Coastal Issues | Energy and Government

Energy and Government Facility Siting

Meeting energy needs and increasing the United States' energy independence are two of the highest priority national issues of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The CZMA recognizes the importance of energy and government facilities in coastal zones. and directs states to have a facility siting process that  considers the national interest in energy production and  protecting coastal resources.

The Mississippi Coast

Under the CZMA, coastal- dependent uses, including these energy facilities along Mississippi's Gulf Coast, should be given preference over other land uses within the coastal zone.

Facilities that explore, develop, produce, transmit or transport energy or energy resources in coastal and ocean areas provide significant benefits to coastal states and the nation -- energy, jobs, and energy self-sufficiency. However, energy facilities also can affect natural, historical, cultural, and/or aesthetic resources in the coastal zone. Energy facility siting, like other coastal-dependent uses, should be given priority consideration when managing coastal uses pursuant to the CZMA. Energy facility siting needs to be compatible with other coastal-dependent uses such as navigation, fishing and mariculture, coastal tourism, and recreation.

Recent increases in the price of oil and gas have resulted in a number of renewable energy sources becoming economically viable options. A greater number of proposals for developing wind, tidal, and other renewable energy sources are appearing in the nation's coastal zone.


Through coastal management policies and planning processes, coastal managers can address energy and government facility siting within the coastal zone to protect coastal resources and preserve national energy interests.

In Depth: Examples of energy facilities that have been, or are planned to be, sited in the coastal zone.

To address energy needs, reduce coastal use conflicts and preserve coastal resources, state coastal management programs must have policies and planning processes to address energy and government facility siting that could affect the coastal zone. Planning for energy facilities can be challenging.

Coastal managers must coordinate with a variety of authorities at federal and state levels. Plans should be proactive and not reactive to individual energy facility proposals. Even when sited in suitable areas, there can be "not in my backyard" opposition. In addition, for many of the newer renewable energy facilities, there is often limited information available on the coastal impacts from siting or operating these facilities

For additional information, contact David Kaiser.


NOAA Resources

Other Federal Agency Resources

Minerals Management Service (MMS)

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

MMS/FERC Guidance on Regulation of Hydrokinetic Energy Projects on the OCS

Department of Transportation (DOT), Maritime Administration (MARAD)

Department of Energy (DOE)

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)