The NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management partners with coastal states to develop innovative partnerships and enhance management of the nation's marine and coastal resources. In addition to the Gulf of Mexico partnerships below, NOAA supports the Gulf of Mexcio Marine Protected Area Networkto enhance coordination among the agencies and organizations that manage the region's diverse marine habitats.
The Alabama Coastal Management Program uses an ecosystem approach to enhance sustainable economic development; improve public access to the coast; reduce vulnerability to natural hazards; and protect, restore, and manage coastal resources. The program also manages the state's participation in the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program to protect the coastal area's critical resources. An outstanding example of the tidal and forested wetlands of the Mobile Bay estuarine system is Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which encompasses more than 6,000 acres just 40 miles southeast of Mobile.
The Florida Coastal Management Program coordinates local, state and federal agency activities using existing laws to ensure that Florida's coast is as valuable to future generations as it is today. In coordination with other land protection programs, the Florida Coastal Management Program administers the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program for the state. Florida is also a strong supporter of the National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) System, designating more sites than any other state. The three designated Reserves in Florida are the Apalachicola NERR, Rookery Bay NERR, and Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas NERR.
The Louisiana Coastal Management Program is responsible for the maintenance and protection of the state's coastal wetlands. Its goal is to protect, develop, and restore or enhance the resources of the state's coastal zone. The program also works with parishes in the coastal zone to implement locally-led coastal programs. The Louisiana Coastal Management Program manages the state's participation in the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Programto protect ecologically significant areas.
The Mississippi Coastal Management Program achieves the goals of the state's Coastal Wetlands Act through the Wetlands Permitting Program and the Coastal Preserves Program. These state programs preserve coastal habitat to ensure the ecological health of Mississippi's coastal wetland ecosystems. The program also manages the state's Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program to protect priority coastal habitat. Mississippi's Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserveencompasses 18,400 acres of marshes, maritime pine forests, pine savanna, salt pannes, and a range of important species.
The Texas Coastal Management Program helps ensure the long-term environmental and economic health of the Texas coast through comprehensive management of the state's coastal natural resource areas. The program also provides coastal enhancement grants to state and local resource managers to increase and improve public access, protect and restore critical areas, improve data availability, and provide public outreach activities. The state's Coastal and Estuarine Land Protection Program builds on local land conservation priorities to set aside significant coastal and estuarine lands so they may be enjoyed by future generations. The Texas Coastal Bend is home to the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, which encompases 185,708 acres just 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. The Reserve is a large complex of wetland, terrestrial, and marine environments that represents the diversity of the Western Gulf of Mexico.