Coastal Consistency

All actions conducted by State or Federal agencies must be consistent with the policies of the Connecticut Coastal Management Act (CCMA), authorities and procedures for which are spelled out below.

Federal Consistency
Each federal agency activity within or outside the coastal zone that affects any land or water use or natural resource of the coastal zone must be carried out in a manner which is consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of approved State management programs, in accordance with Sec. 307(c)(1)(A) of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended.

As of February 11, 2022, the enforceable policies identified in the Table of Approved Changes regarding the Long Island Sound Blue Plan shall be applicable in reviewing federal actions pursuant to the federal consistency requirements of the CZMA and its implementing regulations found at 15 CFR part 930.3. Please also see the NOAA Program Change Approval letter.

Federal agencies must submit a Consistency Determination, documenting their determination that proposed activities are consistent with the CCMA. Following review, the DEEP Land and Water Resources Division (LWRD) will either issue a Consistency Concurrence, stating LWRD's "concurrence" with the applicants determination of consistency and any conditions necessary to ensure coastal consistency, or an Objection explaining why the proposal is inconsistent with the CCMA, and what additional action(s) the applicant may take to ensure coastal consistency.

The Coastal Management Consistency Review Form for Federal Activities (fillable Word form / PDF) may serve as a written Consistency Determination, and is accompanied by Instructions. Submittal of this form is not necessary, and Consistency Determinations may, alternatively, be submitted in narrative form, describing the proposed activities and the manner in which they are, or will with appropriate mitigation measures be, consistent with coastal policies.

Connecticut has developed a list of federal activities that are subject to consistency review. The list was initially established as part of the state's Coastal Management Plan in 1980. The list was updated in 2006, and presently includes activities that might be undertaken in state waters as well as activities that might occur outside of state waters that would have a reasonably foreseeable effect on state coastal resources and uses.

State Consistency

Pursuant to Section 22a-100 of Connecticut General Statutes (CGS), each state department, institution or agency responsible for the primary recommendation or initiation of actions within the Coastal Boundary which may significantly affect the environment must demonstrate that those actions are consistent with all applicable policies and standards contained in the Connecticut Coastal Management Act (CCMA), codified at CGS Sections 22a-90 through 22a-112, as amended.

The Coastal Consistency Review Form may serve as a written State Consistency Determination for Non-regulated Projects Located Fully or Partially within the Coastal Boundary (fillable Word form / PDF) and is accompanied by Instructions.

Regulated Projects

Coastal consistency review is incorporated within the coastal permit process for any activity regulated through LWRD.

Any activity within the coastal area that requires a non-coastal permit includes a Coastal Consistency Review Form (fillable Word form / PDF) as part of the permit application package.

General Considerations

The policies with which either State or Federal proposed actions must be consistent are listed in the Reference Guide to Coastal Policies and Definitions and the Coastal Management Manual. The Manual includes individual downloadable and printable Fact Sheets (PDFs) with descriptive information for all coastal resources and uses identified in the CCMA.

Applicants for either State or Federal Consistency Concurrence should consult the Connecticut Natural Diversity Database to determine potential impacts on state-listed endangered and threatened species and species of special concern, and Natural Diversity Data Base (NDDB) Maps - instructions are provided.

Content last updated on March 22, 2022