This map displays sites of interest for coastal recreation in the Northeast, including boat launches, water trails, beaches, and areas such as parks, forests, nature preserves, and refuges.

Data Considerations

The data presented on this map come from a variety of state and federal sources. Each type of data becomes visible on the map at appropriate viewing scales. Data on boat launches were compiled from numerous state datasets, and the map shows boat ramps and launch sites, along with marinas. The map may not include all boating facilities or access sites in the region. The water trails, or blueways, map shows paddling routes that have been designated by different agencies or associations. Currently, there are water trails in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine. Additional blueways may be designated in New York in the future, and others may exist but have not been provided for inclusion in this layer. The beaches layer is from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Beach Advisory and Closing Online Notification (BEACON) system. This map also includes National Park Service (NPS) boundaries and property information from The Nature Conservancy’s 2012 Secured Lands dataset (publicly downloadable external version). The map shows the following types of lands within ten kilometers of the coastline: nature reserves, preserves and sanctuaries; national wildlife refuges; wildlife managed areas; municipal forests, lands and parks; and state forests, lands and parks. The Secured Lands dataset shows public lands, private lands, and waters secured by a conservation situation that includes an explicit level of security from future conversion and current incompatible uses. In its Secured Lands dataset, The Nature Conservancy strives to include all permanently protected lands in the eastern 18 U.S. states, and the data are compiled annually from over sixty sources. This map displays a subset of secured lands from the larger dataset provided by The Nature Conservancy’s Eastern Division. For the most part, it is a combination of public land information maintained by each state and private conservation land information compiled by The Nature Conservancy’s state field offices. The complete version of the Secured Lands dataset can be found here along with a detailed report and additional information. Please see the metadata for more information. Please be advised that not all lands included in The Nature Conservancy’s Secured Lands dataset and shown on the Northeast Ocean Data map are publicly accessible.


The data on boat launches and water trails were updated in fall 2014. Sites may be added to the map as authoritative sources are updated or new sources become available. The beaches data are hosted by EPA and are updated on their server on a quarterly basis. National Park Service boundaries are hosted by the NPS. The Nature Conservancy updates the Secured Lands dataset yearly, and it will be updated on Northeast Ocean Data annually.

Support for Regional Ocean Planning

For information about how these data and maps were developed with stakeholder input and will be used to support regional ocean planning, please see the 2016 Northeast Ocean Plan at www.neoceanplanning.org.