Coastal Zone Management Act

The U.S. Congress recognized the importance of meeting the challenge of continued growth in the coastal zone by passing the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) in 1972. This act, administered by NOAA, provides for the management of the nation’s coastal resources, including the Great Lakes. The goal is to “preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, to restore or enhance the resources of the nation’s coastal zone.”

The CZMA outlines three national programs, the National Coastal Zone Management Program, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, and the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP). The National Coastal Zone Management Program aims to balance competing land and water issues through state and territorial coastal management programs, the reserves serve as field laboratories that provide a greater understanding of estuaries and how humans impact them, and CELCP provides matching funds to state and local governments to purchase threatened coastal and estuarine lands or obtain conservation easements.

Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972

Coastal Zone Management Act by Section

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