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Water: Office of Wetlands, Oceans & Watersheds

Protecting Our Resources

  • Marine Pollution Control

    Increasing coastal population pressures, demands on coastal habitat and resources can threaten the marine environment and the organisms that depend on its health. Section 403 of the Clean Water Act regulates ocean discharge to better protect our beaches, coasts, and ocean resources from pollution.

    Ocean Dumping

    Only materials that would not degrade or endanger human health or the marine environment may be ocean dumped. Virtually all material ocean dumped today is dredged material (sediments).

  • Monitoring/Assessment

    There are many ways to monitor water conditions, such as chemical measurements, physical measurements, and biological measurements.

  • National Estuary Program

    The National Estuary Program was established in 1987 by amendments to the Clean Water Act to identify, restore, and protect nationally significant estuaries of the United States. The National Estuary Program is designed to encourage local communities to take responsibility for managing their own estuaries.

  • Partnerships

    Organizations working with the EPA to protect our water resources.

  • Permitting

    Section 404 of the Clean Water Act establishes a program to regulate the discharge of dredged and fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands. Regulated activities are controlled by a permit review process.

  • Polluted Runoff Control

    We can all work together to reduce and prevent nonpoint source pollution.

  • Restoration

    Ecological restoration indicates that degraded and destroyed natural wetland systems will be reestablished to sites where they once existed.

  • TMDLs

    A TMDL or Total Maximum Daily Load is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still meet water quality standards, and an allocation of that amount to the pollutant's sources.

  • Trading

    EPA is actively supporting and promoting effluent trading within watersheds to achieve water quality objectives, including water quality standards, to the extent authorized by the Clean Water Act and implementing regulations.

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