Cape Cod and Islands Geographic Response Plan (GRP) Project   

Welcome to the Cape Cod and Islands GRP Project webpage. This site was used to compile information during the development of geographic response plans for Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

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

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

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

Cape and Islands GRP Region
Site Selection Information
Site Survey Information

Work Group Information
Cape and Islands GRP Meeting Schedule




The Cape and Island site-specific GRPs are complete and have been approved by the Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts Area Committee for incorporation into the Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts Area Contingency Plan.

These GRPs are being periodically tested, and may be updated to reflect lessons learned during deployment exercises.  For information about GRP deployment tests click on the GRP Testing link.

To download a combined .pdf of all the Cape & Islands GRPs, click here. (126 pages, 13.8MB)

CI-01  Old Harbor (Sandwich)Index Map
CI-02  Scorton Creek
CI-03  Barnstable Harbor
CI-04  Rock Harbor
CI-05  Wellfleet Harbor
CI-06  Pamet Harbor
CI-07  Provincetown Harbor
CI-08  Hatches Harbor
CI-09  Nauset Harbor
CI-10  Pleasant Bay/Chatham Harbor
CI-11  Stage Harbor
CI-12  Herring River
CI-13  Lewis Bay
CI-14  West/North/Cotuit Bay
CI-15  Popponessett Bay
CI-16  Waquoit Bay
CI-17  Woods Hole Harbor 
CI-18  Lake Tashmoo
CI-19  Vineyard Haven Harbor/Lagoon Pond
CI-20  Sengekontacket Pond
CI-21  Edgartown Harbor
CI-22  Cape Poge Bay
CI-23  Coastal Ponds (Martha’s Vineyard)
CI-24  Menemsha Pond
CI-25  Muskeget Island
CI-26  Tuckernuck Island
CI-27  Madaket Harbor
CI-28  Nantucket Harbor
CI-29  Polpis Harbor

*The Cape & Islands GRPs were last updated on 11/13/2011.




For the purpose of selecting and surveying GRP sites, the Cape & Islands GRP (CIGRP) Zone was divided into four sub-zones: Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Upper Cape and Middle Cape , Lower Cape and Outer Cape.  A total of 29 sites were selected from within these four sub-zones for GRP development, based on priorities expressed by local, state, and federal agencies, local communities, stakeholder groups, and the public. 


The site selection matrix and key shows how these sites were prioritized based on their environmental sensitivities. 





Site surveys were conducted during October and November of 2007, with each survey team including a representative of MassDEP, the U.S. Coast Guard or NOAA, and one or more local agencies (typically, harbormasters or natural resource managers). Vessel support was generously donated by the following agencies and organizations:


• Barnstable Harbormaster
• Wellfleet Harbormaster
• Provincetown Harbormaster
• Orleans Harbormaster
• Chatham Department of Natural Resources
• Yarmouth Department of Natural Resources
• Mashpee Harbormaster
• Mashpee Shellfish Constable
• Vineyard Haven Harbormaster
• Nantucket Soundkeeper
• Wampanoag Tribe
• Town of Aquinnah
• Madaket Harbormaster
• Nantucket Harbormaster






Members of the Cape & Islands GRP (CIGRP) Work Group represented 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 Hazmat
  • Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management
  • U.S. Coast Guard

Work Group meetings were held several times a year 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, work group, membership, or participation, please contact:

A Tactics Sub-group was also formed and under the direction of the CIGRP Work Group to develop oil spill response tactics, survey candidate GRP sites, and draft the GRP strategies for selected sites. 

The CIGRP Work Group also had the distinction of developing the Massachusetts GRP Tactics Guide, the standard tactical reference for implementing GRPs, now in its second edition.




NOTE: To avoid confusion or use of outdated material, links to the DRAFT Tactics Guide have been removed from the meeting chronology.  The newly revised Massachusetts GRP Tactics Guide can be found here.


February 27, 2008 - Cape and Islands GRP Planning Group Meeting

  • 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • MassDEP Southeast Region Cape Cod Office
    973 Iyannough Road
    Hyannis, MA 02601
    Main telephone: 508.771.6003
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Materials
  • Meeting Summary




September 20, 2007 - Cape and Islands GRP Planning Group Meeting

August 15, 2007 – Cape and Islands GRP Tactics Work Group Meeting

  • 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
  • MassDEP Southeast Region Cape Cod Office
    973 Iyannough Road
    Hyannis, MA 02601
    Main telephone: 508.771.6003
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Summary
  • Draft Massachusetts GRP Tactics Guide: The contents of this guide have been adapted from the Spill Tactics for Alaska Responders (STAR) manual.  The tactics will be reviewed at the August 15th meeting.  All attendees are encouraged to review the draft Tactics Guide prior to the meeting and to bring comments to the meeting for discussion.  If you are unable to attend the meeting, you may still review the document and submit comments via phone, fax or email to Rich Packard or Elise DeCola. 
    • Entire guide

June 26, 2007 – Cape and Islands GRP Kick-off Meeting