Coastal Barrier Resources System
Ecological Services

Digital Conversion and 5-Year Review

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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) collaborated on a “digital conversion” project which fulfilled this 5-year review requirement and produced updated maps for most of the CBRS that were adopted between 2014 and 2016.

Please note that through the digital conversion project, the Service could 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 could not be considered under this project. 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 was conducted in four batches. Please see the links below for additional information on each batch. The digital conversion schedule was 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) did not go through the digital conversion process as they are part of a separate mapping project related to Hurricane Sandy. Draft maps for that project are anticipated to be released for public review and comment in 2017. Please visit the Hurricane Sandy Project section of the Service's CBRA website for additional information.

Related documents and links:

  • 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
  • Batch 3 – Alabama, Florida (except Pasco County), Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York (Great Lakes only), Ohio, Wisconsin, and 7 units in Louisiana
  • Batch 4 – Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 14 units in Louisiana
Last updated: May 10, 2017