Because of the many competing uses in coastal areas, including residential development, coastal and waterfront industries like commercial fishing, recreational uses and public access to beaches, there are numerous coastal regulatory programs run by the federal, state and local governments. State and local governments must comply with the federal programs, but there are several sources of power for state and local governments to protect their communities and common resources. A state or local government may act under these powers to:
- Exercise the police power, which enables state and local governments to enact regulations that protect the health, safety and general welfare of the community, including land use regulations that serve these purposes;
- Protect the state’s interest in submerged and public trust lands; and
- Restrict property owners from using their property in a way that harms others.