In the coastal zone, certified Local Coastal Programs (LCPs) are a key mechanism for achieving a high standard for coastal water resource protection. LCPs provide an important planning and regulatory framework for enhancing coastal NPS pollution control, and minimizing changes in watershed hydrology that may adversely impact coastal resources.

LCPs should be updated to include policies, standards, and ordinances that establish coastal water resource protection strategies and priorities for development, both during construction and over the life of a project.

Model LCP Water Quality Guidance

The following model Local Coastal Program (LCP) policies and standards are appropriate for updating the water quality elements of an LCP’s Land Use Plan (LUP) and Implementation Plan (IP) to address development that requires a Coastal Development Permit and has the potential for adverse water quality or hydrology impacts to coastal waters. These model policies and standards are also appropriate for updating the water quality elements of a Long-Range Development Plan (LRDP).

These are examples, not required policies and standards, and should be adapted to reflect local needs.

Additional Resources for Local Governments

  • LUP Update Guide by the Coastal Commission’s Statewide Planning Unit

    • Local Coastal Program (LCP) Update Guide: Part I - Updating LCP Land Use Plan (LUP) Policies - Section 3, Water Quality Protection
    This guidance covers the resource protection policies contained in Chapter 3 of the Coastal Act, and implementation measures directly related to carrying out the policies of the LUP.
  • Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) Network

    The National NEMO Network is a collection of outreach education programs across the U.S. that educate local (town/city/county) land use decision-makers about protecting water quality as communities grow.

Examples of LCP Updates

Examples of updates to water quality elements of Local Coastal Programs, including Land Use Plan (LUP) and Implementation Plan (IP) components; and Long Range Development Plans (LRDPs); and Public Works Plans that have been recently approved by the Coastal Commission include: