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Habitat Protection and Restoration Overview - National Estuary Program (NEP)

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  • Informing the public about on-the-ground environmental results:
  •  page"Introduction"
  •  page"Habitat Loss and Degradation" - summarizes the issue.
  •  page"Habitat Goals and NEP Plans" - EPA's strategic plan and NEP comprehensive conservation and management plans.
  •  page"National Program Results" - provides Annual Habitat Acres Protected and Restored.
  •  page"Local NEP Projects and Regional Summary" - maps of project locations and descriptions of habitat projects.
  • Contributing Factors
  •  pageAn interactive graphic shows how everyday human activities along the coast increase pressures on natural habitat and can impact the health of our estuaries in other ways as well.
  • Resources
  •  pageLinks are provided here to further information about watersheds, maps, and performance measures useful for reporting progress toward improving the health of coastal watersheds.

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Reporting Performance Matters

estuary1The National Estuary Program works with local communities to improve the health of our nation's estuaries. Together, they develop plans called Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans (CCMPs) that contain environmental goals for their estuaries and watersheds as well as blueprints for achieving those goals. Community support and involvement is fundamental to the success of these efforts. As this is a long-term process, keeping the community well informed and connected with plan activities and progress is critical to keeping the plan a vital, living process for the community.

Performance reporting is not only essential for garnering and maintaining community support, it is often mandated. Enabling legislation or other laws—federal or local—may require responsible agencies to report on what progress they are making toward established goals.

For the National Estuary Program, several pieces of federal legislation weigh in on performance reporting.

  • Estuaries and Clean Water Act of 2000 (PDF) (26 pp, 76K)
    This new legislation makes restoring the nation's estuaries a national priority and funds community-based estuary restoration projects. Reauthorization of EPA's National Estuary Program is included, with funds for estuary management in addition to planning. The core of the bill establishes a five-year program through which the federal government will promote and track estuary restoration.

  • Government Performance Reporting Act of 1993 (GPRA)
    This act requires that federal agencies should link inputs, outputs, and outcomes of their programs to improve government planning, budgeting, performance, and results overall.

  • Clean Water Act Amendments of 1987
    The enabling legislation for the NEP program stipulates that NEPs must "monitor the effectiveness of actions taken pursuant to the plan."

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