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THIS REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT ON COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT is prepared in accordance with Section 313(a) of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, Public Law 92-583, Title 111-Management of the Coastal Zone (an amendment to the Marine Resources and Engineering Development Act of 1966), which directs the Secretary of Commerce to prepare and submit to the President, for transmittal to the Congress, a report on the administration of Title III for the preceding fiscal year. The requirements of the annual report call for identification of approved coastal zone management programs, a listing of the participating States, fund allocations, disapproved programs, Federal regulations in effect, and recommendations for additional legislation.
On October 27, 1972, the Secretary of Commerce, having been assigned authority for administration of the Act, delegated this responsibility to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In its definitive stage in 1973, the program did not provide grant assistance to the States. This report documents the initial organizational and management actions taken in 1973 and summarizes the development of guidelines that will assist Federal-State participation in coastal zone management.
The Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 was signed into law by the President on October 27, 1972. The Act assigns authority for administration to the Secretary of Commerce who, in turn, delegated this responsibility to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The focus of Federal efforts is to be on the adequacy of State processes rather than to become involved in the merits of particular land use decisions.
Because the actual needs of the States were not known, and because of the need to coordinate the planning of the Coastal Zone Management Act closely with the pending land use legislation, a small task force was set up within NOAA in November of 1972 to begin planning for initiation of the program. When the enactment of land use legislation became imminent, a budget amendment was sent to Congress to begin operation of the Coastal Zone Management program in 1974.
The Act is intended to provide Federal encouragement, on a voluntary basis, to coastal States, including those on the Great Lakes, to develop and operate coastal zone management programs. Two methods for incentives are contained in the legislation. First, financial assistance is authorized. Three types of grants are established: to develop management programs, to operate approved management programs, and to assist States in the acquisition of estuarine sanctuaries. Second, once a coastal State has its management program approved by the Secretary of Commerce, Federal actions (issuance of licenses and permits etc.) that affect a States coastal zone must be consistent with the management program to the maximum extent practicable. The grants authorized by the Act are on a 2/3 Federal 1/3 State matching basis except for the grants for estuarine sanctuaries, which are 1/2 Federal 1/2 State funded.
The Act specifies that a State management program must include a definition of coastal zone boundaries, a list of areas of particular concern and a list of priority uses within those areas, a proposed
governmental structure for administering the program, and a method for controlling land and water uses within the coastal zone. Three types of controls are specified in the Act: (1) direct regulation by the State, (2) location regulation consistent with State established standards, and (3) local regulation subject to State review.
B. Previous State Coastal Zone Action
Most land and water use decisions in the past have been reactive to local pressures and interests. More importantly, they have been made individually by a variety of public and private entities, often without regard to their incremental or cumulative effect.
Within the last decade, however, State government has begun to take a more active role in decision-making in the coastal zone. The nature of State action has varied, reflecting both the geography and the particular demands placed upon a State's coastal resources. Typically, however, it has been oriented toward the solution of specific problems, often in reaction to a perceived crisis, rather than being comprehensive in scope.
Perhaps the most common approach has been an incremental one, starting with the decision to protect certain natural areas such as dunes, barrier beaches, or wetlands. On the eastern seaboard, initial State action was focused on wetlands protection. Often, legislation of this type was passed after conservationists and fishermen called public attention to the large numbers of biologically productive salt marshes and wetlands that were being irretrievably lost by dredging and filling for developmental purposes. A number of States, such as Oregon, Texas, Florida, and California, have demonstrated, in the past few years, an interest in assuring adequate public use of and access to beach waterfronts. Concern in the Great Lakes States has tended to focus recently on the problems caused by erosion and high water levels.
From an initial interest in protecting or conserving natural areas, more and more States have moved to the broader concern of siting large facilities, either by type (e.g. powerplants) or by size. As public feeling has mounted, several States have either prohibited certain kinds of development (e.g. Delaware) or acted to control it on an interim basis through State permits, pending development of plans (e.g. California).
Today, only a few of the coastal States have no planning or management legislation on the books. However, most States have not yet taken a comprehensive approach to coastal zone management. By and large, management programs and even planning efforts are fragmented and full of gaps. States have recognized this and are looking to implementation of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 to provide them with the assistance they need to reexamine