OFFICE FOR COASTAL MANAGEMENT

Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program

In terms of water quality, what happens on the land is just as important as what happens in the water. Nonpoint source pollution, or polluted runoff, is thought to be the greatest threat to coastal waters, which is why Congress mandated shared responsibilities for this issue between land use decision makers and water quality agencies.

The Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program, which was established in 1990 by Section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments, is jointly administered by NOAA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The goal is to reduce polluted runoff to coastal waters.

Image of nonpoint source pollution, or polluted runoff.The program establishes a set of management measures for states to use in controlling runoff from five main sources: agriculture, forestry, urban areas, marinas, and hydromodification (shoreline and stream channel modification). The program also includes management measures for wetlands, riparian and vegetated treatment systems. State authorities ensure implementation. All coastal and Great Lakes states and territories that participate in the National Coastal Zone Management Program are required to develop coastal nonpoint pollution control programs.

Some of the land use practices recommended to reduce runoff include preserving natural vegetation, avoiding development within sensitive habitats and erosion-prone areas, and limiting impervious surfaces such as pavement, decking, and roof tops as much as possible.

Guidance Documents

Policy Memos

Decision Memos for State Programs

NOAA and EPA review coastal nonpoint programs. All states were initially approved, with conditions (see “conditional approval findings” under each state link below). States receive full approval for their programs after they satisfy all conditions (see “full approval decision memo” under each state link). Note: If a state or territory does not have an active link to its full approval decision document, it has yet to receive full approval.

Alabama American Samoa California
Connecticut Delaware Florida
Georgia Guam Hawaii
Illinois Indiana Louisiana
Maine Maryland Massachusetts
Michigan Minnesota Mississippi
New Hampshire New Jersey New York
North Carolina Northern Mariana Islands Ohio
Oregon Pennsylvania Puerto Rico
Rhode Island South Carolina Texas
Virgin Islands Virginia Washington
Wisconsin    

Alabama

American Samoa

California

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Guam

Hawaii

Illinois

Indiana

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina

Northern Mariana Islands

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Texas

Virgin Islands

Virginia

Washington

Wisconsin

For more information, contact us.