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Water: Habitat Protection

Habitat Protection

Canadian goose with goslings, Cape Lookout Lighthouse, North Carolina, boy's hands holding a small gray crab

Habitat provides safe haven for all the users of the shores and beaches: for a goose and her young, and a healthy habitat for a crab as well as the little boy holding it. Shipping and fishing industries have always been dependent on safe passage, as this historic lighthouse in North Carolina illustrates.

The continued health and biodiversity of marine and estuarine systems depends on the maintenance of high-quality habitat. The same areas that often attract human development also provide essential food, cover, migratory corridors, breeding/nursery areas for a broad array of coastal and marine organisms. Habitat loss and degradation are key issues facing coasts and estuaries around the country.

Coral Reef Protection
EPA is involved in many domestic and international coral conservation projects. The United States has numerous coral reefs in Florida and Hawaii, and our island territories in the Caribbean and Pacific. Many Pacific Island Territories also have adopted United States environmental laws. Thus, EPA and other federal agencies must approach coral reef protection with a global perspective.

Creating Artificial Reefs
Preparing vessels for use as artificial reefs includes clean-up performance goals, the careful choice of site, and evaluation of the maximization of benefit to the environment. A draft document has been prepared to promote consistent use of best management practices nationwide.

Habitat Protection and Restoration Overview
The Habitat Protection and Restoration Overview module for the National Estuary Program (NEP) highlights common habitat degradation and loss problems faced by NEP communities around the country. The interactive graphics, maps and photos are designed to help users better understand the issues and visually track progress toward achieving habitat restoration goals in the 28 National Estuary Programs.

Invasive Species
Invasive species means an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

Marine Debris
Marine debris, often called litter, has become a problem along shorelines, coastal waters, estuaries, and oceans throughout the world.

Other Coastal Habitat Activities and Reports
Other information on the Protocol on Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife in the Wider Caribbean Region and the Estuary Restoration Act.

Top photo: Canadian goose with 15 goslings swimming around small boats at a marina in the tidal waters of Chesapeake Bay.

Middle photo: Cape Lookout Lighthouse, North Carolina, built in the mid nineteenth century and still operational.

Bottom photo: Boy's hands holding a small gray crab that lives on the upper sand dunes. These crabs are found on the East Coast of the United States.

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