Initiatives | Enhancement

Coastal Zone Enhancement Program

The Coastal Zone Enhancement Program was established in 1990 under section 309 of the Coastal Zone Management Act. The voluntary Coastal Zone Enhancement Grants program encourages state and territory coastal management programs to develop program changes, or enhancements, to their Federally approved coastal management programs in one or more of nine enhancement areas:  wetlands, coastal hazards, public access, marine debris, cumulative and secondary impacts, special area management plans, ocean/Great Lakes resources, energy and government facility citing, and aquaculture.

Every five years, states and territories are encouraged to conduct self-evaluations of their coastal management programs to assess significant changes in the state’s coastal resources and management practices since the last assessment, identify important coastal management needs, and prioritize enhancement areas for the state. Based on the assessment, state coastal management programs develop five-year strategies, in consultation with NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, to improve management within one or more of the priority areas. 

The Coastal Zone Management Act Section 309 Guidance provides additional information about the assessment and strategies and the types of activities that are eligible for Coastal Zone Enhancement Program funding.