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State Facts

Miles of Coast: 1,052

Coastal Population (2000): 1,360,301

Lead Coastal Management Agency: Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Office of Planning (OP)

Approval Date: 1978

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Ocean and Coastal Management in Hawaii

Hawaii's Coastal Program

The entire state of Hawaii is included within Hawaii's Coastal Program and coastal boundary. The Hawaii Office of Planning is the lead agency for the Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Program which was approved by NOAA in 1978. Building upon existing authorities, the Coastal Program is a network of authorities and partnerships collectively implementing the objectives and policies of Chapter 205A, HRS which provides a coordinated framework for government decision making relative to land and water uses in the coastal zone. The Coastal Program was created as a shared management system with the state and county agencies, assuring that the projects and activities comply with the coastal zone management objectives and policies. The counties administer the Special Management Areas (SMAs) permit system.


Agricultural runoff can cause abnormal algae blooms and significantly impact ocean acidity and the health of coral reefs. Napili Bay seen from Pineapple Hill.

The Coastal Program encourages ocean resource management that balances social, economic, cultural, and environmental considerations. The Ocean Resources Management Plan (ORMP) was updated in 2006 through a comprehensive, collaborative process that included input from federal, state, and local government agencies, numerous stakeholder groups, and local community members throughout the islands. Input was also sought from ocean users, environmental groups, and a statewide workshop of more than 200 people. The ORMP charts a new course of action that calls for a change in our approach to natural and cultural resources management, and provides new guiding perspectives. Policy and working groups have been established and implementation of the plan is ongoing.

The Coastal Program also works to reduce the risks to life and property from coastal hazards.

Hawaii's Coral Program

Hawaii is also a member of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. The Division of Aquatic Resources serves as the state's primary point-of-contact to the Task Force. Through a participatory process, Hawaii has developed and is implementing local action strategies to improve coral reef health. Hawaii has developed strategies to address four priority threats to coral reefs: land-based sources of pollution, over-fishing, lack of public awareness, and aquatic invasive species.


Hawaii Coastal Program — The website provides information on the Program’s activities including erosion control, nonpoint source pollution control, and hazards prevention initiatives.

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary — The website provides information on the Program’s research and outreach activities.

The Papahãnaumokuãkea Marine National Monument — The website provides information on the single largest conservation area under the U.S. flag, and the largest marine conservation area in the world.

Marine Protected Areas — Search for marine protected areas in Hawaii.

Hawaii Coastal Nonpoint Program, Conditional Approval Document — The Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Program encourages better coordination between state coastal zone managers and water quality specialists to reduce polluted runoff in the coastal zone.

Hawaii Coastal Program Evaluation (2010) — The Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) conducts periodic performance reviews of federally approved state coastal management programs.

Hawaii Coastal Zone Enhancement Program Assessment and Strategy (2011-2016) — Every five years, the Coastal Zone Management Act encourages states and territories to conduct self-evaluations of their coastal management programs to assess significant changes in the state’s coastal resources and management practices, identify critical needs, and prioritize areas for enhancement under the Coastal Zone Enhancement Program.

Hawaii's Coral Reef Local Action Strategies — The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force identified the need for more focused action at the local level to reduce key threats to coral reefs and called for each of the states and territories with significant coral reef resources to develop local action strategies.

Hawaii's Living Reef Program — The website provides information on the Program's efforts to raise general public awareness of the importance and interconnectedness of the coral reef ecosystem to Hawaii’s lifestyle and activities including teaching and encouraging positive behaviors that will protect and nurture this life-giving natural resource.

Contact Information for Hawaii’s Programs

Hawaii Office of Planning
Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Program
Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism
P.O. Box 2359
Honolulu, HI 96804
(808) 587-2846