States / Delaware


Coastal Management

The focus is on managing coastal areas to increase resilience, with an emphasis on balancing environmental, economic, and human wellbeing. Mandated by the Coastal Zone Management Act, the two federal programs designed for this task are the National Coastal Zone Management Program and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Programs are administered, on the federal side, by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, in partnership with the coastal states.

The sun sets in an orange glow above water with a treeline in the distance.

State Programs

Coastal Zone Management

The Delaware Coastal Management Program. Established in 1979, the program balances coastal resource use, economic development, and conservation to address a wide range of issues including coastal hazards, habitat protection, coastal development, water quality, public access, energy facility siting, and ocean planning.

National Estuarine Research Reserves

Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve. Designated in 1993 and protecting 6,364 acres, this reserve consists of two components: 1,087 acres of freshwater wetlands, ponds, and forest lands in Blackbird Creek, and 5,119 acres of salt marsh and open water habitats on the St. Jones River on Delaware Bay. The Blackbird Creek watershed is a predominantly rural area consisting of wetlands, forests, and agricultural lands. (See handout)