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State of New Jersey-Department of Environmental Protection-Coastal Management Program
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Section 309 Assessment & Strategy

The Coastal Zone Enhancement Program, established under Section 309 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), encourages state coastal management programs (CMPs) to strengthen and improve their federally approved programs in one or more of nine enhancement areas.

These enhancement areas are:

  • Wetlands
  • Coastal hazards
  • Public access
  • Marine debris
  • Cumulative and secondary impacts
  • Special area management plans (SAMPs)
  • Oceans and Great Lakes resources
  • Energy and government facility siting
  • Aquaculture

Each participating state must evaluate its coastal management program in these nine enhancement areas every five years through a self-assessment and then must develop multi-year strategies to address the priority needs within one or more of the enhancement areas.

On October 1, 2019, the NJCMP began the assessment and strategy process for the 2021-2025 enhancement cycle. The draft of the Section 309 Assessment and Strategy document was submitted on May 1, 2020. The final 2021-2025 Assessment and Strategy was submitted on August 31, 2020 and was approved by NOAA on September 4, 2020.

Projects of Special Merit

To encourage each CMP to continually improve its program in the nine enhancement areas, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awards additional competitive funding under Section 309 of the CZMA each year for Projects of Special Merit (PSM). PSM funding is intended to help CMPs develop innovative projects that further their approved enhancement area strategies and focus on national enhancement area priorities.

The NJCMP’s current Projects of Special Merit awarded by NOAA are:


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Last Updated: June 5, 2024