(a)  The waters of the coastal area are a valuable natural and economic resource of statewide significance.  Traditionally these waters have been used for such activities as commercial and recreational fishing, swimming, hunting, recreational boating, and commerce.  These activities depend upon the quality of the waters.  Due to the importance of these activities to the quality of life and the economic well‑being of the coastal area, it is important to ensure a level of water quality which will allow these activities to continue and prevent further deterioration of water quality.  It is hereby declared that no land or water use shall cause the degradation of water quality so as to impair traditional uses of the coastal waters.  To the extent that statutory authority permits, the Coastal Resources Commission will take a lead role in coordinating these activities.

(b)  It is further recognized that the preservation and enhancement of water quality is a complex issue.  The deterioration of water quality in the coastal area has many causes.  The inadequate treatment of human wastes, the improper operation of boats and their sanitation devices, the creation of increased runoff by covering the land with buildings and pavement and removing natural vegetation, the use of outdated practices on fields and woodlots and many other activities impact the water quality.  Activities outside the coastal area also impact water quality in the coastal area.  Increases in population will continue to add to the water quality problems if care is not taken in the development of the land and use of the public trust waters.

(c)  Protection of water quality and the management of development within the coastal area is the responsibility of many agencies.  It is hereby declared that the general welfare and public interest require that all state, federal and local agencies coordinate their activities to ensure optimal water quality.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A‑102(b); 113A‑107; 113A‑124; 16 U.S.C. s. 1453(12);

Eff. November 1, 1985.