The Texas Coastal Management Program was approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on January 10, 1997. The Texas Coastal Management Program is administered by the Texas Coastal Coordination Council and staff of the Texas General Land Office.
Section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments requires each state with an approved Coastal Management Program to develop a federally approvable program to control coastal nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. The program must be submitted within 30 months of Coastal Management Program approval.
As a result, the Texas Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program was submitted in December 1998 by the Coastal Coordination Council. The Coastal Management Program recognizes the TSSWCB and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) as holding primary responsibility over the development and implementation of the NPS program. Other supporting agencies involved include the Texas General Land Office, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Transportation, and the Railroad Commission of Texas.
Texas Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program
NOAA and EPA originally approved Texas’s Coastal NPS Pollution Control Program subject to certain conditions set forth in the Findings for the Texas Coastal NPS Pollution Control Program, transmitted to the state on October 16, 2003. Since then, Texas has worked closely with NOAA and EPA to address those conditions. In May 2022, NOAA and EPA stated that Texas had fully satisfied the 2003 conditions of approval the federal agencies placed on the state’s coastal NPS program.
Federal Grant Program for the Coastal Zone
Section 309 of the Coastal Zone Management Act, as amended in 1990, created a grant program that encouraged states to propose Coastal Management Program changes in nine potential enhancement areas.
Texas' first Section 309 Assessment and Strategies Report was submitted to NOAA on March 2, 1998. In the first three years of implementation, Texas focused on three of the nine priority enhancement areas: protecting wetlands, improved pubic access to the shoreline, and addressing cumulative and secondary impacts to natural resources from NPS pollution.
A fourth enhancement area, coastal hazards, was ranked as a medium priority. While coastal hazards pose great threats to the coastal zone, Texas is pursuing avenues to address this issue outside the §309 program. Texas intends to continue its emphasis on the same three priorities and complete its initial objectives in these areas during the next three years.