About | Divisions

Working in Partnership to Manage Our Coasts

NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) is composed of six divisions that oversee ocean and coastal management at the federal level.

Coastal Programs Division

The Coastal Programs Division oversees the National Coastal Zone Management Program composed of 34 state and territory coastal management programs. The Division advances national coastal management objectives while maintaining and strengthening state and territorial coastal management capabilities. The Division supports states through financial assistance, mediation, technical services and participation in state, regional and local forums. The Coastal Programs Division also administers the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Act program.


Coral Reef Conservation Program

The Coral Reef Conservation Program supports effective management and sound science to preserve, sustain and restore valuable coral reef ecosystems. The Program provides grants, tools and services to coral reef managers, scientists and communities to improve the effectiveness of coral reef management.


Estuarine Reserves Division

The Estuarine Reserves Division oversees the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), a partnership program between NOAA and the coastal states. The NERRS represents a nationwide network of 28 federally designated protected areas established for long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. The Division also administers the Graduate Research Fellowship Program which supports graduate student research in NERRS, coordinates the national system-wide monitoring program that tracks short and long-term variability in estuarine water quality and weather and partners with the University of New Hampshire to create the Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Science and Technology. The Division supports reserves through financial assistance, technical services and participation in state, regional and local forums.


Marine Protected Areas Center

The Marine Protected Areas Center was established in 2000 under the Presidential Executive Order 13158 to facilitate the effective use of science, technology, training and information in the planning, management and evaluation of the nation's system of marine protected areas (MPAs). The National MPA Center works with the Department of the Interior and other agencies and stakeholders to develop a plan for an effective, integrated system of MPAs.


National Policy and Evaluation Division

The National Policy and Evaluation Division leads national coastal management policy and planning efforts and is responsible for conducting periodic performance evaluations of the national estuarine research reserves and state coastal management programs as required by the CZMA. The Division also collaborates with the Coastal States Organization and the Coastal Coordination Committee on joint state/federal activities.


Business Management Division

The OCRM Business Management Division provides administrative, human resource, budget, financial management and information technology support. The Division also performs analysis and provides advice to management on the evaluation of the effectiveness, productivity and efficiency of program operations.  The staff act as office liaisons with other National Ocean Service (NOS) offices and NOAA headquarters, and ensure office policies and activities comply with NOS, NOAA and DOC policies.