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Coastal zoning is the division of coastal areas into zones that can be assigned different purposes and user restrictions. It allows multiple users to benefit from a coastal area under a broader sustainable management strategy. Coastal zoning schemes can constitute the regulatory and planning framework for other management options.
Coastal zoning is a relatively simple and effective way of managing and separating incompatible or multiple uses of a coastal area. In a specific zone, certain activities can be allowed, allowed with permission, or forbidden, and the zoning can be geared to a range of different conditions, such as economic development, tourism, conservation and hazard presence (Australian Government 2015a; Haslett 2009). The zoning is generally managed and enforced by public authorities and can be developed in consultation with different coastal stakeholders.