United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 25, 2023
For purposes of this chapter—
The term “coastal zone” means the coastal waters (including the lands therein and thereunder) and the adjacent shorelands (including the waters therein and thereunder), strongly influenced by each other and in proximity to the shorelines of the several coastal states, and includes islands, transitional and intertidal areas, salt marshes, wetlands, and beaches. The zone extends, in Great Lakes waters, to the international boundary between the United States and Canada and, in other areas, seaward to the outer limit of State title and ownership under the Submerged Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.), the Act of
March 2, 1917 (48 U.S.C. 749) [48 U.S.C. 731 et seq.], the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, as approved by the Act of March 24, 1976 [48 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.], or section 1 of the Act of November 20, 1963 (48 U.S.C. 1705), as applicable. The zone extends inland from the shorelines only to the extent necessary to control shorelands, the uses of which have a direct and significant impact on the coastal waters, and to control those geographical areas which are likely to be affected by or vulnerable to sea level rise. Excluded from the coastal zone are lands the use of which is by law subject solely to the discretion of or which is held in trust by the Federal Government, its officers or agents.
The term “coastal resource of national significance” means any coastal wetland, beach, dune, barrier island, reef, estuary, or fish and wildlife habitat, if any such area is determined by a coastal state to be of substantial biological or natural storm protective value.
The term “coastal waters” means (A) in the Great Lakes area, the waters within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States consisting of the Great Lakes, their connecting waters, harbors, roadsteads, and estuary-type areas such as bays, shallows, and marshes and (B) in other areas, those waters, adjacent to the shorelines, which contain a measurable quantity or percentage of sea water, including, but not limited to, sounds, bays, lagoons, bayous, ponds, and estuaries.
The term “coastal state” means a state of the United States in, or bordering on, the Atlantic, Pacific, or Arctic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, Long Island Sound, or one or more of the Great Lakes. For the purposes of this chapter, the term also includes Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands, and American Samoa.
The term “coastal energy activity” means any of the following activities if, and to the extent that (A) the conduct, support, or facilitation of such activity requires and involves the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of any equipment or facility; and (B) any technical requirement exists which, in the determination of the Secretary, necessitates that the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of such equipment or facility be carried out in, or in close proximity to, the coastal zone of any coastal state; 1
1So in original. The semicolon probably should be a colon.
Any outer Continental Shelf energy activity.
Any transportation, conversion, treatment, transfer, or storage of liquefied natural gas.
Any transportation, transfer, or storage of oil, natural gas, or coal (including, but not limited to, by means of any deepwater port, as defined in section 1502(10) 2
of title 33).
2See References in Text note below.
For purposes of this paragraph, the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of any equipment or facility shall be “in close proximity to” the coastal zone of any coastal state if such siting, construction, expansion, or operation has, or is likely to have, a significant effect on such coastal zone.
The term “energy facilities” means any equipment or facility which is or will be used primarily—
in the exploration for, or the development, production, conversion, storage, transfer, processing, or transportation of, any energy resource; or
for the manufacture, production, or assembly of equipment, machinery, products, or devices which are involved in any activity described in subparagraph (A).
The term includes, but is not limited to (i) electric generating plants; (ii) petroleum refineries and associated facilities; (iii) gasification plants; (iv) facilities used for the transportation, conversion, treatment, transfer, or storage of liquefied natural gas; (v) uranium enrichment or nuclear fuel processing facilities; (vi) oil and gas facilities, including platforms, assembly plants, storage depots, tank farms, crew and supply bases, and refining complexes; (vii) facilities including deepwater ports, for the transfer of petroleum; (viii) pipelines and transmission facilities; and (ix) terminals which are associated with any of the foregoing.
The term “enforceable policy” means State policies which are legally binding through constitutional provisions, laws, regulations, land use plans, ordinances, or judicial or administrative decisions, by which a State exerts control over private and public land and water uses and natural resources in the coastal zone.
The term “estuary” means that part of a river or stream or other body of water having unimpaired connection with the open sea, where the sea water is measurably diluted with fresh water derived from land drainage. The term includes estuary-type areas of the Great Lakes.
The term “estuarine sanctuary” means a research area which may include any part or all of an estuary and any island, transitional area, and upland in, adjoining, or adjacent to such estuary, and which constitutes to the extent feasible a natural unit, set aside to provide scientists and students the opportunity to examine over a period of time the ecological relationships within the area.
The term “Fund” means the Coastal Zone Management Fund established under section 1456a(b) of this title.
The term “land use” means activities which are conducted in, or on the shorelands within, the coastal zone, subject to the requirements outlined in section 1456(g) of this title.
The term “local government” means any political subdivision of, or any special entity created by, any coastal state which (in whole or part) is located in, or has authority over, such state’s coastal zone and which (A) has authority to levy taxes, or to establish and collect user fees, or (B) provides any public facility or public service which is financed in whole or part by taxes or user fees. The term includes, but is not limited to, any school district, fire district, transportation authority, and any other special purpose district or authority.
The term “management program” includes, but is not limited to, a comprehensive statement in words, maps, illustrations, or other media of communication, prepared and adopted by the state in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, setting forth objectives, policies, and standards to guide public and private uses of lands and waters in the coastal zone.
The term “outer Continental Shelf energy activity” means any exploration for, or any development or production of, oil or natural gas from the outer Continental Shelf (as defined in section 1331(a) of title 43) or the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of any new or expanded energy facilities directly required by such exploration, development, or production.
The term “person” means any individual; any corporation, partnership, association, or other entity organized or existing under the laws of any state; the Federal Government; any state, regional, or local government; or any entity of any such Federal, state, regional, or local government.
The term “public facilities and public services” means facilities or services which are financed, in whole or in part, by any state or political subdivision thereof, including, but not limited to, highways and secondary roads, parking, mass transit, docks, navigation aids, fire and police protection, water supply, waste collection and treatment (including drainage), schools and education, and hospitals and health care. Such term may also include any other facility or service so financed which the Secretary finds will support increased population.
The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Commerce.
The term “special area management plan” means a comprehensive plan providing for natural resource protection and reasonable coastal-dependent economic growth containing a detailed and comprehensive statement of policies; standards and criteria to guide public and private uses of lands and waters; and mechanisms for timely implementation in specific geographic areas within the coastal zone.
The term “water use” means a use, activity, or project conducted in or on waters within the coastal zone.
(Pub. L. 89–454, title III, § 304, as added Pub. L. 92–583,
Oct. 27, 1972, 86 Stat. 1281; amended Pub. L. 94–370, § 3, July 26, 1976, 90 Stat. 1013; Pub. L. 96–464, § 4, Oct. 17, 1980, 94 Stat. 2061; Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, § 6204, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–302; Pub. L. 102–587, title II, § 2205(b)(3)–(7), Nov. 4, 1992, 106 Stat. 5050, 5051.)
cite as: 16 USC 1453