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Washington Coastal Zone Management Program & policies

The federal Coastal Zone Management Act gives states the primary role in managing their coastal zone. In 1976, Washington was the first state to receive federal approval of a Coastal Zone Management Program by preparing a document describing its coastal resources and how they are managed.

Program framework

While the federal Coastal Zone Management Act includes basic requirements for state partners, the law gives states the flexibility they need to design programs that best address local challenges. To develop  Washington's Coastal Zone Management Program, we relied on our existing regulatory framework to address coastal zone issues rather than draft a new, all-encompassing state legislation.

While Washington does not have a stand-alone law for coastal zone management, the state relies on its network of state laws and regulations including: Since the state has a federally-approved Coastal Zone Management Program, we are eligible for federal grants to augment our state’s management activities to preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, restore or enhance these resources now and for future generations.
An approved Coastal Zone Management Program also gives Washington a strong voice in federal agency decision making for activities that could affect the state’s coastal resources and uses. This state review, known as federal consistency, helps ensure proposed projects are consistent with the state’s Coastal Zone Management Program.
Coastal zone management federal consistency review Policies used for federal consistency review Program updates