Tamil Nadu has a coastal length of 1076 kms and it constitutes about 15% of the total coastal length of India. The Government of India issued the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification in 2011 under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to protect the coastal environment and to regulate development activities along the coastal areas, thereby aiming to ensure livelihood security to the fishing communities, other local communities living in the coastal areas, to conserve and protect the coastal stretches, to promote sustainable development in the coastal areas. As per this notification, the coastal areas have been classified into four zones.

  • CRZ-I (ecologically sensitive),
  • CRZ-II (built-up area),
  • CRZ-III (rural area) and
  • CRZ-IV (water area which includes the water areas up to 12 Nautical miles (Nm) of the territorial waters and the tidal influenced water bodies).

CRZ area includes the land area from High Tide Line (HTL) to 500 mts on the landward side along the sea front, the land area between HTL to 100 mts or width of the creek, water bodies etc. whichever is less.

Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is a dynamic, multidisciplinary and iterative process to promote sustainable management of coastal zones. It takes into account the full cycle of information collation, planning, decision making, management and monitoring and evaluation of implementation. The word ‘integrated’ in ICZM refers to the integration of wide variety of objectives depending on the stakeholder and also to the integration of the many instruments needed to meet these objectives. It further refers to the integration of policy areas, sectors, and levels of administration. It takes into account both the terrestrial and marine components of the target territory, in both time and space.

At present Public Works Department (PWD), Fisheries and Forest Departments are proposing several coastal protection works for clearance under CRZ notification 2011.The State Coastal Zone Management Authority ensures that the said works are not taken in adhoc manner. The Authority take decisions based on the high, medium and low eroding areas, and also based on sediment cells and shoreline maps prepared as a part of Coastal Zone Management Plan. Further the erection of hard structures perpendicular to the coast saves the shoreline on one side and causes erosion on the other side. Hence, the Authority consider the erection of hard structures only if soft measures are not possible as a part of Comprehensive coastal Zone Management plan.

As per the CRZ Notification 2011, the preparation of Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for Tamil Nadu has been entrusted to the National Center for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), Chennai. The NCSCM submitted the draft CZMP on 15.02.2018. The said draft CZMP was published in the Department of Environment (DoE) Website and the ENVIS Centre of DoE inviting suggestions / objections, from all the Stakeholders/ Departments/ local communities/ NGO’s etc. The respective District Administrations conducted the public hearings for all the 13 Coastal districts by following the provisions of the EIA Notification, 2006 during the Month of April 2018.

The NCSCM have submitted the final Draft CZMP in 117 maps in pdf format after carried out necessary corrections based on the remarks received during the Public Hearings, in two batches on 03.07.2018 & 10.08.2018 and the same have been forwarded to MoEF&CC, Government of India for approval through Government of Tamil Nadu in letters dated 30.07.2018 and 28.08.2018.

The Secretary, MoEF&CC, GOI has convened the 35th National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA) meeting on 24.09.2018 at New Delhi and the Authority has approved the CZMP for Tamil Nadu. The MoEF&CC, GoI have conveyed its approval of the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for Tamil Nadu, based on the recommendations of the National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA) vide letter F.No.12-8/2018-IA-III, dated 24.10.2018.

The NCSCM has submitted the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) in 117 maps to the Department of Environment on 26.11.2018, after marked the Hazard line in the CZMP and the same has been uploaded in the Website of Department of Environment (http: // and ENVIS ( on 29.11.2018. Soft copies of the approved CZMP have been sent to all the 13 District Coastal Zone Management Authorities and the Stakeholder Departments viz., Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, Greater Chennai Corporation, Directorate of Town and Country Department, Directorate of Municipal Administration to implement / regulate the activities in CRZ areas as per the CZMP, vide this office letter dated 30.11.2018.