The Coastal Program works cooperatively with states; tribes; governmental and non-governmental organizations; industry, and private landowners to conserve our nation’s coastal trust resources.
Our nation's coasts provide important fish and wildlife habitat. Coastal ecosystems comprise less than 10 percent of the nation's land area, but support far greater proportions of our living resources, including a high percentage of our threatened and endangered species fishery resources, migratory songbirds, and migrating and wintering waterfowl.
Today, these species and their habitats face serious threats in coastal regions from human population growth and the development and disturbance that are often a consequence of growth. Population projections indicate that our coastlines will continue to receive the majority of the nation's growth and development, promising to compound today's habitat losses.
As habitat is degraded, reduced or eliminated, plants and animals suffer population losses that can lead to the need for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The Service's Coastal Program is working to avoid further species declines by enhancing its efforts within the nation's coastal areas and securing funding for conservation, including habitat restoration efforts.
How the Coastal Program Works
The Coastal Program integrates all Service activities in high priority coastal ecosystems to:
• Identify the most important natural resource problems and solutions;
• Influence the planning and decision-making processes of other agencies and organizations with the Service's living resource capabilities;
• Implement solutions on-the-ground in partnership with others; and
• Instill a stewardship ethic, and catalyze the public to help solve problems, change behaviors, and promote ecologically sound decisions.
The program provides technical and financial assistance in high-priority coastal areas in the form of cost sharing with partners in support of restoration and protection of coastal habitats.