The legislature hereby finds that New York state's coastal area and inland waterways are unique with a variety of natural, recreational, industrial, commercial, ecological, cultural, aesthetic and energy resources of statewide and national significance.
The resources of the state's coastal areas and inland waterways are increasingly subject to the pressures of population growth and economic development, which include requirements for industry, commerce, residential development, recreation and for the production of energy. These competing demands result in the loss of living marine resources and wildlife, the diminution of open space areas, shoreline erosion, permanent, adverse changes to ecological systems and a loss of economic opportunities.
The social and economic well-being and the general welfare of the people of the state are critically dependent upon the preservation, enhancement, protection, development and use of the natural and man-made resources of the state's coastal area and inland waterways.
The legislature further finds that it is in the interest of the people of the state that coordinated and comprehensive policy and planning for preservation, enhancement, protection, development and use of the state's coastal and inland waterway resources take place to insure the proper balance between natural resources and the need to accommodate the needs of population growth and economic development.
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