CSO Publications


40+ Years of Knowledge Put Into Practice

Lessons Learned from Coastal Zone Management Programs

In 2018, 10 of the 34 participating states and territories celebrated their 40th anniversary of joining the National Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program. While the challenges faced by each state program are as different as the coastlines they manage, the lesson we can learn from the work they have done in the last 40 years is singular. CZM Programs, which operate at the nexus of federal, state, and local government, are essential to the sustainable management of our Nation’s coasts. To create this poster, we  interviewed 7 of the 10 coastal programs that celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2018. These are their stories.

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The National Coastal Zone Management Program & the Blue Economy

The Blue Economy depends on the vibrant workforce, thriving industry, advanced infrastructure, and unparalleled natural resources of the nation’s coastal zone. Across the nation, the challenges confronting coastal communities are vast and complicated. To ensure our coastal zones continue to enrich and sustain the Blue Economy, robust, adaptive, and efficient coastal management is necessary.

An exemplary state-federal partnership since 1972, the Coastal Zone Management Program (CZM Program) provides the effective management, beneficial use, protection, and development that the coastal zone needs. States and Territories take the lead to manage coastal resources using their expertise and firsthand experience working on local issues, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides guidance, funding, and program support.

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Digital Coast Resources for Coastal Mangers Webinar Series

There are many tools, data sets, and training resources to inform management of the nation’s coasts. Knowing where to find these resources and how to use them can be overwhelming, but thanks to NOAA’s Digital Coast, coastal managers have a virtual one-stop shop designed to connect you to relevant resources with ease.

Brought to you by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management and the Coastal States Organization, this webinar series will help connect coastal managers to relevant Digital Coast tools, data, and training.

Part 1: Introduction to Digital Coast and Natural Infrastructure Tools, Data, and Training (December 4, 2018)

The first webinar was hosted by Kristin Ransom, Coastal Management Specialist at NOAA Office for Coastal Management. This webinar was designed to help coastal managers understand what can be found on the Digital Coast, provide tips for navigating the website, and demonstrate how Digital Coast tools, resources, and training can be used to explore a specific topic, using natural infrastructure as an example.

Part 2: Seven Best Practices for Risk Communication (February 7, 2019 at 2pm ET)

The second webinar featured the interactive Seven Best Practices for Risk Communications training. During this training, participants learned how to effectively communicate about the risks of weather and climate hazards through real-world examples from their trainers (Stephanie Fauver, Meteorologist at NOAA OCM and Tashya Allen, Hazards Specialist at the Baldwin Group) and peers. 

Part 3: Introduction to Socioeconomic and ENOW Data, Tools, and Training (February 25, 2019 at 2pm ET)

The third webinar will provide participants with a primer on Digital Coast tools,  datasets, and trainings that can be used to better understand the economic impacts of our oceans and coasts. By the end of this webinar, participants will understand where to find economic and socioeconomic data on Digital Coast, what tools are available to understand the economic impacts of ocean and coastal resources, and how to get access to additional training on these topics.

Peer-to-Peer Webinar Series: Maximizing Your Resilience Potential

Coastal management programs and research reserves often have to juggle planning for projects, searching for funding, engaging with stakeholders, working on climate preparedness efforts and more, all at the same time. Knowing which FEMA and NOAA resources to use can feel complicated and overwhelming. Let us help lessen the burden and teach you the ropes!

Brought to you by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management and the Coastal States Organization, this three-part webinar series on Maximizing Your Resilience Potential will help  coastal professionals work better with state and federal counterparts on hazard mitigation.

Part 1: Schmooze with a SHMO (August 21, 2018)

The first session included a discussion of on-the-ground experience building interagency relationships from Bobbak Talebi, CZM Planner, Washington Coastal Management Program, and Lisa Auermuller, Watershed Coordinator, Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, an interview with Oregon State Hazard Mitigation Officer Angie Lane by Meg Reed, Coastal Shores Specialist, Oregon Coastal Management Program, and a briefing on FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance by Brenna Humphrey, Hazard Mitigation Grants Management Specialist, FEMA Region X.

Part 2: Putting Partnerships into Practice (October 3, 2018)

The second session hosted a peer-to-peer knowledge exchange focused on stories of successful collaborations between coastal programs and their state hazards programs and FEMA counterparts. Presenters included Kate Angel, Coastal Hazards Coordinator, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, Adam Bechle, Coastal Resilience Outreach Specialist, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program / University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, and Mike Shelton, Training Program Coordinator, Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Part 3: FEMA Funding Opportunities – Ask the Experts! (November 15, 2018)

The third session provided a clinic on FEMA funding opportunities and the application process under HMA grants, Cooperating Technical Partnerships, and FEMA Public Assistance. Presenters included Lisa Auermuller, Assistant Manager, Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, Mary Small, Deputy Executive Officer, California State Coastal Conservancy, Brandon Sweezea, Hazard Mitigation Program Specialist, FEMA, and Brenna Humphrey, Hazard Mitigation Grants Management Specialist, FEMA Region X.

Coastal Habitat

State Fact Sheets







New Hampshire


South Carolina



National CZM Fact Sheet

PDF version

Advancing Critical Solutions to Protect Coastal Communities

Millions of Americans work, play, and live along our nation’s beautiful shorelines. But life on the coast can be frequently disrupted by severe storms, earthquakes, chronic flooding, fluctuating water levels, and erosion. These hazards cause major economic harm to businesses, natural areas, and public infrastructure. America is searching for better ways to protect coasts, but there is no “one size fits all” solution. Each coastal community has its own physical, social, legal, and political characteristics, so solutions need to be tailored to their unique conditions.

The state coastal management programs established under the proven and successful Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) help communities address their coastal threats. This report illustrates the CZMA’s successful approach with 14 stories from communities across the country. Strong statewide coastal management creates resilient shorelines. The CZMA generates that strength. Thus, greater investment in this program will have national benefits. The CZMA must be central to America’s strategy for protecting coastal communities.

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