National Estuary Program, Oceans, Coasts, and Estuaries, Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds, Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Data Center Description
The EPA's National Estuary Program was established by Congress in 1987 to improve the quality of estuaries of national importance. The Clean Water Act Section 320 directs EPA to develop plans for attaining or maintaining water quality in an estuary. This includes protection of public water supplies and the protection and propagation of a balanced, indigenous population of shellfish, fish, and wildlife, and allows recreational activities, in and on water, requires that control of point and nonpoint sources of pollution to supplement existing controls of pollution. In several cases, more than one State is participating in a National Estuary Program. Each program establishes a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan to meet the goals of Section 320.
EPA's National Estuary Program is proud of its progress and has had many successes. For these programs several funding mechanisms are available and many differing management structure have been developed by these programs.