The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) was established by Congress on October 27, 1972, to preserve, protect, develop, enhance, and restore the nation’s coastal resources. This landmark act has proven to be one of America’s best tools to safeguard our coastal resources. NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) is spearheading efforts to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Coastal Zone Management Act this year.
Under CZMA authority, NOAA and state partners work together to balance environmental conservation and economic development, ensuring that future generations have access to, and enjoyment of, our nation’s nearly 100,000 miles of shoreline.
Over the past 40 years, this partnership has greatly reduced the environmental impacts on local coastal development, resolved significant conflicts among coastal users, and provided critical assistance to local governments in coastal planning.
Under CZMA, NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management has provided 35 coastal states and territories with over $1 billion in federal funds and technical assistance to address critical coastal issues. In addition, more than 1.3 million acres of coastal habitat was preserved by establishing a national system of 28 estuarine research reserves.
Working with partners, OCRM’s efforts have benefited all Americans by helping to create effective regulations and projects to promote smart economic development, safer waterways, increased public access, and the protection of critical habitat.
America’s coastal regions are economic engines that produce three-fifths of the nation’s gross domestic product and provide for more than 60 million U.S. jobs, with 3 million of those jobs linked directly to the resources of the oceans and Great Lakes. Now more than ever, we need to carry this important message far and wide to key stakeholders as we meet the growing challenges of climate change, sea level rise, habitat loss, pollution, and increased development.
NOAA’s coastal management efforts, under the CZMA, are vital to the economic and environmental prosperity of the U.S. and the American people whose lives depend on healthy coasts and estuaries.
For more information on the CZMA 40th anniversary, visit http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov.