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CMP History

photoConcerted coastal management efforts began in New Jersey in 1970 with the passage of the Wetlands Act of 1970, followed by the Coastal Area Facility Review Act in 1973. In response to the 1972 passage of the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act, New Jersey developed and gained federal approval of the New Jersey Coastal Management Program, which addresses the complex coastal ecosystem as a whole, integrating goals and standards for protection/enhancement of natural resources, for appropriate land use and development and for public access to and use of coastal resources. The program, which was first approved in 1978, brought together the above laws as well as the Waterfront Development Law, the Public Trust Doctrine for access to and use of State-owned tidelands and the regulatory activities of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission. These laws were integrated through a set of over-arching policies to guide implementation of the New Jersey Coastal Zone Management Program.

The regulatory authority of the Coastal Management Program has evolved over the years through amendments to the Coastal Zone Management rules and the Coastal Permit Program rules. In addition, the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act and implementing rules have been incorporated into the Program. The non-regulatory coastal Non-Point Pollution Control Program, recently developed as required by the Coastal Zone Management Act, is also being integrated into the program.

Since the inception of the New Jersey Coastal Management Program, there have been sweeping reforms to the coastal regulations, policies and administration of the program in response to increased growth in the coastal area and pressures on our coastal resources. However, the base program has remained reliant on the three major coastal statutes: Wetlands Act of 1970, Waterfront Development Law and the Coastal Area Facility Review Act, and, more recently, the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act.

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Last Updated: April 9, 2015