Celebrating 50 Years of the Coastal Zone Management Act

2022 is the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the Coastal Zone Management Act.

The U.S. Congress recognized the importance of meeting the challenge of continued growth in the coastal zone by passing the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) in 1972. The goal of the CZMA is to “preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, to restore or enhance the resources of the nation’s coastal zone.”

The CZMA authorized the establishment a federal-state partnership designed to balance the competing goals of furthering economic development and protecting the ecological, cultural, and social integrity of the coasts. The States and Territories take the lead to manage coastal resources using their expertise and firsthand experience working on local issues through their approved State and Territory Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Programs, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) coordinates the National CZM Program which provides guidance, funding, and support to the State and Territory CZM Programs.
Since 1972, this unique federal-state partnership has had a significant impact benefiting our nation’s coasts. For example, in the last ten years alone the State and Territory CZM Programs completed over 2,600 projects to improve community resilience to coastal hazards, created or enhanced nearly 4,000 public access sites, protected or restored over 133,000 acres of coastal habitat, trained nearly 200,000 coastal decision makers, and worked with over 3,000 communities to ensure sustainable coastal development.  These statistics are a testament to the effectiveness of the CZMA, and the partnership it supports. Throughout 2022 we will highlight accomplishments from the State and Territory CZM Programs over the past 50 years.

CZMA at 50 Podcast Series

For 50 years, the Coastal Zone Management Act has guided and informed how the United States manages its coasts. In this The Capitol Beach podcast series, join CSO’s Derek Brockbank as he talks with some of the people responsible for implementing the law over the past 50 years, to share its history, its purpose, and its future.

Learn About Your State’s Coastal Zone Management Program

Alabama CZM Program

Alabama CZM Program

Program Overview The Alabama Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1979, and is administered by two state agencies: The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is responsible for planning, fiscal management, public education, and research...

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Alaska

Alaska

Program Overview Alaska's Coastal Zone Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1979. However, Alaska withdrew from the voluntary National Coastal Zone Management Program on July 1, 2011. As a result, the CZMA Federal consistency provision, section 307, no longer...

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American Samoa CZM Program

American Samoa CZM Program

Program Overview The American Samoa Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1980 and is led by the American Samoa Department of Commerce. The coastal program has developed a unique approach that incorporates both western and traditional systems of...

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California CZM Program

California CZM Program

Program Overview The California Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1978 and is administered by three state agencies: The California Coastal Commission manages development along the California coast except San Francisco Bay. San Francisco Bay...

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Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands CZM Program

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands CZM Program

Program Overview The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands was approved by NOAA in 1980, with the Division of Coastal Resources Management serving as the lead agency for the Northern Mariana Islands Coastal Management Program The Commonwealth of the Northern...

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Connecticut CZM Program

Connecticut CZM Program

Program Overview The Connecticut Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1980, and is administered by the Office of Long Island Sound Programs within the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The primary authority for the coastal management...

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Delaware CZM Program

Delaware CZM Program

Program Overview The Delaware Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1979 and is led by the Division of Climate, Coastal, and Energy, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The program coordinates across nearly every state agency to...

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Florida CZM Program

Florida CZM Program

Program Overview The Florida Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1981, with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection serving as the lead agency. A network of nine state agencies and five water management districts together enforce 23 separate...

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Georgia CZM Program

Georgia CZM Program

Program Overview The Georgia Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1998, with Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Division, serving as the lead agency. The Georgia Coastal Management Act authorized the creation of the Georgia...

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Guam CZM Program

Guam CZM Program

Program Overview The Guam Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1979, and is overseen by the Bureau of Statistics and Plans. Guam’s comprehensive planning enabling legislation, Seashore Protection Act, and several executive orders are among the key...

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Hawai’i CZM Program

Hawai’i CZM Program

Program Overview The Hawaii Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1978 and is led by the Hawaii Office of Planning. The coastal management program is a network of authorities and partnerships collectively implementing the objectives and policies of...

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Illinois CZM Program

Illinois CZM Program

Program Overview The Illinois Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 2012 and is led by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The program manages impacts to its Lake Michigan shoreline through the Rivers, Lakes, and Streams Act, Lake Michigan Shore...

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Indiana CZM Program

Indiana CZM Program

Program Overview The Indiana Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 2002 and is led by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The coastal management program is a networked program built upon a framework of state laws and authorities addressing key...

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Louisiana CZM Program

Louisiana CZM Program

Program Overview The Louisiana Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1980 and is administered by the Department of Natural Resources through the Office of Coastal Management. The primary authority for the coastal management program is the State and Local...

