The Basics

Andrea Cooper

Home State



"retired" from Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management in 2010. Moved to Naples, FL

Job Title

Now, phtographer and writer. I was the CZM Smart Growth-Coastal Hazards Planner, Lecturer, and Author


Retired from 20 years with Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, I moved to Naples, FL. I tele-commute, take on discreet projects, working with governmental and conservation agencies, but I work independently – not on staff…

Fields of Interest/Expertise

Environment, Government (Local), Government (State), Government (Federal), Outreach/Education, Planning, Social Science/Research, Zoning

More About You (all optional)
Twitter name

I have stopped tweeting. Too much technology and not enough real communication.

Additional Bio

At 59, the world is my oyster…. But here are my pearls:
• Thirty years of professional experience in crafting innovative, sustainable development policies and providing technical assistance to coastal communities, conservation organizations, and the building industry to overcoming challenges and obstacles for real-world change.
• Proven expertise in developing and implementing state and local smart growth and shoreline protection strategies, including creative land-use techniques and regulatory models for coastal areas threatened by sea level rise, storm damage, and intense development.
• Award-winning track record in state and national coalition building, establishing and facilitating long-term, public-private partnerships and securing considerable pro bono services.
• Extensive history in strategic development, program implementation, work plan preparation, and project management; managed the state’s Shoreline Floodplain Management Program, supervised staff, and mentored three coastal fellows.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills with national and state-wide experience in delivering lectures and presentations for a variety of audiences; published author of technical and outreach materials in textbooks, magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs, and on the web.

Currently: Shoreline Floodplain Management Director – Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), Boston, MA – Promoted from previous position to serve as manager of CZM’s Shoreline Floodplain Management Program. Managed a staff of four; developed and implemented strategies to address climate change issues, including sea level rise and an anticipated increased frequency and intensity of storms; and developed and provided technical assistance for program implementation. Specific activities/accomplishments:
• Developed and managed StormSmart Coasts Phase Two, which included five pilot projects in seven coastal communities. Results included a model pre-disaster hazard mitigation plan that incorporates sea level rise, model floodplain management bylaws and regulations, 3-D visualization models depicting sea level rise, and “No Adverse Impact” training workshops for homeowners, officials, and developers.
• Established the first Massachusetts StormSmart Coasts Network, a team of federal and state agencies, regional planning councils, national organizations, consulting companies, research non-profits, and academia, to assist in providing a pool of financial and technical resources for coastal communities to address the challenges of climate change adaptation. Also established the first Massachusetts Coastal Advisory Group (composed of 30 local officials), which meets monthly to discuss challenges in a home-rule state and brainstorm solutions.
• Managed efforts to develop state-of-the-art modeling/mapping techniques, conduct beach renourishment analyzes, and examine other appropriate mechanisms to improve capability for predicting vulnerabilities, conducting risk assessments, and completing scenario planning considering sea level rise and anticipated storm inundation.
• Prepared 5-year strategic plans, drafted grant applications, conducted thorough project management, and advised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on technical assistance documents.
• Chaired and was an active member of international, national, and state-wide committees; presented CZM accomplishments at national venues by request of state and federal agencies.

Selected Awards
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) New England 2004 Environmental Merit Award – Recognizing “the establishment of the Green Neighborhoods Alliance and the coordination of its multi-stakeholder effort that drafted and advocated for the Open Space Residential Design regulatory tool that reshaped suburban development.”
• Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions First Regional Environmental Protection Award 2002 – Recognizing “the establishment and coordination of the state’s first Regional Conservation Commission Network to provide technical assistance in a group setting and promote regional problem solving and information sharing via a monthly forum attended by 26 cities and towns.”
• Low Impact Development Center National Achievement Award for Capacity Building 2007 – Recognizing “the establishment and coordination of the Low Impact Work Group, a national model for LID advocacy and real-world change.”
• Commonwealth of Massachusetts Employee Performance of the Year Award 2007 – Recognizing employee achievements and nomination by peers.

Selected Publications
• Preserving and Enhancing Communities: A Guide for Citizens, Planners, and Policymakers, Chapter 6, “Community Process: Establishing Values, Goals, Visions, and Realities,” September 2007.
• Massachusetts Smart Growth Toolkit (CD and web), 2006 – Author of concepts, model bylaws, case studies, brochures, and power point shows for “Low Impact Development” and “Open Space Residential Design” modules; Massachusetts Smart Growth/Smart Energy Toolkit (CD and web) 2007 – updated existing LID and OSRD concepts and developed new modules “Outreach and Education,” “Zoning Decisions,” “Smart Parking,” and “Wastewater Alternatives.”
• Reining in the Storm: Massachusetts Edition (DVD), 2006 – Served as writer for and performed in this film about Massachusetts Low Impact Development success stories, which premiered at Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, Massachusetts, and 3,500 copies were distributed nationally and statewide.
• CZM’s Coastlines magazine: “The Secret Life of Shellers” (2007) and “By Gosh It’s a Bylaw” (2006).

Selected Presentations
• Coastal Zone 09, 2009, Boston, MA – “Coastal Smart Growth and Storm Resilience;” “Smart Growth at the Water’s Edge: Waterfront and Coastal Community;” “Smart Growth: From Research to Outreach;” and “The StormSmart Network: How Local Action Across the U.S. Is preparing Communities for Climate Change.”
• Massachusetts Legislative Committee on Climate Change, 2009, Cape Cod, North Shore, and Boston public hearings – “StormSmart Coasts Strategies for Climate Change Adaption.”
• Massachusetts Annual Conference for Planning Directors, 2008, Salem, MA – “The Role of Land Use Practices in Climate Change Adaptation.”
• EPA-NOAA Climate Change Conference 2008, Durham, NH – “Low Impact Development for Climate Change Adaption” and “Transfer of Development Rights for Shoreline Protection and Acquisition.”
• New Partners for Smart Growth Annual Conference, 2007, Washington, DC – “Urban Low Impact Development: Techniques for Climate Change Adaptation.”
• Southern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association, 2007, Groton, CT – “LID Site Design: The Often Overlooked LID Principle.”
• Massachusetts Watershed Coalition Annual Conference, 2007, Leominster, MA – “Conservation Subdivisions: Reshaping Suburban Development.”
• 2nd Annual LID Conference, 2006, Wilmington, NC – “The Massachusetts State-Wide LID Working Group: A National Capacity Building Model.”
• EPA Watershed Capacity Building Seminar, Fall 2006 lecture series, Denver, CO – “The Art of Coalition Building: How Differing Interests Can Be Managed to Advantage.”
• The Coastal Society, 2006, St. Petersburg, FL – “MA CZM Innovative Models for Real World Change.”
• Community Preservation Institute, lecture series 2006, University of Massachusetts – “Planning: The Importance of Context to Successful Implementation of Smart Growth Techniques.”

Your website

coming soon….

Currently Working On

Smart Growth's Role in Reducing Coastal Hazards Impacts; and Climate Change Adaptation technical strategies and outreach for local officials; capacity building; establishing partnerships