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Water: Programs



EPA works with state and local governments, environmental organizations, marinas, recreational boaters and fishermen, as well as other agencies are our partners in marine and estuarine protection.

EPA works with national and International agencies and groups to protect our coastal and ocean environments.

National Estuary Program
The National Estuary Program establishes partnerships with State, local, and academic interest to improve the quality of estuaries of national importance. The National Estuary Program is comprised of 28 estuaries in the United States.

Mississippi River Basin and Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia
The Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force has been working towards reducing the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico, an area of low oxygen unable to support fish and other aquatic species.  Hypoxia is caused by nutrients entering the Gulf from the Mississippi River through human activity that includes discharges from sewage treatment plants, stormwater runoff from city streets, and nonpoint source pollution from farms.  Visit the website to learn more about hypoxia and the Task Force’s efforts to mitigate hypoxia through its current Reassessment of the 2001 Action Plan. 

Council of Large Aquatic Ecosystems
The Council of Large Aquatic Ecosystems is chartered to support and promote EPA's implementation of Large Aquatic Ecosystem programs and encourage collaboration within EPA programs and with our external partners, especially states, to help protect and restore large aquatic ecosystems.

Marine Transportation System
America’s ports and harbors, often found in many sensitive coastal and other aquatic areas, play a natural stewardship role in protecting our valuable resources.

National Dredging Team
National and Regional Dredging Teams work to ensure dredging of U.S. harbors and channels is conducted in a timely and cost effective manner while meeting environmental protection/restoration/enhancement goals.

Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the U.S., and an incredibly complex ecosystem that includes important habitats and food webs.

Great Lakes Program
The Great Lakes - Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario - have provided water for consumption, transportation, power, recreation and a host of other uses and are an important part of the physical and cultural heritage of North America.

Gulf of Mexico Program
Encompassing the area from the tip of Florida to the end of US waters in the southern border with Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico Program is committed to protection, enhancement and cooperation among its many peoples and diverse ecosystems.

Coastal America
Representatives of 13 Federal agencies are working together to integrate their efforts with state, local and non-governmental agencies, with a goal to better manage coastal resources.

STAR – Students Training in Aquatic Research [BROKEN] Exit EPA Disclaimer - Students in grades 9 through 12 in the Chesapeake Bay watershed can develop and implement their own Chesapeake Bay-related projects. The Smithsonian Institute Environmental Research Center (SERC) sponsors this program to assist high school students and teachers in developing and implementing research projects, using state-of-the-art methods and equipment.

Top Photo: Boats and ships at anchor in the harbor at St. Johns Bay, Virgin Islands.

Middle Photo: Surf fishing on Ocracoke Island, NC.

Bottom Photo: Scientists and managers meet to discuss environmental issues and priorities.



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