About | Coastal Zone Management Act
Congressional Action to Help Manage Our Nation's Coasts
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 Act, administered by NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM), provides for management of the nation's coastal resources, including the Great Lakes, and balances economic development with environmental conservation.
The CZMA outlines two national programs, the National Coastal Zone Management Program and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The 34 coastal programs aim to balance competing land and water issues in the coastal zone, while estuarine reserves serve as field laboratories to provide a greater understanding of estuaries and how humans impact them. The overall program objectives of CZMA remain balanced to "preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, to restore or enhance the resources of the nation's coastal zone."
The Coastal Zone Management Act - by Section