Conservation Law Foundation Releases Guide to the Massachusetts Public Waterfront Act

Guide explains how residents can utilize coastal tidelands around the Commonwealth

Boston Harbor Walk, via Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

December 5, 2018 (BOSTON) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) announced the release of a new People’s Guide to the Public Waterfront Act today. The guide provides crucial information about the rights of Massachusetts residents in connection to waterfront property in Boston and across the Commonwealth, as well as actions they can take to protect public access to Boston Harbor and other coastal tidelands.

“The waterfront areas across the Commonwealth belong to all of us, not just wealthy corporations and luxury condo owners,” said Bradley Campbell, President of CLF. “It’s important that residents are informed of their rights and are empowered to be advocates to protect access to land that belongs to them. The People’s Guide continues a tradition of working with the community to protect public access and promote open space.”

“Massachusetts’ tidelands are a unique part of our state’s environment and history, and the Commonwealth is committed to protecting these essential public assets,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew A. Beaton. “The People’s Guide to the Massachusetts Public Waterfront Act is an important informational resource for all residents interested in learning more about the law, regulations and processes associated with protecting these critical environmental resources.”

The People’s Guide includes detailed information and resources to help the public better understand their rights under the Public Waterfront Act (also known as Chapter 91) as well as ways to get involved in protecting waterfront spaces. It also features a Public Waterfront Act bill of rights, information about Municipal Harbor Plans and tools the public can use to get involved in the planning process.

“This guide is a terrific resource for residents of Boston and other coastal cities and towns in Massachusetts, and will help public officials and the general public understand the centuries-long public interest safeguarded by the Public Waterfront Act,” added Christopher Cook, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space for the City of Boston.

The full People’s Guide document is available online here. The guide will be available in Spanish at a later date as well.

CLF experts are available for further comment.