CBRS Boundary Modifications
Aside from three minor exceptions, only Congress has the authority to modify
boundaries of the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) through legislation.
The three exceptions are: (1) the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) 5-year
review requirement that solely considers changes that have occurred to the CBRS
by natural forces such as erosion and accretion; (2) voluntary additions to the
CBRS by property owners; and (3) additions of excess federal property to the
CBRS. The Service is currently conducting a 5-year review that is
planned for completion for the entire CBRS by late 2016.
Learn more …
Congress designated the initial CBRS units in 1982 and modified and
expanded the CBRS in 1990. Since 1990, when technical mapping errors are
found, Congress works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to
revise the CBRS boundaries and enact technical correction legislation to
adopt the revised CBRS map.
The Service receives numerous requests from property owners and other
interested parties who seek to remove land from the CBRS. The Service does
not recommend removing lands from the CBRS unless there is compelling
evidence that a technical mapping error led to the inclusion of land in the
CBRS. In order to determine whether a technical mapping error exists, the
Service conducts a comprehensive review of the history of the CBRS unit in
question, which includes an assessment of the Service's records for the
unit, the controlling and historical CBRS maps of the area, the historical
development status of the area, aerial imagery, land ownership information,
and any materials submitted by interested parties. The reviews are time and
resource intensive and resources are limited.
If the Service finds a technical mapping error that warrants a change in
one part of a CBRS map, we review all adjacent areas to ensure the entire
map is accurate. This comprehensive approach to map revisions treats all
landowners who may be affected equitably, and it also ensures that Congress
and the Administration will not have to remap the same area in the future.
This approach is a lengthy process but it allows the Service to improve the
integrity of the entire CBRS by looking at boundary revisions in a holistic
fashion instead of pursuing incremental fixes for individual areas on a
single map. Learn more about ongoing
comprehensive map modernization projects …
What information does the Service need?
When assessing the appropriateness of a CBRS boundary change, the Service
undertakes a comprehensive review process which includes researching the
history of the area and the placement of the CBRS boundaries. If you
believe an area was developed at the time it was included within the CBRS,
you must provide documentation (preferably in the form of official
government records) to the Service that supports your claim. Such
documentation may include the following:
- information from the local tax appraiser's office with the dates of
construction for the structure(s) in question and
- information from local utility companies with the date(s) that the
infrastructure (sewer, water, electricity, and road(s) with a reinforced
road bed) was on the ground for the area in question.