Boston Harbor Geographic Response Plan (GRP) Project   

Welcome to the Boston Harbor GRP Project webpage. This site was used to compile information during the development of geographic response plans for the Boston Harbor area of Massachusetts.

This project is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and was facilitated by Nuka Research and Planning Group, LLC. The process used to develop the Boston Harbor GRPs is similar to that used for the North Shore, South Shore, Cape and Islands, Buzzards Bay and Mt. Hope Bay GRP projects.

This website contains final versions of the GRP maps and tactics, the work group record of meetings, and information about site selection and site surveys. Once the GRPs were approved, they were adopted into the Plymouth to Salisbury Area Contingency Plan by the U.S. Coast Guard, MassDEP, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

To learn more about the GRP process, please visit the MassGRP FAQ Page.

Read the Boston Herald's article on GRPs:  "Bay State preps response plan"

Click on the following links to be taken directly to that section of the webpage:

Boston Harbor GRP Region
Site Selection Information
Site Survey Information

Work Group Information
Boston Harbor GRP Meeting Schedule



Nine coastal communities are included in the Boston Harbor Region and will be involved in the BGRP project: Braintree, Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Hingham, Hull, Quincy, Weymouth, and Winthrop. GRPs are developed for coastal sites based on environmental sensitivity criteria reviewed by the planning group and entered into a site selection matrix.  The feasibility of protecting the site is also considered in selecting and finalizing sites.

overviewTo download a combined .pdf of all the Boston Harbor GRPs, click here. (72 pages, 5.8MB)

*The Boston Harbor GRPs were last updated on 11/13/2011.




A site selection matrix was developed to summarize the environmental sensitivities and human use considerations for each numbered site.  Information in this matrix was derived from the information sources listed below:


Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps

Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System (MORIS)

Mystic River Watershed Association

Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) Program

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area Coastal Breeding Bird Monitoring:  2009 Field Season Summary

North American Bird Conservation Initiative

Evaluation of Mill Creek Salt Marsh Restoration Project

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries - Eelgrass Restoration Project

Feasability Analysis for Restoring River Herring to the Fore River

Rainbow Smelt Spawning Habitat in the Weymouth-Fore River

Anadromous Fish Passage in Boston Harbor

Mystic River Data Common Interactive Map

Mystic River EPA Maps of Watershed Facilities and Sites of Environmental Concern




Site surveys were conducted for all Boston Harbor GRP sites.  Thank you to the individuals and agencies that provided personnel and vessel support for the surveys:




Everett Marine Police*
Boston Conservation Commission
Exxon Mobil
Chelsea Fire Department
Quincy Conservation Commission
Quincy City Council
Quincy Police*
Quincy Fire
Department of Conservation & Recreation*
National Park Service
Weymouth Harbormaster*
Hull Harbormaster
Hingham Harbormaster
US Coast Guard
Weymouth Conservation Commission
Hull Conservation Commission

*Provided vessel support




A Work Group was formed to oversee the GRP development. Members of the BHGRP Work Group represent state and federal agencies, local governments and organizations, stakeholder groups, the oil industry, and spill response professionals. The Work Group was co-chaired by the following organizations:


  • MassDEP Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup
  • NOAA OFfice of Response and Restoration
  • U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Boston

Work Group meetings were held several times over the life of this project. Meeting announcements, agendas, handouts, and meeting minutes were posted here as they were developed, to provide public access to the Group’s record.

The Work Group process was open to the public and public participation was welcomed and encouraged. For additional information regarding this GRP project, please contact:


Full Work Group Meeting to Review/Approve GRPs

The full work group met to review all draft GRPs and identify any final revisions needed prior to submitting the GRPs to the Area Committee for approval and incorporation into the Area Contingency Plan.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
USCG Base Support Unit (Function Room)
427 Commercial Street
Boston, Massachusetts, 02109


         *Meeting Materials
          -Site Selection Matrix

         *Meeting Summary

Tactics Sub-Group Review Meeting

A Tactics Sub-group comprised of individuals with expertise in boom deployment and spill recovery tactics reviewed the draft tactics developed during the site surveys.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

1:00 pm

MassDEP Boston Office

    *Meeting Summary 

Monday, August 9, 2010

10:30am to noon

MassDEP Boston Office

Draft tactics for sites surveyed to date (30MB file)

*Note that site numbering differs from the candidate site map because we have split some of the larger sites into smaller areas.  The final number of sites will probably be 20-24.*

Boston Harbor GRP Site Selection Meetings

Two meetings were held to review environmental sensitivities at potential GRP sites.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

1:00pm to 3:00pm

Hingham DCR Office

Boston Harbor Islands Site Review

Thursday, May 20, 2010

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Hough's Neck Maritime Center
137 Bay View Ave.
Quincy, MA  02169
(next to the Quincy Yacht Club on Sea Street). MAP


     *Meeting Summary

Boston Harbor GRP Kick-off Meeting

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

New England Wildlife Center

500 Columbian Street

S. Weymouth, Massachusetts, 02190

Telephone: (781) 682-4878

    * Agenda

    * Meeting Materials:

          - Draft site selection matrix

          - GRP example – Cape and Islands GRP, Nantucket Harbor

          - Directions (note: DO NOT USE MAPQUEST as it will give incorrect directions)

          - Project Overview Presentation
          - National Contingency Plan Presentation

    * Meeting Summary