The Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) program manages development in coastal areas by requiring permits for development in Areas of Environmental Concern (AECs). AECs are coastal areas that contain natural hazards or important environmental, economic, or cultural resources. Development is defined as any type of construction, associated land clearing, or land alteration.
Note: Projects requiring additional state or federal approvals may require a CAMA major permit. You may contact your local permit officer at 910-798-7116 if you are unsure if your project constitutes major or minor development.
Note: An AEC Hazard Notice must be obtained from the local permit officer if your project is located in an Ocean Hazard AEC.
The application review begins after the local permit officer (LPO) receives all of the application materials. The LPO will visit the project site, determine if the project meets the Coastal Resource Commissions (CRC) standards for development, and determine if the project complies with the local land-use plan and local development ordinances.
CAMA requires the permit decision to be made within 25 days. However, the local permit officer may send the applicant a notice, sent by registered or certified mail, extending the review time for an additional 25 days.
The permit will be issued if the project complies with the CRC’s development standards, as well as the local land-use plan and local development ordinances. The applicant is responsible for meeting all requirements and conditions of the permit. Any conditions will be listed on the permit.
After the LPO makes a decision, the applicant will be sent an official CAMA permit decision by registered or certified mail. If the applicant is issued a permit, they must sign the form and return it to the LPO within 20 days. Typically, minor permits expire on December 31 of the third year following the year of permit issuance.
For more information, contact the Wilmington office of the Division of Coastal Management at 910-796-7215.
Projects requiring other state or federal approvals may require a CAMA major permit. You may contact your local permit officer at 910-798-7116 if you are unsure if your project constitutes major or minor development.
CAMA major permits can be found on the NC Division of Coastal Management website.