Coastal Zone Management Program

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The Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program is a voluntary partnership between the United States federal government and the country's coastal and Great Lake states and territories authorized by the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) of 1972 to address national coastal issues.[1] The Act provides the basis for protecting, restoring, and responsibly developing the United States' diverse coastal communities and resources. To meet the goals of the CZMA, the National CZM Program takes a comprehensive approach to coastal resource management— balancing the often competing and occasionally conflicting demands of coastal resource use, economic development, and conservation. Some of the key elements of the National CZM Program include:

  • Protecting natural resources;
  • Managing development in high hazard areas;
  • Giving development priority to coastal-dependent uses;
  • Providing public access for recreation; and
  • Coordinating state and federal actions.

The Coastal Zone Management Program was created by P.L. 92-583 (October 27, 1972)[clarification needed]. It provides grants to eligible states and territories as an incentive to prepare and implement plans guiding the use of coastal lands and resources. Thirty-four of the 35 eligible states and territories are implementing federally approved plans. Amendments in 1990 require participants to develop agricultural nonpoint pollution programs. These programs must specify and implement management measures to restore and protect coastal waters. Management measures are specified for erosion, sediments, nutrients, pesticides, grazing, and animal waste. Participants must implement these management measures after they have been approved by whatever means necessary, including regulation. EPA and NOAA have conditionally approved all these programs; only a few states have received final approval.


  1. ^ Archer, J. H.; Knecht, R. W. (1987). "The U.S. National coastal zone management program—problems and opportunities in the next phase". Coastal Management. 15 (2): 103. doi:10.1080/08920758709362021. 

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