About Summit

The Coastal Zone Management Act's Federal Consistency Authority: 45 Years of State-Federal Collaboration
Since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approved the first state coastal management program in 1976 under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), states, federal agencies, and applicants have coordinated and collaborated on thousands of federal actions subject to state review under the CZMA federal consistency authority. Federal consistency gives states a unique ability to review and influence federal actions. This 45-year-old review process has created a collaborative state-federal relationship that may not otherwise exist and has helped coastal communities thrive and conserve state coastal resources. The collaboration has not been without disagreements and controversy over some federal actions, state enforceable policies, and interpretation of NOAA's regulations. The session will explore what the federal consistency authority is, share examples of how it has worked, explore a new approach to organize state federal consistency programs to increase transparency and effectiveness, as well as explore how this policy is critical for the future of coastal management.
Coastal program staff from both coasts will share their experience implementing federal consistency, creating geographic location descriptions, or working with enforceable policies. Two federal agencies are represented on the panel; the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will speak to working with coastal states while NOAA will provide the expertise on federal consistency, enforceable policies, and discuss why the process is important. The Coastal States Organization, will moderate the session.
This panel's regulatory and process focus fits well within the Summit Focus Area 10: Planning, Policy, and Administration, by taking a deeper dive into a consequential, but often misunderstood, management process that occurs in all coastal states. As such, the session will help disseminate information about this CZMA tool as state coastal programs work to address current and future coastal management challenges like those related to climate change. The information will also benefit stakeholders, advocates, and decision-makers that work on coastal issues as they craft policies that apply to coastal areas and that may ultimately be used during federal consistency review of federal activities.
Planning, Policy, and Administration