Coastal Barrier Resources Act

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Digital Conversion and 5-Year Review of the CBRS

The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) requires the Secretary of the Interior to review the maps of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) at least once every 5 years and make any minor and technical modifications necessary to reflect changes in the size or location of the CBRS unit as a result of natural forces (16 U.S.C. 3503(c)).  The Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are collaborating on a  “digital conversion” project which will both fulfill this 5-year review requirement and produce updated maps for the entire CBRS by the end of 2016. 

The digital conversion project was undertaken to improve the accuracy, integrity, and usability of the CBRS data and maps.  This effort will help increase compliance with the CBRA and improve government efficiency and customer service by providing more reliable and user-friendly CBRS maps and digital data to the public.  The final CBRS boundaries produced through this digital conversion effort will also be shown on FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

Please note that the Service can only consider proposed changes to the draft maps that are consistent with its administrative authority to modify the CBRS boundaries which is limited to: (1) changes that have occurred as a result of 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 (16 U.S.C. 3503 (c)-(e)). Other requests for changes to the CBRS will not be considered at this time. For additional information on the separate technical correction process which addresses CBRS technical mapping errors and requires Congressional consideration, please see the Boundary Modifications section of the Service’s CBRA website.

The digital conversion project is being conducted in several batches.  Please see the links below for additional information on each batch.  The digital conversion schedule is subject to change based on FEMA’s schedule for coastal flood hazard mapping and other factors.  Several states (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and the Long Island portion of New York) will not go through the digital conversion process at this time as they will be part of a separate mapping project related to Hurricane Sandy that is planned for completion by late 2017.  Please visit the Hurricane Sandy Project section of the Service’s CBRA website for additional information.


Related documents and links:

  • Coastal Barrier Resources System Digital Conversion FAQs (coming soon)
  • Federal Register Notice of Availability of Draft Maps (PDF) – this notice provides background information and methodology for the digital conversion project.
  • Batch 1 – Delaware, South Carolina (including one unit that crosses the state boundary into North Carolina), Texas, and one unit in Pasco and Pinellas Counties, Florida
  • Batch 2 – Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York City, North Carolina, Virginia (anticipated for release in summer 2014)
  • Batch 3 – Alabama, Florida panhandle, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York (Great Lakes only), Ohio (anticipated for release in late 2014)*
  • Batch 4 – Northeastern Florida and Georgia (anticipated for release in 2015)*
  • Batch 5 – Louisiana, Puerto Rico, southern Florida, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (anticipated for release by 2016)*

*This schedule is subject to change.

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