Waterfront Revitalization

New York State Coastal Management Program

In 1972, in response to growing concerns that development in coastal ecosystems was taking place without an overall strategy for comprehensive coastal management, and to increase state involvement in efforts by the federal government to protect the coastal zone, the federal government enacted the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) (pdf)

The CZMA implements the federal Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP) , which provides the basis for protecting, restoring, and responsibly developing the nation’s important and diverse coastal communities and resources. The CZMP is administered at the federal level by the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM), which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The states’ participation in the CZMP is voluntary and NOAA recognizes that there are important cultural, economic, political, and environmental differences among the participating states and territories.

To foster an effective partnership among federal and state governments, the CZMP encourages each state to enact its own coastal management program (CMP) and provides funding for CMP administration after it becomes federally approved. For federal approval, the development of the CMP must involve local governments and state agencies. After a CMP is approved by the federal government, federal agencies can only undertake activities or issue permits affecting the coastal zone covered by the CMP if they are deemed "consistent to the maximum extent practical" with the coastal policies contained in the state’s CMP.

In 1981, the New York State Legislature enacted Article 42 of the Executive Law, the Waterfront Revitalization of Coastal Areas and Inland Waterways Act. In 1982, the New York State Coastal Management Program (pdf) was created to establish the boundaries of the Coastal Area within which the CMP applies, describe the organizational structure to implement the CMP, and provide a set of statewide policies enforceable on all State and Federal agencies which manage resources and coordinate actions along the State's coastline. Article 42 also offers local governments the opportunity to participate in the State's Coastal Management Program on a voluntary basis. Localities are encouraged to prepare and adopt local waterfront revitalization programs (LWRP) which in turn, would provide more detailed implementation of the State's Program through use of existing broad powers such as those covering zoning and site plan review.