Coastal Zone Management Act - Developing a Framework for Identifying Performance Indicators
H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment
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In 1972, Congress passed the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) to "preserve, protect, develop, and, where possible, restore or enhance the resources of the Nation's coastal zone for this and succeeding generations." It has been 30 years since the Act was passed. How are we doing? How well are we managing our nation's coastal resources? Have we achieved a harmonious balance between use and conservation? If so, what has worked, and if not, are we making progress? Is the current set of policies and tools at all levels of government - federal, state, and local - sufficient to enable coastal managers to meet the needs of the public? Are the nation's state coastal programs working? Are we receiving appropriate benefits for our time and effort? To answer these questions, NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS) commissioned the Heinz Center to embark on an 18-month study to identify shared national and state coastal resource goals, based on the objectives of the CZMA, and to design a framework for effective measurement of outcomes using performance indicators. The goal of this study was to develop a framework, rather than a detailed set of specific indicators. This report is the result of the study, and we believe that the framework outlined will help federal, state, and local coastal managers improve their stewardship of the nation's coastal resources.