Coastal Zone Management
About this Course
The field of coastal zone management (CZM) takes on large goals -- understanding the effects of human actions on coastal ecosystems, preventing future habitat destruction, rstoring damaged areas and resource stocks, and establishing sustainable use practices. Many parties are involved in CZM -- scientists study the coast and inform decision-makers; federal, state, and local governments create and implement policies; non-profit organizations monitor governmental actions and raise public awareness; and citizens who use the coastal environment and its resources influence and are influenced by management policies. In the United States CZM has been formalized by laws and institutional structures, although coastal management institutions and policies continue to evolve. In 1972 the Coastal Zone Management Act established a national coastal program which was designed as a "voluntary partnership" -- but one containing carrots and sticks -- between the federal government and the coastal states. This course is designed to explain how CZM works in the United States, and allow a consideration and discussion of the current "hot topics" in CZM.