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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : Delaware Coastal Programs



Wave crashing against a Delaware beachThe management of Delaware’s coastal resources is shared by a number of entities within DNREC. Among them are the Delaware Coastal Management Program and the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR). These programs help to preserve, protect, develop and enhance the state’s coastal resources and resolve conflicts related to coastal zone issues.

Specifically, the Delaware Coastal Management Program:

  • Manages coastal resources through innovative research projects, education and grant programs, and policy development 
  • Administers the Coastal Zone Federal Consistency Certification program
  • Provides special area management planning
  • Provides assistance to state and local governments for local land use planning
  • Offers other special on-the-ground projects related to Delaware's coastal resources
  • Offers technical assistance to communities

Section 309 Enhancement Program

The Coastal Zone Enhancement Program was established in 1990 under Section 309 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) and provides incentives to states to enhance their state programs within nine key areas: wetlands, coastal hazards, public access, marine debris, cumulative and secondary impacts, special area management planning, ocean and Great Lakes resources, energy and government facility siting, and aquaculture.

Under the Section 309, the Secretary of Commerce is authorized to make awards to states with approved coastal management programs to implement multi-year strategies that focus on one or more of the priority enhancement goals. To be eligible for the awards, every five years states assess their coastal management programs to identify priority needs and opportunities for improvement.

The DCMP has drafted its Section 309 Coastal Zone Enhancement Program Assessment and Strategy for 2016-2020 and will be accepting public comments through June 22, 2015. Comments may be directed to:

Delaware Coastal Programs
Sarah W. Cooksey, Administrator
5 E. Reed Street, Suite 201
Dover, DE 19901

or emailed to If emailing, please put "309 Comments" in the subject line. 


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