A Blueprint for the Bays

All National Estuary Programs (NEPs) are required under Clean Water Act §320 to develop a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP). These documents demonstrate the NEP model of adaptive management, enabling and facilitating a continual process of integrating new data and results into ongoing decision making and actions. MassBays’ Blueprint for the Bays is our CCMP and includes details of the goals we have set out for ourselves for the next ten years. 

The Blueprint for the Bays represents ten years of planning, public input, and stakeholder reviews. It highlights our past accomplishments and recognizes where we must do more or do things differently. New areas include heightened focus on impacts and responses to climate change, and the need for greater inclusiveness in decision-making to genuinely address concerns for environmental justice. The Blueprint also provides a clearer description of MassBays’ role in the Commonwealth’s rich and varied environmental community. 

We look forward to working with partners across the Bays – at the local, state, and federal levels – to implement this comprehensive plan. We have designed this plan to ensure that our collective investments of time, money, and expertise will be directed to priority challenges and concrete results. We invite any and all to join us in this effort to bring new research to inform resource management, invest in new tools for decision makers, encourage and enable practical actions by individuals and institutions, and steer communities toward investments that result in restored and resilient ecosystems.


2023 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan

Section 320 of the Clean Water Act requires NEPs to produce a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) that: 
… recommends priority corrective actions and compliance schedules addressing point and nonpoint sources of pollution to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the estuary, including restoration and maintenance of water quality, a balanced indigenous population of shellfish, fish, and wildlife, and recreational activities in the estuary, and assure that the designated uses of the estuary are protected

Implementing the CCMP

MassBays submits annual plans to EPA Region 1 which describe projects and programs for the coming year and documents progress and accomplishments made during the previous year. 

General (Clean Water Act S.320) Work Plan, 2023-2024

The National Estuary Programs will receive funding between 2022 and 2027 under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) of 2021. MassBays has prepared a long-term plan describing how we will apply those funds ($909,800 per year) to advance our CCMP.

BIL (Bipartisan Infrastructure Law) Work Plan, 2023-2024


The first CCMP was published in 1996. The document was then updated in 2003.

1996 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan

2003 Revisions to the CCMP