Washington Coastal Zone Management program announcements

There are a number of opportunities for interested parties to provide feedback and help shape the activities of the Washington Coastal Zone Management Program. We encourage public participation, coordination, and collaboration to better manage coastal areas.

Coastal Zone Management Email List

Subscribers to this list will receive information related to Washington’s federally-approved Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program. This includes notices and requests for comments on federal consistency reviews, program changes, Section 309 program enhancement strategies, and Section 312 federal evaluations of our state program. Subscribers will also receive periodic updates on CZM program activities.

Program changes

States with Coastal Zone Management Programs are required to maintain and update programs to carry out any changes to the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. 

To learn more about the State's Coastal Zone Management Program changes, see a list of our pending and recently approved changes on our Program & policies page.

Changes to the state enforceable policies

States with Coastal Zone Management Programs, such as Washington, must submit updates to their enforceable policies to the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Coastal Zone Management Program changes can include minor, non-substantial changes as well as significant changes to a program's structure, management, or rules. Most changes to Washington’s Coastal Zone Management Program have been minor, non-substantial updates.
We've submitted changes to our Coastal Zone Management Program since 1986 and continue to make changes as laws and regulations are amended. As we submit program changes, we issue public notices and provide information to interested parties.

  • There are no announcements at this time.

Federal consistency

The federal Coastal Zone Management Act authorizes states with approved Coastal Zone Management Programs to review the following actions:

  • Federal agency activities, including issuance of federal funding that may affect the state’s coastal uses or resources.

  • Activities and projects that require a federal permit.

The state reviews these federal actions to determine if they are consistent with the enforceable policies of Washington’s Coastal Zone Management Program. The federal consistency review process enhances coordination and cooperation between the state, federal agencies, and applicants for federal licenses and permits. 

The state review process for these federal actions is known as federal consistency and serves as a powerful tool to manage coastal activities and resources, and enables coordination and cooperation with federal agencies.

We and the federal agency issuing a permit or license often issue joint public notices. In other instances, we may issue a separate public notice for a project proposal. Each notice includes a public comment period during which the public, local and tribal governments, state and federal agencies, and other interested parties can submit comments on a draft project.

Comments can be submitted by mail or email and will be made part of the official record.

Program evaluation and strategic planning

We periodically conduct performance evaluations of Washington’s Coastal Zone Management Program and undertake strategic planning to develop improvement strategies. A critical component to this process is participation and feedback from the various interests and partners in Washington.

  • The Coastal Program is currently working with NOAA's Office for Coastal Management to hold the next performance evaluation for the Washington Coastal Zone Management Program. Additional details are forthcoming.

  • The Coastal Program is currently working under its 2021-2025 Program Enhancement Assessment and Strategy. Beginning in 2025, the Program expects to begin the initial process of developing its Program Enhancement Assessment and Strategy for 2026-2030.