Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

Oregon Coastal Program Overview
Program Components

To accomplish our mission, the Oregon Coastal Management Program knits together various state statutes for managing our coastal lands and waters into a single, coordinated package. The package, administered by the Department of Land Conservation and Development, has three basic parts:
  • The 19 Statewide Planning Goals. These are Oregon’s standards for comprehensive land use planning. The Goals set requirements on how land use decisions are to be made by local governments and state agencies.  The Land Conservation and Development Commission, which is responsible for adopting and interpreting most of the 19 Statewide Planning Goals, sets overall rules for planning decisions and oversees the statewide program. The department is the administrative arm for the commission.
  • City and County Comprehensive Land Use Plans. In Oregon, state and local governments share the job of land use planning. Cities and counties prepare and adopt plans and implement ordinances that meet the statewide planning goals and that are coordinated with relevant programs of Oregon state agencies. Day to day land use decisions are made by local governments in conformance with their state-approved plans.
  • State Agencies and Natural Resource Laws. Since the late 1960s, the Oregon Legislature has adopted numerous statutes in response to threats on coastal and statewide resources from uncontrolled development. These statutes include the Oregon Beach Bill, administered by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and the Removal / Fill Law, administered by the Oregon Division of State Lands. All state agencies must also follow certain requirements of the Statewide Planning Goals and must coordinate their land use actions with local government comprehensive land use plans. This helps ensure that all land use decisions by local governments and by state agencies are done more or less under the umbrella of the Statewide Planning Goals.

Types of Assistance and Services the Program Provides
  • Publications on numerous coastal resource and land use planning subjects.
  • Planning grants to local governments and qualifying non-profit organizations for meeting program requirements and for responding to special coastal resource management issues.
  • Workshops for local planning and elected officials on an "as-needed" basis. People should contact their respective field representative, Matt Spangler for the North Coast [Clatsop, Tillamook and Lincoln counties] or Dave Perry for the South Coast [Lane, Douglas, Coos, and Curry counties].
  • Personal assistance and advice for meeting program requirements and for responding to special coastal resource management issues.
For more detailed information about the workings of the Oregon Coastal Management Program, check out A Citizen’s Guide (pdf) to the Oregon Coastal Management Program.

Program Coordination with Other State Agencies
The state of Oregon is a major landowner in its own coastal zone. Over 75,000 acres of coastal forests, parks, and estuaries are owned and managed by state agencies. And that figure does not include the state’s ocean seabed, ocean beaches, lakes, or non-tidal rivers. Other state agencies regulate certain activities that can potentially harm coastal resources. By the nature of their statutory mandates as landowners or regulators, the following state agencies have close ties to the management of ocean and coastal resources:

Dept. of Agriculture Leases submerged estuarine lands for commercial oyster cultivation.
Oregon Business Development Department Provides funding and technical assistance to the state’s port districts. Researches and promotes economic development.
Dept. of Energy The department’s Energy Facility Siting Council regulates the siting of new energy facilities, to include nuclear and thermal power plants.
Dept. of Environmental Quality Regulates pollution sources that affect air, water, and land resources.
Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Regulates the harvest of fin fish, shellfish, and marine invertebrates. Also conducts research, manages refuges, and propagates fish.
Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries Regulates oil, gas and geothermal activities, including drilling permits for submerged wells. Also conducts research on coastal geology, coastal geologic hazards, and marine minerals.
Health Division Sets sanitary boundaries in state waters for harvest of cultivated shellfish.
Marine Board Regulates recreational boating activities and marina development.
Parks and Recreation Dept. Regulates activities in the "ocean shore recreation area" up to the beach zone line. Operates state parks.
Division of State Lands Via the State Land Board, owns and manages submerged lands [the seabed]. Leases activities on the seabed. Regulates kelp harvesting. Regulates fill and removal activities in all state waters.
Dept. of Transportation Maintains Highway 101 and access to it, the coast’s only north-south land transportation facility.
Water Resources Dept. Regulates the use of surface water and groundwater.

Due to their strong presence in coastal resource management, state agencies are in a unique position to assist the Oregon Coastal Management Program by protecting and managing specific natural resources, and by providing technical assistance, resource data and funding to other organizations for resource management. State agencies are also instructed by state statute [ORS 197.180] to make sure that their land use actions do not conflict with the state’s Statewide Planning Goals or with local government comprehensive land use plans.
Each state agency’s capacity to do all of this is articulated in a "State Agency Coordination Plan". Twenty-six state agencies besides DLCD have programs that affect land use. An important aim of Oregon's statewide planning is to ensure that such programs are "coordinated" – and, that they are consistent with the statewide planning goals and compatible with local comprehensive plans. Each agency’s coordination program has been "certified" by the Land Conservation and Development Commission as meeting those standards, and is available for public review at the department’s office in Salem.

Program Funding
Oregon’s Coastal Management Program is funded primarily by federal funds appropriated by the Congress to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The funds are awarded on an annual basis by the Office For Coastal Management.  The funds come from the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. The act encourages states to take a leading role in managing the nation’s coastal resources. It was adopted in response to public concern that our nation’s coastal resources were being threatened by fragmented management of coastal land and waterways.

Program Interaction with the Federal Government
Federal agencies are major contributors to the economy and environment of Oregon’s coast.  These  agencies own and manage an area equivalent to one-third of the Oregon Coastal Zone. 

Federal approval of Oregon’s Coastal Program under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act enables Oregon to review federal activities and approvals for "consistency" with the enforceable policies of the Oregon Coastal Management Program.  To learn more, visit our Federal Consistency pages.