CAMA is an acronym for Coastal Area Management Act which is legislation passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1974. This legislation established the CRC (Coastal Resources Commission) which is the governing body for CAMA. The purpose of CAMA is to protect the unique natural resources of the North Carolina coastal areas.
AECs (Areas of Environmental Concern) are the foundation of the CAMA regulations. An AEC is an area of natural importance; it may be easily destroyed by erosion or flooding or it may have environmental, social, economic or aesthetic values that make it valuable to the State. Generally, properties are within an AEC if it is:
In or on navigable waters;On marsh or coastal wetlands;Within 75 feet of the mean high water line along an estuarine shoreline;Near the ocean beach;Near an inlet;Within 30 feet of the north high water level of areas designated as inland fishing waters by the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission
Minor Permits are required for projects such as single-family homes and accessory buildings landward of the mean high water mark but small enough that do not require major or general permits. They are reviewed and issued by the local CAMA officer (LPO). The LPO is an employee of Onslow County who has been trained by the Division of Coastal Management to administer minor permits within the county.
Major Permits are necessary for activities that require other state or federal permits; for projects that cover more than 20 acres; or for construction of more than 60,000 square feet. Applications for major permits are submitted to the State and are reviewed by 10 state agencies and four federal agencies before a permit is issued.
General Permits are used for routine projects that usually pose little or no threat to the environment.
Andrea Frazier, CAMA Permit OfficerPlanning & Development Department604 College StreetJacksonville, NC 28540(910) 989-3061
State CAMA Offices:
Central DistrictDivision of Coastal Management Headquarter Office400 Commerce AveMorehead City, NC 28557(252) 808-2808
Southern DistrictDENR, Wilmington Regional Office127 Cardinal Drive ExtensionWilmington, NC 28405-3845(910) 796-7215