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Maine CZM Program

Maine CZM Program

Program Overview The Maine Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1978, and is led by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry. The coastal management program consists of a network of 19 state laws with four state agencies working in...

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Maryland CZM Program

Maryland CZM Program

Program Overview The Maryland Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1978, and the Department of Natural Resources is the lead agency. The coastal management program is a networked program composed of several state planning and regulatory programs...

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Massachusetts CZM Program

Massachusetts CZM Program

Program Overview The Massachusetts Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1978 and is administered by the Office of Coastal Zone Management within the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and serves as the lead for coastal policy and technical...

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Michigan CZM Program

Michigan CZM Program

Program Overview The Michigan Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1978, and is administered by the Department of Environmental Quality. Key authorities of the coastal management program include several parts of the Natural Resources and Environmental...

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Minnesota CZM Program

Minnesota CZM Program

Program Overview The Minnesota Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1999 and consists of a network of agencies and programs led by the Department of Natural Resources. Key implementing legislation includes the Shoreland Management Act and the North Shore...

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Mississippi CZM Program

Mississippi CZM Program

Program Overview The Mississippi Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1980, and is led by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Office of Coastal Ecology. The program consists of a network of agencies with authority in the coastal zone. The...

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New Hampshire CZM Program

New Hampshire CZM Program

Program Overview The New Hampshire Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1982 and is led by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. The New Hampshire Coastal Management Program is a networked program where several state agencies help...

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New Jersey CZM Program

New Jersey CZM Program

Program Overview The New Jersey Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1978 and is administered by its lead agency, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, in partnership with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, as the lead planning...

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New York CZM Program

New York CZM Program

Program Overview The New York Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1982, with the New York Department of State serving as the lead agency. The Executive Law Article 42, Waterfront Revitalization of Coastal Areas and Inland Waterways, provides the state...

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North Carolina CZM Program

North Carolina CZM Program

Program Overview The North Carolina Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1978 and is administered by the Division of Coastal Management within the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The primary authority for the coastal management program...

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Ohio CZM Program

Ohio CZM Program

Program Overview The Ohio Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1997, with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources serving as the lead agency for the networked program. The coastal management program incorporates state laws, regulations, and programs...

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Oregon CZM Program

Oregon CZM Program

Program Overview The Oregon Coastal Management Program, approved by NOAA in 1977, consists of a network of agencies with authority in the coastal zone. The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development serves as the lead agency. The primary authority for the...

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Pennsylvania CZM Program

Pennsylvania CZM Program

Program Overview The Pennsylvania Coastal Management Program, approved in 1980, is administered by the Department of Environmental Protection. The coastal management program comprises two widely separated coastal areas: the 63-mile Lake Erie shoreline and the 57-mile...

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Puerto Rico CZM Program

Puerto Rico CZM Program

Program Overview Puerto Rico’s Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1978 and comprises a network of state agencies led by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. The program encompasses 40 statutes. Puerto Rico’s coastal zone generally...

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Rhode Island CZM Program

Rhode Island CZM Program

Program Overview The Rhode Island Coastal Management Program, approved by NOAA in 1978, is administered by the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council. The primary authority for the coastal management program is the Coastal Resources Management Act of...

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South Carolina CZM Program

South Carolina CZM Program

Program Overview The South Carolina Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1979, and the lead agency is the Department of Health and Environmental Control. The primary authority for the coastal management program is the 1977 Coastal Tidelands and Wetlands...

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Texas CZM Program

Texas CZM Program

Program Overview The Texas Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1996 and is administered by the Texas General Land Office in conjunction with the Coastal Coordination Advisory Committee. The Coastal Coordination Act is the primary authority for the Texas...

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U.S. Virgin Islands CZM Program

U.S. Virgin Islands CZM Program

Program Overview The U.S. Virgin Islands Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1979. The lead agency is the Department of Planning and Natural Resources. The primary authority for the coastal management program is the U.S. Virgin Islands Coastal Zone...

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Virginia CZM Program

Virginia CZM Program

Program Overview The Virginia Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1986, and the Department of Environmental Quality serves as the lead agency. Authorized by a commonwealth executive order, the coastal management program is structured as a network of...

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Washington CZM Program

Washington CZM Program

Program Overview The Washington Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1976 and was the first approved program in the nation. The Department of Ecology serves as the lead coastal management agency. The primary authority for the coastal management program...

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Wisconsin CZM Program

Wisconsin CZM Program

Program Overview The Wisconsin Coastal Management Program was approved by NOAA in 1978 and is administered by the Department of Administration, Bureau of Intergovernmental Relations. The coastal management program is a networked program implemented in partnership with...

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