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, E2
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Phone 410-260-8732
Fax 410-260-8739


Maryland's Coastal Policies

In addition to administering federal and State funds, the Chesapeake & Coastal Service (CCS) is responsible for maintaining and updating Maryland’s 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 Maryland’s enforceable coastal policies below:


  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 Overview 
Presentation to Joint Evaluation Committee - 12.01.10 

Maryland’s Enforceable Policy Update 2010-2011: Strengthening Coastal and Ocean Resource Management

In response to a 2007 Section 312 Assessment of Maryland’s Coastal Program (CCS), Maryland submitted a Routine Program Change (RPC) to NOAA on November 19, 2010. On March 18, 2011, NOAA approved Maryland’s 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 Maryland’s 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 Maryland’s Coastal Program.

Supporting Information

Maryland’s 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

For Federal Consistency submissions, reviews and decisions, please contact Heather Nelson (Maryland Department of the Environment) at or 410-537-3528. For information on Maryland’s enforceable policies and Program Changes, please contact Joseph Abe (Maryland Department of Natural Resources) at or 410-260-8740.

Please use this Coastal Consistency Request Form​ to initiate the review process for your project or activity. Once submitted, applicants will receive a copy of their completed request form with the option to edit or update as needed. Applicants are encouraged to send this completed form via email, along with supporting documentation, to the lead agency contact(s) listed above and copy Maryland Department of Environment or Maryland Department of Natural Resources counterparts to ensure that each project or activity review request gets a prompt response and a comprehensive and thorough review.

The core team listed above, which actively supports each other’s roles, is also supported by numerous staff from network partner agencies who conduct reviews to ensure projects and activities are consistent with Maryland’s enforceable policies. More information on the federal consistency review process is available at​​