NOAA 2002-145
Contact: Glenda Tyson
NOAA News Releases 2002
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Ocean Service (NOAA Ocean Service) and its partners around the nation celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (CZMA) on Sunday, Oct. 27. NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management has partnered with 34 coastal states to create and implement management programs to preserve, protect, develop and where possible to restore and enhance the resources of the nation’s coastal areas since the enactment of CZMA. NOAA is an agency of the Department of Commerce.

“Today marks the anniversary of a ground-breaking piece of legislation. For 30 years through the Coastal Zone Management Act, NOAA has helped protect and preserve coastal resources by encouraging states to manage their own coastal zones,” said Jamison Hawkins, acting assistant administrator for the National Ocean Service. “This revolutionary approach has not only contributed to the improvement of our precious coastal resources, but also to the economic growth and development of these states.”

The CZMA’s innovative design balances the protection of resources along with the economic uses of coastal areas. It provides national objectives for coastal governance while still recognizing that each coastal state has unique resources, uses and pressures. In addition, it requires the establishment of the National Estuarine Research Reserves System, a network of 25 protected estuarine areas that represent different biogeographic regions of the United States. The CZMA was designed as a voluntary program, using incentives, rather than punitive measures, to encourage state participation. These novel, cooperative approaches make the CZMA a successful tool for managing America’s coasts.

Currently, more than 95,000 national shorelines miles are managed by the CZMA and NOAA has administered nearly $2 billion in funding to coastal states in support of their programs.

Since the implementation of the CZMA, NOAA and its partners have developed outstanding programs to address the wide range of issues faced by coastal managers. Led by several key objectives of the act, some of the areas where coastal states receive programmatic support include: assistance bringing economic opportunity to urban waterfronts and coastal communities; reducing the risk of property from coastal storms and erosion; protecting estuaries and wetlands; returning habitat to a natural condition; controlling polluted runoff into coastal waters and expanding opportunities for public enjoyment of our nation's beaches and waterfronts.

NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOAA Ocean Service) is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation's coasts and oceans. NOAA Ocean Service balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

For more information on NOAA Ocean and Coastal Programs, please visit our Web site at