The Coastal States Organization (CSO), the collective voice for the nation’s coastal States, Commonwealths, and Territories on federal policy issues relating to coastal, Great Lakes, and ocean management, applauds the investments in coastal resilience in the FY2022 President’s Budget Request for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Specifically, CSO strongly supports the request for $108.5 Million for the Coastal Zone Management Grants and $64.789 Million for Coastal Zone Management and Services.
For nearly 50 years, the coastal States and Territories have managed nearly 62,000 miles of coastline through a state-federal partnership under the Coastal Zone Management Act. The 34 coastal States and Territories with Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Programs match the CZM Grants nearly 1-for-1 and use this funding to manage, preserve, protect, restore, enhance, beneficially use, and develop the nation’s coastal zone.
Additionally, CZM Programs have been leaders in tackling the nation’s most pressing and emergent coastal issues including planning for and implementing strategies to address coastal hazards and climate impacts to ensure coastal community resilience. In the last decade these programs have completed over 2,600 projects to improve resilience to coastal hazards, assisted over 3,000 coastal communities grow while protecting coastal resources, protected or restored over 133,000 acres of coastal habitat, and trained nearly 200,000 coastal decisionmakers on best coastal management practices. Increased investments in the CZM Grants in FY22 will enable the States and Territories to increase their efforts to build community resilience coastal hazards, protect and restore coastal habitat and prepare communities for future coastal conditions.
The National CZM Program in the NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM), funded under Coastal Zone Management and Services, provides critical data, tools, technical assistance, and other resources which inform effective and integrated coastal management. The NOAA OCM supports various tools and programs which are valuable for effective and integrated management of the nation’s coastal zone including data and tools on the Digital Coast as well as supporting the Coastal Management and the Digital Coast Fellowships which serves as a professional development pipeline for the next generation of coastal managers while also supporting on-the-ground initiatives and projects of the State and Territory CZM Programs. In addition, OCM provides implementation support, coordination, and technical assistance for the CZM partner program under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, as well as the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund.
CSO strongly supports the numerous robust investments in coastal resilience across NOAA and looks forward to working with Congress to actualize these increases in the FY2022 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriation Act.