponents to help avoid or minimize impacts when siting projects in Massachusetts ocean waters.
  • Coastal Public Access Maps and Data - To help people get to and enjoy the coast, the CZM Mapping and Data Management Program develops a variety of maps and provides descriptions of coastal access sites.
  • Coastal Orthophotos - Orthopotographs are aerial photos that are digitally corrected for distortions and other errors. Through a project completed in June 2001, CZM, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Photogrammetry Division, and the National Geodetic Survey produced orthophotos that cover most of the coastal zone of Massachusetts.
  • Publications - This page includes links to CZM publications that focus on data and mapping.

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