Marine and Coastal Law: Cases and Materials

By Dennis W. Nixon | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
REGULATING DEVELOPMENT IN THE COASTAL ZONE: THE COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT ACT OF 1972
As regulatory programs go, the federal coastal zone management program is of fairly recent vintage. However, its roots can be traced back nearly two thousand years, to the Sermon on the Mount:

So whoever hears these words of mine and acts on them is like a man who had the sense to build his house on rock. The rain came down, the floods rose, the winds blew and beat upon that house but it did not fall, because its foundations were on rock. And whoever hears these words of mine and does not act on them is like a man who was foolish enough to build his house on sand. The rain came down, the floods rose, the winds blew and battered against that house; and it fell with a great crash.

Matthew 7:24-27

Despite that biblical admonition, our beaches and shores have become highly developed and routinely suffer significant damage from the forces of nature. One major effort to control that development was the Coastal Zone Management Act (16 U.S.C. Secs. 1451, et seq.) of 1972.
Selected Provisions of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as Amended through 1990

Sec. 1451. Congressional Findings
The Congress finds that:
a. There is a national interest in the effective management, beneficial use, protection, and development of the coastal zone.
b. The coastal zone is rich in a variety of natural, commercial, recreational, ecological, industrial, and esthetic resources of immediate and potential value to the present and future well-being of the Nation.
c. (c) The increasing and competing demands upon the lands and waters of our coastal zone occasioned by population growth and economic development, including requirements for industry, commerce, residential development, recreation, extraction of mineral resources and fossil fuels, transportation and navigation, waste disposal, and harvesting of fish, shellfish, and other living marine resources, have resulted in the loss of living marine resources, wildlife, nutri-

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