About Coastal Management

About the Division of Coastal Management

The Division of Coastal Management works to protect, conserve and manage North Carolina's coastal resources through an integrated program of planning, permitting, education and research.

DCM carries out the state's Coastal Area Management Act, the Dredge and Fill Law and the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 in the 20 coastal counties, using rules and policies of the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, known as the CRC. The division serves as staff to the CRC.

Coastal Management is part of the Department of Environmental Quality, which is responsible for keeping the state's environment healthy. The division also receives oversight (and part of its funding) from the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

DCM is responsible for several programs, including:

  • permitting and enforcement;

  • CAMA land-use planning;

  • public beach and waterfront access;

  • North Carolina Coastal Reserves;

  • grants for marine sewage pumpout.

The division also collects and analyzes data for erosion rates, wetlands conservation and restoration, and to assess the impacts of coastal development.

Coastal Management has eight offices:

  • The Morehead City headquarters office houses DCM's director. CAMA major development permits and federal consistency reviews are processed in this office.

  • Offices in Elizabeth City, Washington, Morehead City and Wilmington have field representatives, who are responsible for permitting and enforcement, and a planner, who provides assistance to local governments developing land-use plans.

  • Coastal Reserve offices in Kitty Hawk (manager for Kitty Hawk Woods, Currituck Banks and Buxton Woods), Columbia (manager for the Buckridge site), Beaufort (the education office and manager of the Rachel Carson site) and Wilmington (Coastal Reserve coordination, research, and manager for Permuda, Masonboro, Zeke's and Bird islands).

DCM's Mission, Vision and Values

Mission

The Division of Coastal Management works to protect, conserve and manage North Carolina's coastal resources through an integrated program of planning, permitting, education and research.

DCM's vision for the North Carolina coast

A healthy, diverse and economically sound coastal environment for the enjoyment and benefit of citizens and visitors, achieved through a model program using partnerships, education and the best science to shape publicly supported policies and decisions.

DCM's core values

Work Ethic – Provide the highest level of service to our customers, partners and co-workers with pride, integrity and respect.

Education – Use every opportunity to increase awareness, knowledge and understanding of coastal issues, ecology, and resources.

Excellence – Committed to the highest quality products and services through innovation, efficiency and continuous evaluation of program effectiveness.

Productive Partnerships – Using teams and other appropriate means, collaborate with federal, state and local governments, organizations, businesses and individuals to successfully achieve common goals.

Stewardship – Manage natural resources in an informed and intelligent manner that balances multiple uses with a long-term perspective on sustainability.

Catalyst for Innovation and Change – Stimulate new thinking, greater stakeholder involvement, supportive research and effective planning to achieve sustainability of coastal resources.