Marylandís Coastal Policies

Coastal Policies

In addition to administering federal and State funds, the Chesapeake & Coastal Service (CCS) is responsible for maintaining and updating Marylandís enforceable coastal policies.

Federal Consistency

Under the Coastal Zone Management Act, direct Federal actions, Federal license or permit activities and federal financial assistance activities that have reasonably foreseeable coastal effects must be consistent with the enforceable policies of state coastal management programs approved by NOAA. The process by which a state decides whether a federal action meets its enforceable policies is called federal consistency review.

CCS has published a guide to the federal consistency process in Maryland. Click the thumbnail on the right to download the document, "A Guide to Maryland's Coastal Zone Management Program Federal Consistency Process".

Federal consistency applies to Marylandís enforceable coastal policies below:

Marylandís Enforceable Coastal Policies


  1. General Policies
    1. Core Policies
    2. Water Quality
    3. Flood Hazards
  2. Coastal Resources
    1. The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area
    2. Tidal Wetlands
    3. Non-Tidal Wetlands
    4. Forests
    5. Historical and Archaeological Sites
    6. Living Aquatic Resources
  3. Coastal Uses
    1. Mineral Extraction
    2. Electrical Generation and Transmission
    3. Tidal Shore Erosion Control
    4. Oil and Natural Gas Facilities
    5. Dredging and Disposal of Dredged Material
    6. Navigation
    7. Transportation
    8. Agriculture
    9. Development
    10. Sewage Treatment
Maryland Enforceable Coastal Policies 2011-Full Document
Maryland Enforceable Coastal Policies 2011-Full Document

MD 2010 RPC Approval Letter
MD 2010 RPC Approval Letter

Routine Program Change-November 2010
Routine Program Change-November 2010
Routine Program Change Overview
Routine Program Change Overview
Presentation to Joint Evaluation Committee - 12.01.10
Presentation to the Interagency Joint Evaluation - December 1, 2010


Marylandís Enforceable Policy Update 2010-2011: Strengthening Coastal and Ocean Resource Management

In response to a 2007 Section 312 Assessment of Marylandís Coastal Program (CCS), Maryland submitted a Routine Program Change (RPC) to NOAA on November 19, 2010. On March 18, 2011, NOAA approved Marylandís RPC. The updated and clarified enforceable policies contained in the RPC are the result of a comprehensive review and update of the policies of the State of Maryland Coastal Management Program Document and past program changes. The enforceable policies are based on current legally binding provisions of Maryland law and articulate clear standards for federal consistency determinations and certifications. While Marylandís federal consistency process will continue to be guided by a number of considerations; any objections to a federal action will be based on the enforceable policies proposed in this RPC. Maryland hopes that by clearly articulating its enforceable policies, proponents of an action subject to federal consistency will be encouraged to engage in more meaningful early consultation with Marylandís Coastal Program.

Supporting Information

Marylandís Enforceable Coastal Policies 2011 - Full Document

MD 2010 Routine Program Change Approval Letter

Routine Program Change to Update Coastal Policies - November 2010

Routine Program Change Overview

More information on the federal consistency review process is available at For more information on Federal Consistency in action at the State level, contact Elder Ghigiarelli with the Maryland Department of the Environment at And for information on Marylandís coastal enforceable policies, contact Joe Abe with Marylandís Chesapeake & Coastal Service at or call 410.260.8740.

Recent News

State of Maryland and Department of Defense Partner to Protect Coastal Resources

Stream Restoration Challenge Kicks Off with Spring Plantings

On May 8, 2013 the State of Maryland and the Department of Defense (DoD) entered into a first-of-its-kind agreement to work together to protect and enhance Maryland’s coastal resources, in a signing at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlines how DoD facilities and projects will meet the federal law requirements of the Coastal Zone Management Act to ensure that their actions affecting these resources are consistent with State policies. Click here for full press release. Click here to view the following:

A Guide to Maryland's Coastal Zone Management Program Federal Consistency Process

Cover of a Guide to Maryland's Coastal Zone Management Program Federal Consistency Process

Contact Information

Chesapeake & Coastal Service

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Tawes State Office Building, E-2

580 Taylor Avenue

Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Phone 410-260-8732

Fax 410-260-8739