The Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program

Since 2002, the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) has protected more than 110,000 acres through funds to state and local governments to purchase threatened coastal and estuarine lands or obtain conservation easements, including over 16,000 acres protected as in-kind matching contributions. Lands selected for protection through the program are ecologically important or possess other coastal conservation values, such as historic features, scenic views, or recreational opportunities.

CELCP (pronounced “kelp”) furthers the following goals of the Coastal Zone Management Act:

  • Protect coastal ecosystems, wetlands, corals, and natural shorelines
  • Preserve natural features that provide storm protection, such as dunes and barrier islands
  • Minimize loss of life and property by directing development out of high-risk areas
  • Safeguard coastal water quality
  • Preserve historic, cultural, and archaeological features
  • Protect aesthetic coastal features and scenic vistas
  • Provide opportunities for public access to the coast

Many CELCP properties also protect critical habitat for species under NOAA’s jurisdiction under the Coral Reef Conservation Act, Endangered Species Act, and Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation Act.

NOAA administered a competitive process each year in which funding was available beginning in 2006. Participating coastal states and territories nominated projects that advanced the priorities identified in their coastal land conservation plans. The last funding competition was held in fiscal year 2017.

For more information, please contact us.

See how CELCP projects in the Great Lakes are helping to advance the goals of the Coastal Zone Management Act in this new story map, “Preserving the Pristine.”

Screenshot of ESRI Basemap
Use this map to find the location and more information about CELCP sites in each state.