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

Section 302 - Congressional findings

Section 303 - Congressional declaration of policy

Section 304 - Definitions

Section 305 - Management program development grants

Section 306 - Administrative grants

Section 306A - Coastal resource improvement program

Section 6217 - Protecting coastal waters

Section 307 - Coordination and cooperation

Section 307A - Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program

Section 308 - Coastal Zone Management Fund

Section 309 - Coastal Zone Enhancement Grants

Section 310 - Technical assistance

Section 311 - Public hearings

Section 312 - Review of performance

Section 313 - Records and audit

Section 314 - Walter B. Jones Excellence in Coastal Zone Management Awards

Section 315 - National Estuarine Research Reserve System

Section 316 - Coastal Zone Management Reports

Section 317 - Rules and Regulations

Section 318 - Authorization of appropriations

Section 319 - Appeals to the Secretary