Coastal Barrier Resources Act

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Congress Makes Updates to Coastal Barrier Resources System Maps in Four States

Maps depicting 11 units of the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) were made effective on December 18, 2014, via Public Law 113-253. The new maps (depicting revisions to ten units and one entirely new unit) are accessible via a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) online mapper. The affected units, comprising 19,893 total acres, are located in Rhode Island, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. The new maps correct errors affecting property owners and add eligible undeveloped areas to the CBRS. Additional information about the new maps is available here.

Stakeholder Review Period Closed for CBRS Digital Conversion Maps

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) held a 30-day comment period for Federal, State, and local officials to provide input on draft revised maps for all CBRS units in Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, and one unit in New York.  The CBRS boundaries for these areas have been transferred to updated base maps and the boundaries have been modified to reflect natural changes in the size or location of the CBRS units.  The comment period closed on July 10, 2014. Learn more ...

Supporting Coastal Resiliency and Sustainability following Hurricane Sandy

The Service recently received funding to modernize the maps of the CBRS for eight states most affected by Hurricane Sandy: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia. This project will help increase the resiliency and capacity of coastal habitats and infrastructure to withstand future storms and reduce the amount of damage caused by such storms, meanwhile modernizing the maps for about 370 CBRS units. The Service plans to prepare comprehensively revised draft maps for the eight states by 2017. Learn more ...


What is the Coastal Barrier Resources Act?

In the 1970s and 1980s, Congress recognized that certain actions and programs of the Federal Government have historically subsidized and encouraged development on coastal barriers, resulting in the loss of natural resources; threats to human life, health, and property; and the expenditure of millions of tax dollars each year.  To remove the Federal incentive to develop these areas, Congress passed the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) of 1982 which designated relatively undeveloped coastal barriers along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts as part of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS), and made these areas ineligible for most new Federal expenditures and financial assistance. Learn more ...

What is the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System?

The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) established the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) in 1982. The CBRS consists of the undeveloped coastal barriers and other areas located on the coasts of the United States that are identified and generally depicted on a series of maps entitled “John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System.” These maps are controlling and dictate which lands are affected by the CBRA.  Learn more ...

What are Coastal Barrier Landforms?

Coastal barriers are unique landforms that provide protection for diverse aquatic habitats and serve as the mainland's first line of defense against the impacts of severe coastal storms and erosion. Located at the interface of land and sea, the dominant physical factors responsible for shaping coastal landforms are tidal range, wave energy, and sediment supply from rivers and older, pre-existing coastal sand bodies. Learn more ...

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