From Offshore Wind to Coastal Dredging: A Discussion with Office Hours on Technical and Policy Aspects of Managing Federal Consistency Programs to Advance Healthy and Vibrant Coasts
Wed, 7 Dec, 10:30 - 12:00 Central Time (UTC -5)
Moderator: Elizabeth Ruther, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Track: Coastal Resource Management
Since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approved the first coastal management program (CMP) in 1976 under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), state and territory CMPs, federal agencies, and applicants have coordinated on thousands of federal actions in estuarine, nearshore, and offshore environments, subject to review under the CZMA federal consistency authority. Federal consistency gives CMPs a unique ability to review and influence federal actions and has created a collaborative state-federal relationship helpful for managing coastal resources and supporting thriving coastal communities. Administering a federal consistency program takes considerable time and attention; the need and expertise often outstripping staff knowledge and capacity. This session will bring together legal experts and former federal consistency program practitioners to consider aspects of effective policies as well as options for building a federal consistency program that can be more easily sustained by CMPs. This session will also share considerations for formulation of geographic location descriptions (GLD); a designation under the CZMA that provides CMPs the ability to automatically review federal actions outside of coastal zones (e.g. federal waters) for consistency with CMP policies. The session will offer two short presentations with a question and answer period, followed by office hours from the presenters for explicit questions from CMPs, networked agencies that are part of CMPs, and other interested coastal stakeholders. Throughout the day, virtual office hours will be offered for those unable to attend in person. This panel's management focus aligns with Summit Focus Area 6: Coastal Management by taking a deeper dive into policy and management processes that occurs in all CMPs. The session will help disseminate needed information and provide opportunity for one-on-one discussions as CMPs work to address current and future coastal management challenges, like those related to climate change and offshore wind energy.
Tips for Strengthening Enforceable Policies (EPs) for Federal Consistency Review
Geographic Location Descriptions (GLDs): A Powerful and Under Used Designation within the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA)