America's coasts, including those along the Great Lakes, stretch more than 95,000 miles. The CZMA provides each state and territory the opportunity to identify their unique management priorities and develop programs to support and advance them. Because we rely on coastal areas as places to live (more than half of us live along the coast), visit, get food from, and transport goods through, we need to manage and protect these areas. That’s a pretty big job.
Because we rely on coastal areas as places to live (more than half of us live along the coast), visit, get food from, and transport goods through, we need to manage and protect these areas. That’s a pretty big job.
When it comes to managing our nation’s coasts, it’s a team effort. NOAA works closely with federal, state, and local partners to address a variety of coastal issues. Within the National Ocean Service (NOS), the Office for Coastal Management (OCM) plays a key role, administering and coordinating a range of federal-state programs while also providing financial and technical assistance and training to partners responsible for decision-making and management in coastal areas.
NOS offices are also involved in activities such as coastal and marine spatial planning, and the development and delivery of tools to help coastal communities address challenges such as sea level rise.
The National Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP) is a voluntary federal-state partnership created by the CZMA to protect, restore, and responsibly develop our nation’s coastal communities and resources. The CZMP takes a comprehensive approach to problem solving by balancing the often competing and occasionally conflicting demands of coastal resource use, economic development, and conservation.
All 35 eligible coastal and Great Lakes states, territories, and commonwealths (with the exception of Alaska) participate in the CZMP.
State and territory coastal management programs address a wide range of issues, including:
The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) was passed in 1972 and provided a formal structure to help coastal states and territories balance the conservation and restoration of their natural resources with community development in order to support both vibrant economies and healthy ecosystems. Administered by NOAA, and implemented by the coastal states and territories, the CZMA provides a framework, funding, and technical assistance to address coastal issues including wetland management, public access, coastal hazards, and water quality.