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Water: Planning

FY 2013 NWPG Coastal and Ocean Measure Definitions

Coastal Subobjective Icon

CO-04  
Measure Code: CO-222.N11

Measure Language: Prevent water pollution and protect coastal and ocean systems to improve national and regional coastal aquatic health on the "good/fair/poor" scale of the National Coastal Condition Report.

Type of Measure: Target measures; Annually reported

Measure Contact: Bernice Smith, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds

smith.bernicel@epa.gov | (202) 566-1244

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases: The National Coastal Condition Report (NCCR) describes the ecological and environmental conditions in U.S. coastal waters both nationally and regionally. The Report summarizes the condition of ecological resources in the coastal waters of the United States as poor/fair/good.

Methodology for computation of results: The EPA Office of Water collaborates with the EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD), states, and federal agencies to periodically monitor and assess the health of our nation's estuarine waters.  The results are presented in a series of National Coastal Condition Reports (NCCR) that describe condition in terms of poor/fair/good.  A corresponding numeric ranking is also developed from 1 to 5, where 1 is poor and 5 is good.  U.S. coastal waters on a national scale, as well as each region of the country, are then assigned a numeric value that translates to a poor/fair/good rating.  The condition is based on five ecological indices: a water quality index; a coastal habitat index; a fish tissue contaminant index; a benthic community index; and a sediment quality index.  These parameters are sampled at sites selected through a statistically valid monitoring design within each region of the country.  For this measure, maintaining aquatic ecosystem health means that the numeric value of condition developed for the NCCRs will not fall below the established baseline for each region.

Units: National Coastal Condition Report (NCCR) Scale

Universe: 5. The results are presented in a series of National Coastal Condition Reports (NCCR) that describe condition in terms of poor/fair/good. A corresponding numeric ranking is also developed from 1 to 5, where 1 is poor and 5 is good. 

Baseline: 3.0 (published in 2012 covering 2003-2006 data)

Coastal Measure


Measure Code: CO-SP20.N11

Measure Language: Percent of active dredged material ocean dumping sites that will have achieved environmentally acceptable conditions (as reflected in each site's management plan and measured through on-site monitoring programs).

Type of Measure: Target measure; annually reported

Measure Contact: David Redford, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds

redford.david@epa.gov | (202) 566-1288

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

o    Active refers to a dredged material ocean dumping site that has been used in five years, and/or there are foreseeable plans to continue to use the site. 
o    A dredged material ocean dumping site is a precise geographical area within which ocean dumping of wastes is permitted under conditions specified in permits issued under Section 102 and 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA).
o    Environmentally acceptable conditions are reflected in the ocean dumping site management plan for each individual site based on site specific conditions.
o    A Site Management Plan is a plan for each dredged material ocean dumping site that was developed with opportunity for stakeholder input, and that includes: a baseline assessment of the site, a consideration of anticipated use, a monitoring program, and site management conditions or practices that are necessary for protection of the environment.
 

Methodology for computation of results: Each EPA Region reports the percentage of their active dredged material ocean dumping sites that have achieved environmentally acceptable conditions.  The regional percentages are averaged to produce a national total.  When entering data into the EPA's Annual Commitment System (ACS), Regions should provide the numerator and denominator used to calculate the percentage in the comment box.

Units: Number of dredged material ocean dumping sites

Universe: Number of active dredged material ocean dumping sites in the U.S. The universe is computed at the beginning of the reporting cycle, and adjusted, as necessary, when the Regions report their mid-year and end-of-year percentages. FY 2012 universe is 67.

Baseline: The baseline was calculated in 2005 at 60 sites (94%).  The baseline number of sites is determined by each EPA Region, and the Regions' numbers are added together to get the total.


Measure Code:  CO-02

Measure Language: Total coastal & non-coastal statutory square miles protected from vessel sewage by "no discharge zone(s)."

Type of Measure: Indicator measure; Cumulatively reported

Measure Contact:  David Redford, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds

redford.david@epa.gov | (202) 566-1288

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases: No discharge zones (NDZs) are areas where sewage discharge from marine sanitation devices (MSDs), commonly known as "boat toilets," is prohibited.  The process to establish an NDZ is initiated by a state and is either established under Clean Water Act (CWA) 312(f)(3) when EPA determines that there are adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels or under the rulemaking provisions of CWA 312(f)(4).  NDZs reduce human exposure to pathogens by either direct contact with the water or secondary contact through exposure from contaminated shellfish.  NDZs also reduce nitrogen and other pollutants from reaching the environment.  Excess nitrogen loadings can cause algal blooms which use up the available oxygen in the aquatic habitat.

Methodology for computation of results: As no discharge zones (NDZs) are established, EPA Regions quantify the area in statutory square miles covered by the NDZ and report that area into the EPA Annual Commitment System (ACS).  Both inland and coastal no discharge zones (NDZs) are tracked.  The "universe" consists of the total area of water eligible to be designated as a NDZ under the current regulations.

Units: Statutory square miles.

