Coastal Zone Management

November 26, 1976

Report Outline
Action to Control Development
Jurisdiction Over the Shorelines
Unresolved Problems in Coastal Plans
Special Focus

Action to Control Development

Federal Aid for State-Run Coastal Programs

The late 1970s are likely to witness a growing involvement by the nation's cities and states in planning, developing and implementing the federally funded programs that affect them. No doubt Washington will continue to supply the largest share of the money for these projects, but the federal government probably will have less control over how they are carried out. Proposals for returning more “power to the people” and their local representatives elicited wide bipartisan support during this year's presidential campaign. This support and the programs that reflect it represent a shift away from the “big brother knows best” attitude that has characterized the federal government's relationship with the states and cities since the New Deal.

Coastal zone management is an existing example of this trend, In response to the problems of pollution, overdevelopment, shore erosion and population expansion along America's seashores, Congress approved the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. It gave 30 coastal states the responsibility for developing plans to protect and promote the 20,000 miles of United States coastline. The act defined coastal zones as coastal waters and adjacent shorelands, including tidal areas, salt marshes, wetlands and beaches. The Great Lakes and their sounds, bays, lagoons and estuaries were included in the definition.

The 1972 law provides for development grants (section 305) and administrative grants (section 306) to cover two-thirds of the cost of the programs. To receive these funds, the states are to give “full consideration to ecological, cultural, historic and esthetic values, as well as to needs for economic development,” The act created an Office of Coastal Zone Management within the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to administer the law.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Feb. 16, 2018  Rising Seas
Feb. 22, 2013  Coastal Development
Aug. 21, 1998  Coastal Development
Feb. 07, 1992  Threatened Coastlines
Nov. 02, 1984  America's Threatened Coastlines
Nov. 26, 1976  Coastal Zone Management
Feb. 25, 1970  Coastal Conservation
Regional Planning and Urbanization
Wetlands, Everglades, and Coastal Areas