Shorelines are subject to erosion when wind, waves, and currents wear away the land along the water’s edge. Occasional coastal storms can dramatically intensify the erosion process in the short term and have a significant impact on longterm erosion rates. In Massachusetts we hear about erosion caused by hurricanes and by “nor’easters”. While heavy winds, rain, large waves, and storm surge from both types of systems have potential for coastal damage, there are some significant differences between the two types of systems. This Marine Extension bulletin, recently produced by Woods Hole Sea Grant in conjunction with the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorlogical Studies/National Severe Storm Laboratory, covers the two types of storms, explains the differences, and discusses the potential coastal impacts in Massachusetts.