CSO Publications

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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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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