This page provides an overview of the steps Massachusetts is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Massachusetts first completed a Climate Action Plan in 2004 to address climate mitigation goals. In 2008 Governor Deval Patrick directed the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs to convene an advisory committee to develop strategies for adapting to predicted changes in the climate and impacts on Massachusetts (Global Warming Solutions Act; Section 9). 

The Adaptation Advisory Committee members represented 12 sectors and focus areas: transportation and built infrastructure; commercial, industrial and manufacturing activities; low-income consumers; energy generation and distribution; land conservation; water supply and quality; recreation; ecosystem dynamics; coastal zone and ocean; rivers and wetlands; and local government. In addition, the committee included experts in public health, insurance, forestry, agriculture, and public safety. The committee’s final report, Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report, was published in September 2011. The 2011 plan provides a comprehensive overview of climate change impacts in Massachusetts, specific vulnerabilities in multiple sectors, and explicit climate adaptation goals. 

In January 2014, Massachusetts’s Governor Deval Patrick announced a $50 million climate preparedness initiative. The initiative includes a $40 million municipal resilience grant program to be administered by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, which will enable cities and towns to use clean energy technologies to reduce the likelihood of disruptions in electricity services.  In addition, the initiative calls for an investment of $10 million in essential coastal infrastructure and dam repair, including $1 million in municipal grants offered by the Office of Coastal Zone Management to address sea-level rise.

(Research last updated June 30, 2014; Click here for a description of our methodology.)

The Georgetown Climate Center’s State Adaptation Progress Tracker, which tracks the progress of states in implementing their adaptation plans, is supported by the MacArthur Foundation. 

View State Adaptation Plan Status
View All Completed State Goals

Sector Adaptation Goals in Progress or Completed

Get a quick view of the progress Massachusetts is making to prepare for climate change in different areas below. The first number includes goals in progress or completed in Massachusetts' state adaptation plan. The second number reflects the total number of goals in each area. For a more detailed look at progress click here or click on one of the sector buttons below. 

Completed Goals from the Agriculture Plan

Completed Goals from the Biodiversity Plan

Completed Goals from the Coasts/Oceans Plan

Completed Goals from the Emergency Preparedness Plan

Completed Goals from the Forestry Plan

Completed Goals from the Infrastructure Plan

Completed Goals from the Public Health Plan

Completed Goals from the Water Plan



State Law and Policy

Resource Name Resource Type Date
Massachusetts EO 569: Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth Law and Governance September 16, 2016
Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Regulations Law and Governance May 10, 2013
Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (S. 2540 MA) Law and Governance August 7, 2008

State Agency Plans

Resource Name Sector(s) Covered Date
Massachusetts Coastal Erosion Commission: Volume 1 - Report and Recommendations (Draft) Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal January 7, 2015
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning Study for Water Quality Infrastructure in New Bedford, Fairhaven and Acushnet, Massachusetts Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Emergency preparedness, Land use and built environment, Water resources June 30, 2014
Massachusetts Coastal Resilience Grant Program Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Land use and built environment, Small communities 2014
Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Emergency preparedness, Fish and fisheries, Forestry, Information technology, Land use and built environment, Oceans, Public health, Tourism and recreation, Water resources 2011
Massachusetts StormSmart Coasts Program Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Emergency preparedness, Insurance, Land management and conservation, Land use and built environment, Water resources 2008
Preparing for the Storm: Recommendations for Management of Risk from Coastal Hazards in Massachusetts Coastal, Land use and built environment May 2007
Massachusetts Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Emergency preparedness, Frontline Communities, Small communities

Local and Regional Plans

Resource Name Date
Resilient Boston: An Equitable and Connected City July 13, 2017
Climate Ready Boston Final Report (2016) December 8, 2016
ClimateCARE Resiliency Work Plan September 28, 2016
Boston Greenovate Plan January 15, 2015
Ready for Tomorrow: The City Of Salem Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan December 2014
Metro Boston Regional Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Report June 30, 2014
Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts, Climate Action and Clean Energy Plan February 2014
Climate Ready Boston: Municipal Vulnerability to Climate Change (2013) October 29, 2013
Marshfield, Massachusetts 2013 Master Plan: Climate Change Adaptation Chapter December 2012
Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts Action Plan: Planning for a Shifting Shoreline and Coastal Storms October 24, 2012
A Climate of Progress - City of Boston, Massachusetts Climate Action Plan Update 2011 2011

More Featured Resources

Resource Name Resource Category Date
resilient MA: Climate Change Clearinghouse for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Data and tools June 2018
Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool Data and tools November 23, 2015
Massachusetts Climate Preparedness Initiative Law and Governance January 14, 2014
Boston Redevelopment Authority Climate Change Preparedness and Resiliency Guidelines, Checklist Law and Governance November 14, 2013
Preparing for the Rising Tide (Boston, Massachusetts) Assessments February 5, 2013

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