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State Facts

Miles of Coast: 7,721

Coastal Population (2000): 2,481,335

Lead Coastal Management Agency: Department of Natural Resources

Approval Date: 1980

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Ocean and Coastal Management in Louisiana

photo of marsh restoration work

Louisiana has lost over 1,900 square miles of land since the 1930's.  The Louisiana Coastal Program regulates development activities to ensure the reasonable use of the state’s coastal wetlands and requires mitigation for activities that result in any loss of wetlands.

Louisiana's Coastal Program

The Louisiana Coastal Resources Program, approved by NOAA in 1980, is administered by the Department of Natural Resources through the Office of Coastal Management. The primary authority for the Coastal Program is the State and Local Coastal Resources Management Act of 1978, which required the state to develop Coastal Use Guidelines, a set of comprehensive coastal policies governing various activities.  The Louisiana coastal zone, which varies from 16 to 32 miles inland from the Gulf coast, is a 10 million-acre area that includes 40 percent of the nation’s coastal wetlands.

A Coastal Use Permit Program was established as part of the Coastal Program to regulate activities that may result in the loss of wetlands, and to reduce use conflicts.  In addition to state permitting, the Coastal Program works with the 19 coastal parishes to develop and implement Local Coastal Programs.  Parishes that develop Local Coastal Programs can assume responsibility for managing coastal uses of local concern within their jurisdictions.  The Coastal Program is also responsible for wetland mitigation, federal consistency, and the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program.

Program Achievements

Lake Pontchartrain Pipeline Corridor


Louisiana Coastal Program — The website provides information on the Program’s activities including coastal permitting and the implementation of local coastal programs.

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

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

Louisiana Coastal Program Evaluation (2011) — The Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management conducts periodic performance reviews of federally approved state coastal management programs. 

Louisiana 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.

Contact Information for Louisiana’s Program

Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 44487
617 North Fourth Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70804