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309 Needs Assessment and Strategy

Coastal Program Assessment and Enhancement Strategy:

Section 309 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), as amended in 1990 and again in 1996, establishes a voluntary grants program to encourage states and territories with approved programs to develop program enhancements in one or more of the following areas:

  • Wetlands
  • Lake debris
  • Public access
  • Lake resources
  • Coastal hazards
  • Special Area Management Plans
  • Cumulative and secondary impacts
  • Aquaculture
  • Energy and government facility siting

The OCRM guidance provides a recommended format to address each enhancement area in the document. The most recent guidance was issued in June 2019. Generally, the format consists of a characterization of the issue, a series of questions concerning the status of the issue and changes related to the issue that have occurred since the last Assessment, a concluding statement that identifies any program "gaps", and the priority level (high/medium/low) assigned to the enhancement area by the coastal program. If applicable, a section may include a multi-year Strategy that addresses selected "gaps".

Funding is made available each year to implement these Strategies. As such, it is important that the planning document include an accurate portrayal of the existing programs and enhancement needs. The 309 Process requires that any Projects developed result in a program change as defined in 15 CFR 923.123, include the following:

  • A change to coastal zone boundaries that will improve a State’s ability to achieve one or more of the enhancement objectives.
  • New or revised authorities, including statutes, regulations, enforceable policies, administrative decisions, executive orders, and memoranda of agreement/understanding, that will improve a State’s ability to achieve one or more of the enhancement objectives.
  • New or revised local coastal programs and implementing ordinances that will improve a State’s ability to achieve one or more of the enhancement objectives.
  • New or revised coastal land acquisition, management, and restoration programs that improve a State’s ability to attain one or more of the enhancement objectives.
  • New or revised Special Area Management Plans or plans for Areas of Particular Concern (APC), including enforceable policies and other necessary implementing mechanisms or criteria and procedures for designating and managing APC that will improve a State’s ability to achieve one or more of the enhancement objectives.
  • New or revised guidelines, procedures, and policy documents which are formally adopted by a State and provide specific interpretations of enforceable CZM policies to applicants, local governments and other agencies that will result in meaningful improvements in coastal resource management and that will improve a State’s ability to attain one or more of the enhancement objectives.

The DNR LMCP is soliciting Public Comments on this Planning Document. Please submit your comments in writing to coastal@dnr.IN.gov by March 24, 2021. The LMCP Staff shall review all submitted comments and incorporate accordingly.

Past plans