Jump to main content.

Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA)

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.

The objective of the Coastal Zone Management Act  is to control nonpoint pollution sources that affect coastal water quality.

Summary of Coastal Zone Management Act and Amendments

More Information

Related topics
Surface and Groundwater

Text of laws
Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) Exit EPA
Coastal Zone Management Act Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA) Section 6217

More information from EPA 
Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program
Protecting Coastal Waters from Nonpoint Source Pollution

More information from states Exit EPA
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) - Environmental Laws Affecting State Agriculture
EZregs - University of Illinois Extension Web site that identifies environmental regulations that pertain to specific agricultural and horticultural operations and practices in Illinois.

CZMA and CZARA compliance and enforcement
Water Enforcement Division
Water Enforcement Bulletin
Multimedia Enforcement Division
Final Administrative Changes to the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program Guidance for Section 6217 of CZARA (PDF) (8 pp, 138K)
Guidance Specifying Management Measures for Sources of Nonpoint Pollution in Coastal Waters

Summary of Coastal Zone Management Act and Amendments

The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) encourages states/tribes to preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, restore or enhance valuable natural coastal resources such as wetlands, floodplains, estuaries, beaches, dunes, barrier islands, and coral reefs, as well as the fish and wildlife using those habitats. It includes areas bordering the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans, Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound, and Great Lakes. A unique feature of this law is that participation by states/tribes is voluntary. To encourage states/tribes to participate, the act makes federal financial assistance available to any coastal state, tribe, or territory, including those on the Great Lakes, that is willing to develop and implement a comprehensive coastal management program. Most eligible states/tribes are, or will be, participating in the program.

In its reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management Act in 1990, Congress identified nonpoint source pollution as a major factor in the continuing degradation of coastal waters. Congress also recognized that effective solutions to nonpoint source pollution could be implemented at the state/tribe and local levels. Therefore, in the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990 (CZARA), Congress added Section 6217, which calls upon states/tribes with federally approved coastal zone management programs to develop and implement coastal nonpoint pollution control programs. The Section 6217 program is administered at the federal level jointly by EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA).

Section 6217(g) (scroll down to (g)): Guidance for coastal nonpoint source pollution control) of CZARA called for EPA, in consultation with other agencies, to develop guidance on "management measures" for sources of nonpoint source pollution in coastal waters. Under Section 6217 of CZARA, EPA is responsible for developing technical guidance to assist states/tribes in designing coastal nonpoint pollution control programs. On January 19, 1993, EPA issued its Guidance Specifying Management Measures for Sources of Nonpoint Pollution in Coastal Waters, which addresses five major source categories of nonpoint pollution: (1) urban runoff, (2) agriculture runoff, (3) forestry runoff, (4) marinas and recreational boating, and (5) hydromodification.

Top of Page

This page is sponsored by EPA's Ag Center. Ag Center logo

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.