The Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning reviews and administers New Jersey’s Coastal Management Program and is responsible for development and implementation of a number of planning activities including Municipal Public Access Planning, sustainable and resilient coastal community planning, and ocean resource planning. The Office also coordinates the Department's Living Shoreline program.
The Coastal Management Program is comprised of a network of offices within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection that serve distinct functions yet share responsibilities that influence the state of New Jersey's coast. A primary mission of the Program is ensuring that coastal resources and ecosystems are conserved as a vital aspect of local, state, and federal efforts to enhance sustainable coastal communities. This mission is supported by a number of programs including regulation and enforcement of Department regulations, Community Sustainability and Resiliency Planning, the Clean Marina Program, Ocean Resource Planning, and Federal Consistency reviews.
Coastal Management staff develops and implements long range planning projects involving coastal resource issues, and coordinates their efforts with complementary programs having similar interests and initiatives in the coastal area. These complementary programs include the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, and three estuary programs - Delaware River, NY/NJ Harbor and the Barnegat Bay, as well as the coastal programs of adjacent states. The staff also advises the Department regarding existing policies that influence coastal resource management. Staff members work with municipal, county and state government, as well as non-profit groups on planning and resource management issues. Coastal Management staff also administers Coastal Zone Management Grants and prepares grant performance reports.
More Info: Coastal Management Program Web Site
Staff work with municipal governments to develop voluntary Municipal Public Access Plans consistent with the Coastal Permit Program (N.J.A.C. 7:7) and Coastal Zone Management rules (N.J.A.C. 7:7E) in an effort to enhance public access to tidal waters in a comprehensive manner. These plans consist of an inventory of existing public access amenities within a municipality, along with a needs assessment, and a list of planned enhancements or expansions of public access facilities in accordance with State criteria.
More Info: Public Access Web Site
Staff from the Living Shoreline Program coordinates the efforts to promote and develop living shorelines in New Jersey. Working with an internal Living Shorelines Workgroup and external partners, staff will assist in project development, design, permitting and monitoring.
A living shoreline is a shoreline management practice that addresses the loss of vegetated shorelines, beaches, and habitat in the littoral zone along the coast by providing for the protection, restoration or enhancement of these habitats using plants, stone, sand, or other structural and organic materials. The use of living shoreline techniques to protect, restore and enhance our coastal shorelines will provide for more natural habitat, erosion control, improved water quality and overall resilience than traditional structural approaches.
The NJ Resilient Coastal Communities Initiative (RCCI) provides planning and technical support to 239 NJ coastal communities in response to increasing coastal hazards. RCCI includes an extensive network of partners that are providing coastal communities with services such as vulnerability assessments, planning recommendations, and mitigation strategies. Much of this work is based on products developed by the Coastal Management Program including the Coastal Vulnerability Index and Getting to Resilience.
Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) (also referred to as marine planning or ocean planning) is a comprehensive, integrated, science and ecosystem-based approach to address conservation, economic activity and sustainable use of ocean and coastal resources. The CMP also participates in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Council (MARCO) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (RPB) to coordinate ocean planning and resource issues with adjacent states and the federal government.
More Info: Ocean Planning Web Site
Staff from the Land Use Planning groups, in coordination with the Coastal Management Program, oversees the identification and designation of CAFRA Centers, as regulated by the Coastal Zone Management rules (N.J.A.C. 7:7E).
State and Regional Consistency
Staff continues to represent the Department in the Plan Endorsement Process led by the NJ Office of Planning Advocacy, and remains engaged in implementation of the State Plan.
State Plan Endorsement
Staff from the Land Use Planning groups perform DEP’s portion of the Plan Endorsement review associated with the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, consistent with the Plan Endorsement rule (N.J.A.C. 5:85).
Staff coordinate land use planning efforts in the Pinelands Area with the Pinelands Commission, as designated by the Pinelands Act (N.J.S.A. 13:18A).
Sustainable Jersey™ is a voluntary certification program for municipalities in New Jersey that want to go green, save money, and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term. Staff from the Coastal Management Program, chair and staff multiple Sustainable Jersey Task Forces.
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Environmental Capacity-based Planning
Environmental capacity-based planning recognizes both the environmental limits and opportunities for growth. Environmental limits include drinking water availability and sewer service capacity. Opportunities include the redevelopment of brownfield sites, the preservation of open space and natural resources including rare plant and animal species and representative ecological communities.
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"Sustainability" or "Sustainable Development" has been defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This approach recognizes the need to balance environmental quality, economic vitality and community equity as the State continues to grow and develop.
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