Consistency Section

Generally, federal consistency requires that federal actions, within and outside the coastal zone, which have reasonably foreseeable effects on any coastal use (land or water) or natural resource of the coastal zone be consistent with the enforceable policies of a state's federally approved coastal management program. Federal actions include federal agency activities, federal license or permit activities, and federal financial assistance activities. Federal agency activities must be consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of a state coastal management program, and license and permit and financial assistance activities must be fully consistent. There are four types of federal actions: federal agency activities, federal license or permit activities, outer continental shelf (OCS) plans, and federal assistance to state and local governments.

Fed Consistency Online Tools

A federal agency provides a state with a consistency determination for federal agency activities affecting coastal uses or resources.

A non-federal applicant for a federal license or permit provides a state with a consistency certification if the state has identified the federal license or permit on a list of activities subject to federal consistency review in its federally approved coastal management program.

Who should apply for Consistency review?Consistency Database

  • Federal agencies, whose activities (including new policies or regulations) may affect the land use, water use, or natural resources of the Coastal Zone;
  • Non-federal applicants with activities on federal property (whether owned outright or controlled by the federal government), such as National Wildlife Refuges;Public notice icon and link
  • Anyone whose activities, even though occurring outside of the Coastal Zone, might affect the land use, water use, or natural resources of the Coastal Zone;
  • Those whose activities are exempt from the Coastal Use Permits by State law (projects within fastlands or more than five feet above sea level, deep water ports, etc.);
  • Oil and gas exploration and production on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Additional Resources