Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) Grant


Sunset on the bay - Photo by Joel Hawtof Background and Objective

The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) was passed in 1972. Under the law, the federal government provides financial assistance to states that develop and maintain approved coastal zone management programs.  In response to the CZMA, the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program (Chesapeake & Coastal Program) was formally created in 1978 representing a unique partnership between the state and the federal government and playing a dynamic role in shaping environmental policy in the state.


The CZMA provides Maryland with the means to administer our Coastal Zone Management Program, but also the opportunity to work with our partners at the local level to develop programs, plans and strategies to address specific coastal issues.


Maryland is awarded funds based on the size of its coastal population and the length of its tidal shoreline.  Maryland currently receives about $2.5 million annually from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM). 


Coastal Zone Management grants are generally 18 months in duration, from October 1 of one year to March 31 two years out.  The total funds awarded to the program from each of these 18-month grants ranges from $4.5 to $4.7 million which includes both federal funds and non-federal match.  Under each separate contract, normally 12 months in duration, funded projects are reimbursed for funds expended once work is completed. 


Each grant is subdivided into Sections 306 and 309 (and Section 310 in some years), that correspond to different sections of the Coastal Zone Management Act, each with specific objectives: 


Implementation of the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program (Section 306)

Federal funding provided through the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 legislation which is designated for the administration and implementation of Marylandís Coastal Zone Management Program. Section 306 funding must be matched 1:1 by non-federal fund sources.


Acquisition and Construction Projects (Section 306A)

Federal funding provided through the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 legislation which is designated for the acquisition of fee simple and other interests (e.g. easements) in land, low-cost construction projects (e.g. public access improvements) or habitat restoration projects. Additional documentation is required from NOAA before 306A projects can be approved. Section 306A funding must be matched 1:1 by non-federal fund sources.


Coastal Zone Enhancement Projects (Section 309)

Federal funding provided through the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 legislation which is designated for coastal zone enhancement projects which create new enforceable policies in any of nine identified areas: wetlands, coastal hazards, public access, marine debris, cumulative and secondary impacts, special area management plans, ocean resources, energy and government facility siting and aquaculture. Section 309 funding does not require match.


CoastSmart Communities Grant Program (Section 309)

The CoastSmart Communities Grant Program provides financial and technical assistance to local governments to promote the incorporation of natural resource and/or coastal management issues into local planning and permitting activities (a program change). Preference is given to projects that focus specifically on reducing community vulnerability to the effects of sea level rise through the modification of ordinances, codes, plans and programs. As part of CZMA Section 309, no match is required. For more information e-mail Kate Skaggs or call 410-260-8743.


For more information about the CZMA funding category and how these funds are spent in Maryland, e-mail Laura Younger or call 410-260-8742.

Requests for Proposals

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

customerservice@dnr.state.md.us