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State Facts

Miles of Coast: 189

Coastal Population (2000): 251,654

Lead Coastal Management Agency: Department of Natural Resources

Approval Date: 1999

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Ocean and Coastal Management in Minnesota

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The Coastal Program supports many projects to increase and enhance public access, including Shovel Point along the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Minnesota's Coastal Program

Led by the Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program was approved in 1999. The Department of Natural Resources works in partnership with other state and local resource agencies including the Board of Water and Soil Resources, the Pollution Control Agency, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and others to implement the Coastal Program and ensure federal and state projects are consistent with state coastal policies. Key legislation includes the Shoreland Management Act and the North Shore Management Plan. Minnesota's coastal zone boundary includes the area approximately six miles inland from Lake Superior following the nearest township boundaries along the shore.

The Coastal Program administers a competitive local community grants program to help implement the coastal program. Local issues addressed include: coastal outreach and education; land use planning and development; public access and recreation; enhancement, protection, and management of natural and cultural coastal resources; and support for coastal economic activities and analyses. The Governor's Council on Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program, or Coastal Council, comprised of citizens from the four coastal counties, advises the Coastal Program in setting funding priorities and recommending local projects for funding.

Program Achievements

Minnesota Holds Stormwater BMP Tour

Sediment and Erosion Control Efforts in Minnesota


Minnesota Coastal Management Program — The website provides information on the Program including information on its technical and financial assistance programs for local governments. 

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

Minnesota Coastal Nonpoint Program Conditional and Final Approval Documents — 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.  The state received full approval in 2006.

Minnesota Coastal Program Evaluation (2009) — The Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management conducts periodic performance reviews of federally approved state coastal management programs.

Minnesota 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 Minnesota’s Program

Minnesota Lake Superior Coastal Program
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
1568 Highway 2
Two Harbors, MN 55616
(218) 834-6620