What this permitting pathway covers

A faster, no-cost alternative to obtaining a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) or individual project Consistency Determination (CD) from the California Coastal Commission for restoration projects in the Coastal Zone. This pathway works in conjunction with NOAA Restoration Center (NOAA RC) Programmatic Biological Opinions for Restoration.  


Projects that are submitted for NOAA Restoration Center (RC) funding or technical assistance, or a Corps permit (which creates a “federal nexus” for NMFS Section 7 consultation), will be provided to the  RC’s Community-based Restoration Program (CRP or Program) using a standard application form available through the NOAA RC. The NOAA RC will evaluate which projects are consistent with Program requirements and determine which NMFS consultation applies (the NMFS Long Beach Office programmatic BO, another existing restoration BO that is applicable for the CRP, or a new, individual Section 7 consultation).

Maps of the Coastal Zone Boundary

Applicable locations

The Coastal Zone in Southern California counties of Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego, including tidally influenced coastal estuarine areas.

Permit documents

Expires on

January 27, 2026

How to apply

Contact Ruth Goodfield, Marine Habitat Resource Specialist, NOAA Restoration Center at ruth.goodfield@noaa.gov for more information about how to apply. See the Application Checklist above.

May be used with:

Activities covered

All projects included under the Program must involve voluntary, on-the-ground habitat restoration resulting in physical habitat modifications and beneficial ecological impacts for federal trust species. The full description of Qualifying Project Types and Activity-Specific Protection Measures starts on page 20 of the Consistency Determination.

(1) Salmonid Habitat and Related Upland Restoration Projects

  1. Instream Habitat Structures and Improvements
  2. Barrier Modification for Fish Passage Improvement
  3. Riparian Habitat Restoration and Bioengineering
  4. Upslope Watershed Restoration
  5. Removal of Small Dams
  6. Creation of Off-channel/Side-channel Habitat
  7. Water Conservation Projects: (a) Developing Alternative Supply or Off-stream Storage, (b) Tailwater Collection Ponds, (c) Water Storage Tanks, (d)Piping Ditches
  8. Fish Screens
  9. Headgates and Water Measuring Devices
  10. Invasive Species Control Projects
  11. Sediment Removal


(2) Estuarine and Coastal Restoration: Wetland, Submerged Aquatic Vegetation, Oysters, Living Shorelines, Kelp

  1. Wetland Restoration: (a) Sediment Removal and Material Placement, (b) Levee Modification and Removal
  2. Submerged Aquatic Habitat Restoration
  3. Shellfish Habitat and Shellfish Restoration and Creation
  4. Living Shorelines
  5. Kelp Forest Restoration


Additional engineering and fish passage specialist review may be required for projects including, but not limited to:

  • fish passage at stream crossings, culvert retrofit and replacement,
  • new and retrofitted fish ladders/fishways,
  • removal of flashboard dam abutments and sills,
  • debris basin removal,
  • creation or connection of off-channel habitat features,
  • installation of fish screens,
  • removal of small dam involving special or complex conditions,
  • and placement of weirs in concrete lined channels.

Project or program specific BOs may include additional applicable requirements.


The following projects are excluded due to their scope, complexity, or potentially controversial nature. Individual project review from the Coastal Commission or the approved Local Coastal Program is required.

Non-voluntary projects that constitute:

  • legally required mitigation for the adverse effects of an activity regulated or otherwise governed by local, state or federal law;
  • projects that constitute restoration for natural resource damages compelled by federal, state or local law; and/or
  • projects that are required by a separate consent decree, court order, statute or regulation.

Projects NOAA RC determines to be inconsistent with NOAA RC goals or standards, or an accepted practice of CDFW and NMFS, or other applicable restoration practices and guidelines.

Projects determined to be inconsistent with section 7 of the ESA.

Application Tips and Resources

To seek coverage under this consistency determination, contact Ruth Goodfield, Marine Habitat Resource Specialist, NOAA Restoration Center at ruth.goodfield@noaa.gov for more information about how to apply. Projects will be reviewed and processed by NOAA RC as they are submitted by applicants.

NOAA RC will evaluate which projects are consistent with the Program requirements and determine which NMFS consultation applies (NMFS Long Beach Office programmatic BO, another existing restoration BO that is applicable for the CRP, or a new, individual section 7 consultation). NOAA RC team will use a pre-established checklist to help determine if a proposed project is consistent with the parameters of the Program. Once projects have received initial project screening by NOAA RC, projects that do not fit Program requirements must be modified or further clarified and developed by the project proponent before they can be resubmitted for further consideration. For projects within the Coastal Zone, NOAA RC will also evaluate the project’s eligibility for coverage under this Federal Consistency Determination.

The following list includes typical information that must be provided by Program applicants (with assistance from qualified biologists and other technical specialists) in order to fulfill CRP application requirements:

  • Pre-project photo monitoring data (per CDFW’s guidelines)
  • Project problem statement, goals, objectives
  • Watershed context
  • Description of the type of project proposed and restoration techniques to be utilized (culvert replacement, instream habitat improvements, etc.)
  • Project dimensions and engineering plans
  • Description of construction activities (types of equipment, timing, staging areas or access roads required)
  • If dewatering of the work site will be necessary, a description of temporary dewatering plan and methods, an aquatic species relocation plan, and identification of a qualified individual (verified by resumes or description of qualifications) who will be onsite to transport protected salmonids and be responsible for reporting on this information.
  • Construction start- and end-dates
  • Estimated number of creek crossings and type of vehicle
  • Materials to be used
  • If vegetation will be affected as a result of the project (including worksite access), provide a visual assessment of dominant native shrubs and trees, approximate species diversity, and approximate acreage of the vegetation to be removed and replaced.
  • Description of existing site conditions and explanation of how proposed activities would improve or maintain these conditions for salmonids
  • Description of key habitat elements (i.e., temperature; type: pool, riffle, flatwater; estimate of instream shelter and shelter components; water depth; dominant substrate type, etc.) for salmonids in the project area
  • Description of applicable minimization and avoidance measures incorporated into the project
  • A monitoring plan describing proposed compliance with all applicable monitoring and reporting requirements, including the source of funding for implementation of the monitoring plan.
  • For projects which may result in incidental take of listed salmonids (or other listed species), specify the funding for implementation of all proposed and required environmental protection measures.
  • A signed “checklist” of project conditions, verifying agreement by the project applicant.

See page 52 of the CD for information about Post Construction Monitoring and Reporting Requirements.