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.
Since the great majority of the Nation's coastal areas are in private hands, conservation of these ecologically important habitats is vital to protecting coastal natural resources. The key is to find solutions that ensure self-sustaining natural systems despite conflicting demands on our natural resources.
The Coastal Program provides incentives for voluntary protection of threatened, endangered and other species on private and public lands alike. The program's protection and restoration successes to date give hope that, through the cooperative efforts of many public and private partners, adequate coastal habitat for fish and wildlife will exist for future generations.
Why Is the Coastal Program Needed?
Our Nation's coasts provide important fish and wildlife habitat, far beyond their limited geographic extent. Coastal ecosystems comprise less than 10 percent of the Nation's land area, but support far greater proportions of our living resources. Specifically, coastal areas support a much higher percentage of the Nation's 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 the agency's efforts within the Nation's coastal areas and securing funding for conservation, including habitat restoration efforts.
What is the landowner’s role?
A simple phone call or letter initiates the process. The landowner works one-on-one with a local Service biologist to develop a project plan addressing the goals and objectives of the landowner and the Service to benefit fish and wildlife species on his/her land.
To implement a project, a cooperative agreement with a minimum duration of 10 years is signed. The landowner is reimbursed after project completion, based on the cost-sharing formula in the agreement.
What are the benefits?
For the landowner: Fulfilling habitat conservation goals on the land by working one-on-one in partnership with the local Service biologist.
For the species: Restoring important habitats on private lands that may result in the recovery of Federal trust species.
Who can participate?
Any privately-owned land is potentially eligible for restoration. Most applicants are individual private landowners. For purposes of this program, "privately-owned" means land not owned by a State or the Federal Government.
Regional and State Contact Information
Click on the appropriate Region of the map below to find your Partners for Fish and Wildlife State Coordinator.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Coastal Program
Coastal Program Team Leader
4401 N. Fairfax Blvd
Arlington , VA 22203 Phone:
(703)358-2232 Visit Website