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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded $2,968,000 to the Maine State Planning Office to continue the administration and execution of the Coastal Zone Management Program. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The grant supports the state’s federally approved CZMP, which covers Maine’s 5,200 miles of coast. The Maine CZMP balances the demands of industries such as tourism and fishing, with the need to protect the long-term health of the environment. The funding supports 42 projects covering topical areas such as managing shoreline development, implementing coastal resource protection authorities, enhancing citizen stewardship, conserving coastal habitat, improving coastal water quality, managing dredging activities, and providing public access and recreational opportunities. The 34 states and territories with federally approved coastal management programs have the flexibility to make day-to-day management decisions at the state level.
Some highlights include: continued funding to work with coastal communities to maintain working access to coastal waters and resources through a program called “working waterfronts;” support for the “Beginning With Habitat” program in which current information on habitat/biodiversity will be used in planning programs to develop specific regional conservation; and development of a model that will aid coastal planners on determining the most appropriate beach management responses for different beach shorelines situations.
“Balancing the need for sustainable development with the protection and management of coastal resources is a core principle within NOAA,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This grant allows the state of Maine to manage its coastal resources while actively supporting efforts that reinforce NOAA’s and the Bush Administration’s commitment to the environment.”
The Coastal Zone Management Program is a federal-state partnership dedicated to comprehensive management of the nation’s coastal resources, ensuring their protection for future generations while balancing competing national economic, cultural and environmental interests. The CZMP is authorized by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 and administered at the federal level by the Coastal Programs Division within NOAA. For more information, visit: http://www.ocrm.nos.noaa.gov/czm/.
Each year, NOAA awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA’s goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 34 years.
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