In September 2015, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approved a Geographic Location Description (GLD) within the Oregon Ocean Stewardship Area for federal activities related to marine renewable energy development.

Successful collaboration of multiple agencies over several years lead to the federal approval of the GLD, and its incorporation into the Oregon Coastal Management Program (OCMP).  In addition to the GLD, the OCMP also updated the list of federal activities that will be reviewed for consistency with the enforceable policies of the OCMP.  Learn more about federal consistency on the Regulatory Road Map page.


What is a GLD and why did Oregon want one?

A GLD is an area within federal waters where listed federal license or permit activities have reasonably foreseeable effects on a states coastal uses or resources.  Meaning that federal permitting or leasing may potentially impact waters in the states jurisdiction (the territorial sea). The process for creating a GLD is outlined by the federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA).  Oregon’s GLD is designed to ensure that marine renewable energy projects within the GLD are automatically subject to the federal consistency review process, ensuring that those actions are consistent with the enforceable policies of Oregon’s coastal management program.

GLD Map coming soon!

More specifically, the GLD is a polygon starting from the seaward limit of Oregon state jurisdiction at 3 nautical miles (nm) from the shoreline, and extending seaward to a boundary line along the outer continental shelf at the approximate location where water depth is 500 fathoms. This is visible in the figure above.  The OCMP has on file a list of geographic coordinates that form the GLD boundary line, and can make these available on a project by project basis.

How does the GLD work?

A GLD is based on a demonstration that there would be reasonably foreseeable coastal effects from the listed federal license or permit activity in the proposed area.  Oregon’s GLD applies specifically to federal activities related to marine renewable energy development; which includes leasing and permitting authorized by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).  The activities, such as authorizing a permit or lease, are automatically subject to federal consistency within the GLD. To learn more about BOEM visit the BOEM Oregon Task Force page.

In 2015, DLCD completed an analysis of reasonably foreseeable effects of Federal actions related to marine renewable energy projects on resources and uses occurring within the GLD. The report associated with this analysis may be found pdf here (802 KB) . (PDF)


What are the “enforceable policies” that would be used in the federal consistency review process?

"The term "enforceable policy" means State policies which are legally binding through constitutional provisions, laws, regulations, land use plans, ordinances, or judicial or administrative decisions, by which a State exerts control over private and public land and water uses and natural resources in the coastal zone." - 16 U.S.C. § 1456a. Coastal Zone Management Fund (Section 308)

Enforceable Policies are state policies that meet the definition of an enforceable policy under the CZMA and have been approved by NOAA for use in federal consistency reviews.  The OCMP consists of a set of enforceable policies, including policies from Goal 19 Ocean Resources, the Territorial Sea Plan, and various other state agency authorities.  These enforceable policies may be applied to federal actions that have reasonably foreseeable effects on resources of the coastal zone through the federal consistency provisions of the CZMA.  Basically, the federal agency must provide a determination that their actions are consistent with the state’s enforceable policies.