Water: Estuaries and Coastal Watersheds
State of Our NEP Estuaries
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It is important to keep the public and decision-makers informed about the environmental health and conditions of the estuaries in the National Estuary Program (NEP); they need to know what improvements have been made, and what remains to be done.
EPA provided a snapshot of the overall conditions of NEP estuaries in its 2006 Coastal Condition Report (CCR). The report is based on available monitoring data for the period 1997-2003 collected by Federal agencies, State, Regional and local organizations as part of the National Coastal Condition Assessment.
Individual NEPs have also worked with their many partners to collect, compile and analyze monitoring data to produce a "State of the Bay" report (typically issued every 3-5 years). This monitoring data is collected over a longer time period, and from more sampling stations than the NEP CCR giving a more comprehensive picture of conditions.
These NEP "State of the Bay" reports are critical because they:
- depict status and trends in the estuaries' environmental conditions, and
- help determine if Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) actions being implemented are effective (i.e., they measure whether progress was made in improving conditions).
To gauge an estuary's health, each NEP develops environmental indicators — "specific, measurable markers that help assess the condition of the environment and how it changes over time" (see Indicator Development for Estuaries, EPA 842-B-08-004 September 2008).
For each environmental indicator, a quantitative or qualitative measure is developed based on the goals and objectives of a CCMP, which in turn reflect the priorities of local stakeholders. These indicators can include water and sediment quality, land use, living resources and habitat among many others.
NEP State of the Bay Reports
- Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program
- Barnegat Bay Partnership
- Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program
- Casco Bay Estuary Partnership
- State of the Bay: Casco Bay Estuary (PDF) (52 pp, 14.3MB)
- Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program
- The State of the Bay, A Report for the Future, Part 1 (34 pp, 4.7MB)
- The State of the Bay, A Report for the Future, Part 2 (34 pp, 4.4MB)
- Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership
- Delaware Center for the Inland Bays
- Delaware Inland Bays' Environmental Indicators (PDF) (16 pp, 11MB)
- Partnership for the Delaware Estuary
- State of the Delaware Estuary 2008 (PDF) (36 pp, 20MB)
- Galveston Bay Estuary Program
- Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program
- Long Island Sound Study
- Sound Health 2008 (PDF) (12 pp, 7.4MB)
- Maryland Coastal Bays Program
- State of the Maryland Coastal Bays (PDF) (48 pp, 12.4MB)
- Massachusetts Bays Program
- The Massachusetts Bays Program: State of the Bays Report (PDF) (98 pp, 14.6MB)
- Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
- The State of Mobile Bay - A Status Report on Alabama's Coastline from the Delta to Our Coastal Waters (PDF) (48 pp, 7.1MB)
- Morro Bay National Estuary Program
- New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program
- Health of the Harbor: The First Comprehensive Look at the State of the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary 2004 (PDF) (86 pp, 1.9MB)
- Peconic Estuary Program
- Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership
- State of the Estuaries 2009: Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PDF) (32 pp, 4.8MB) (Formerly New Hampshire Estuaries Project)
- Puget Sound Partnership
- Puget Bay: State of the Sound (2007) (PDF) (96 pp, 29MB)
- San Francisco Estuary Partnership
- Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission
- Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
- State of the Bay 2010 'Celebrating Paradise: Staying the Course' Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (PDF) (43 pp, 7.8MB)
- Tampa Bay Estuary Program
- Tampa Bay Estuary Program Progress Report 2009 (PDF) (12 pp, 3.6MB)
- Tillamook Estuaries Partnership
- Tillamook Bay Watershed Health Report 2010 (PDF) (28 pp, 3.5MB)
National Estuary Program Coastal Condition Report
Factsheet: National Estuary Program Coastal Condition Report - NEP CCR | PDF Version (2 pp, 434K)
Full report: National Estuary Program Coastal Condition Report - NEP CCR, including links to PDF versions of the full report and of individual sections of the report.