The health of the nation’s economy is inextricably linked to the health of our coastal communities. In 2011 alone, 45 percent of our nation’s GDP, valued at $6.6 trillion, was generated in coastal and Great Lakes counties, supporting approximately 51 million jobs and $2.8 trillion in wages.
The National Coastal Zone Management Program, established under the Coastal Zone Management Act, empowers state and local decision makers, while at the same time providing national context, guidance, and technical assistance through NOAA and the National Ocean Service. On July 16, NOAA released updated guidance that reflects the specific challenges that coastal hazards pose to community resilience.
In the aftermath of storms like Sandy, communities are looking to make decisions today that will help them bounce back from coastal hazards of the future. NOAA arms communities with guidance, information, training, tools, and funding. Now, new guidance helps state coastal management programs develop multi-year strategies to better address priority coastal management issues and emphasizes that states need to consider how climate change may exacerbate these issues. The guidance also sets aside approximately $1.5 million for competitive funding to help states make improvements to their coastal management programs, improvements that specifically increase resilience to coastal hazards.
The impact of this addition to the guidance reaches far beyond the funding amount, as the guidance encourages improved planning in terms of coastal hazards. The National Coastal Zone Management Program has a long record of individual changes that add up to big results. Over one three-year period, for example, the program helped 400 communities make development decisions that protect community character and health; 570 coastal communities to reduce polluted runoff; and 140 coastal communities to redevelop ports and waterfronts.
Each year NOAA awards approximately $67 million to states under the CZMA to implement their coastal management programs. This funding is matched by the states for an even greater impact. The federal-state partnership set up under the CZMA proves again and again that this is a system that works: national investments partnered with regional and local implemented programs and capacities provide the greatest reach and value to our diverse coastal communities. The assessments and strategies developed by the states in response to this updated guidance will create a strong foundation on which future investments in the coastal zone can be based.
Did you know?
From oil spills and vessel groundings to hurricanes and marine debris, NOS provides world-class science and services in support of resilient and healthy coastal communities, economies, and ecosystems. In light of increasing threats to our coasts, coastal resiliency has become a national priority. NOS supports and informs improved decision making and end-to-end coastal preparedness, response, recovery, and resiliency. Learn More