Coastal Barrier Resources System

In the 1970s and 1980s, Congress recognized that certain actions and programs of the Federal Government have historically subsidized and encouraged development on coastal barriers, resulting in the loss of natural resources, threats to human life, health, and property, and the expenditure of millions of tax dollars each year.

To remove the federal incentive to develop these areas, the 
Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) of 1982 designated relatively undeveloped coastal barriers along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts as part of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS), and made these areas ineligible for most new federal expenditures and financial assistance.

CBRA encourages the conservation of hurricane prone, biologically rich coastal barriers by restricting federal expenditures that encourage development, such as federal flood insurance. Areas within the CBRS can be developed provided that private developers or other non-federal parties bear the full cost.

On December 21, 2018, Public Law 115-358 was enacted, adopting 35 revised maps produced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) depicting 59 Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) units in Delaware, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. These maps constitute the largest legislative update to the CBRS since 1990. The Service has now posted updated maps online and updated the boundaries in the CBRS Mapper to reflect the changes, which went into effect on December 21, 2018. The new maps correct errors and add eligible undeveloped areas to the CBRS. Learn More.