The National Coastal Zone Management Program works with coastal states to conserve habitat in the nation's coastal zone, including estuaries, beaches, dunes, and wetlands such as the one pictured here.
Our nation’s coasts make up less than 20 percent of our total land area, yet more than half of us live along the coast. America’s coastal zone supports 57 million jobs and contributes more than $6.6 trillion to the U.S economy, accounting for 50 percent of our nation’s economic output. Managing our coasts to ensure that we can continue to enjoy these areas and their resources is the primary role of the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM).
By administering and coordinating the Coastal Zone Management Program at the federal level, OCRM provides national leadership, strategic direction, financial support, and guidance as a vital link to state and local coastal managers in helping to address resource issues.
Working with local partners, OCRM is also building a science-based, comprehensive national system of marine protected areas and supporting effective management practices to protect, sustain, and restore fragile coral reef ecosystems.
The office is also helping states to operate a system of National Estuarine Research Reserves which is focused on addressing the critical issues of habitat protection, water quality, and climate change in America’s coastal areas and estuaries.