Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services

Published by
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service

Environment/Energy: Public Access

G31 Beach Access

G32 Massachusetts Coastal Guide

G33 Waterway Regulation Program

G34 Office of Fishing and Boating Access

G31 Beach Access
Office of the Attorney General
Environmental Division
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: 617-727-2200

The Attorney General’s office, as a public service, has put together a helpful brochure to assist people in understanding the law regarding the right to beach access, to the extent that it has been settled. It provides simple answers to commonly asked questions about the ownership of the coast. In particular, it highlights ways that coastal property owners who want to let the public gain access through or along their property can do so while avoiding liability and at the same time preserve their own rights. However, the public’s rights are only stated in general terms. For further information, or to discuss a situation or request an application contact the Coastal Access Legal and Mediation Services Program or CALMS, see next entry.

G32 Massachusetts Coast Guide
Coastal Zone Management
Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
251 Causeway Street, Suite 800
Boston, MA 02114-2138
Tel: 617-626-1200
Fax: 617-626-1240

This office publishes "The Massachusetts Coast Guide: Access to Public Open Spaces Along the Shoreline" showing federal, state, municipal and non-profit ownership. It also has helpful online historical background on public rights to coastal access in Massachusetts.

G33 Waterways Regulation Program
Department of Environmental Protection
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
One Winter Street
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: 617-292-5500
DEP Information Line: 1-800-462-0444

The public rights to access to filled tidelands, which are protected by a state law commonly known as “Chapter 91”. Contact the DEP’s  or Information Line for further information.

G34 Office of Fishing and Boating Access
Massachusetts Public Access Board
Department of Fish and Game
1440 Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02135
Tel: 617-727-1843

The Massachusetts Public Access Board acquires land and boat launching sites along the coast and on inland lakes, ponds and rivers. The board also is responsible for developing and maintaining trails for snowmobiling, hiking, bicycling, etc. The board is a semi-autonomous division of the Department of Fish and Game. A booklet on public access to the waters of Massachusetts is available from this office.

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