History of CSO

Coastal States Organization: The Past and Future

By James A. Timmerman, Jr.*

A major recommendation of the Stratton Commission to the President in 1968 called for the Federal government and the coastal states to collectively create a mechanism to manage better their coastal resources.

At about the same time, in November 1968, the first conference ever held among the maritime states was convened in Miami by the Governor of Florida and the Florida Commission on Marine Sciences and Technology. The conferees adopted a resolution calling for a more effective and suitable role for the maritime states in interstate and national marine affairs, and a steering committee was designated to draw up a charter for a coastal states organization. The committee introduced the resolution at the annual Governor’s Conference in 1969, where it was endorsed unanimously by that body.

A meeting was held by duly appointed representatives of 22 coastal states in Savannah, Georgia, in January, 1970. At this meeting provisional articles of organization were drawn up and a resolution was passed by the majority of the delegates approving these articles and recommending their submission to the respective states for adoption.

The resolution noted the growing public interest and concern in maintaining the quality of the environment, particularly the wise use of marine and coastal resources. It also called attention to the fact that the interests of state and territorial governments had not been adequately represented in the emerging national coastal programs despite the fact that the states and their citizens are the principal owners, planners, managers and users of marine and coastal resources. The resolution further emphasized that state governments could best increase their ability to contribute to development and operation of the National Oceanographic and Coastal Zone Management Programs by forming an organization designed to achieve these purposes.

*Chairman, Coastal States Organization, Charleston, South Carolina. Coastal Zone Management Journal 1973, Volume 1, Number 1 Copyright © 1973 by Crane, Russak, & Company, Inc.

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