Universe: The universe (163,129 statutory square miles) is all U.S. coastal waters out to three nautical miles plus any inland interstate rivers and lakes/reservoirs or other impoundments that allow ingress or egress by a boat.  This excludes freshwater lakes, freshwater reservoirs, or other freshwater impoundments whose inlets or outlets prevent the ingress or egress of vessel traffic or rivers not capable of navigation by interstate vessel traffic.

Baseline: 52,607 statutory square miles in FY 2009, the first year Regions reported in area. The baseline is the total area covered by NDZs as of October 1, 2008.


Measure Code: CO-04

Measure Language: Dollar value of "primary" leveraged resources (cash or in-kind) obtained by the NEP Directors and/or staff in millions of dollars rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent.

Type of Measure: Indicator measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Bernice Smith, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds

smith.bernicel@epa.gov | (202) 566-1244

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases: Primary leveraged resources are resources (cash or in-kind) the National Estuary Program (NEP) director and/or staff played the central role in obtaining, above and beyond their Section 320 grants and earmarks.  An example of primary leveraged dollars would be those obtained from a grant proposal written by the NEP director and/or staff. Primary leveraged resources would not have been directed toward Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) implementation without the actions of the NEP Director and staff.

Methodology for computation of results: This will be an import measure in FY 2012. That is, EPA HQ will enter the data into ACS rather than the Regions. The primary leveraged resources [i.e., resources obtained by the NEP Director and staff above and beyond the Section 320 grants and earmarks received by the NEP] will be reported into the EPA Annual Commitment System (ACS) in millions of dollars rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent by Headquarters.  Regions will have an opportunity to review the end-of-year results before ACS is locked for end-of-year reporting. 

Example of reporting: if an NEP's primary leveraged dollars amounted to $3,500,000, then data will be reported as 3.5 in ACS.

Units: Primary leveraged resources are cash or in-kind resources obtained by the NEP Director and/or staff that the NEP Director and/or staff (rather than NEP partners) played the primary role in obtaining (i.e., the resources would not have been obtained without the actions of the NEP Director and/or staff).

Universe: Unknown because the resources available to the NEPs for leveraging changes yearly and no source of data exists that tracks all the potential funding.

Baseline: In FY 2005, the primary leveraged resources (cash or in-kind) the NEP director and/or staff played the central role in obtaining, above and beyond their Section 320 grants and earmarks was $158.8 million.


Coastal and Ocean Measure


Measure Code: CO-06

Measure Language: Number of active dredged material ocean dumping sites that are monitored in the reporting year. 

Type of Measure: Indicator measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact: David Redford, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds

redford.david@epa.gov | (202) 566-1288

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

o    Active refers to a Dredged Material Ocean Dumping Site that has been used in five years, and/or there are foreseeable plans to continue to use the site.
o    A dredged material ocean dumping site is a precise geographical area within which ocean dumping of wastes is permitted under conditions specified in permits issued under section 102 and 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA).     
o    Monitoring refers to efforts to collect, test, measure, and analyze data on bathymetry, chemical, biological, and physical conditions (e.g., grain size, current speed) at ocean dredged material disposal sites.
 

Methodology for computation of results: Each EPA Region reports the number of their active dredged material ocean dumping sites that have been monitored. 

Units: Number of dredged material ocean dumping sites

Universe: 2012Universe is 67. Number of active dredged material ocean dumping sites in the U.S. The universe is computed at the beginning of the reporting cycle, and adjusted, as necessary, when the EPA regions report their mid-year and end-of-year percentages.

Baseline: n/a. A set baseline is not applicable due to the variability in site monitoring.


Measure Code: CO-432.N11

Measure Language: Working with partners, protect or restore additional acres of habitat within the study areas for the 28 estuaries that are part of the National Estuary Program (NEP).

Type of Measure: Target measure; Annually reported

Measure Contact:  Bernice Smith, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds

smith.bernicel@epa.gov | (202) 566-1244

Measure Definition

Terms and phrases:

o    Partners are governmental, non-governmental, and private sector entities that work with the NEPs to help implement their Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP).
o    Protect refers to preserving areas through acquisition, conservation easements, deed restrictions, etc. 
o    Restore refers to the return of habitat to a close approximation of its prior condition;
o    Habitat means aquatic and terrestrial areas within the NEP study area.
o    An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water along the coast where freshwater from rivers and streams meet and mix with salt water from the ocean.
 

Methodology for computation of results: Each NEP gathers data from their partners and reports it to the respective EPA regional office. 

·On or about September 1, the NEPs enter their habitat data into NEPORT. Regions do not enter data into NEPORT.
·Regions complete a QA/QC review of that data within two weeks.  This QA/QC may include comments back to an NEP to redo their submission before the Region "approves" the data.
·After Regional review, HQ conducts a brief examination to finalize and approve all the data 2 weeks after Regional approval.
·Regions should NOT use the final QA/QC data for reporting in ACS until September 30.
 

Units: Acres of habitat.

Universe: n/a

Baseline: 449,241 acres (FY 2005) of habitat that has been protected or restored.

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