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Water: Estuaries and Coastal Watersheds

New York-New Jersey Harbor (Harbor Estuary Program) (NEP Profile)


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Summary Information

Year Established: 1988
Location: New York, New Jersey
Area of Watershed: 42,128 square kilometers

Priority Management Issues:
nutrients
toxics
conventional pollutants
pathogens
contaminated seafood
human population growth
habitat loss/alteration
species loss/decline
fisheries loss/decline
sedimentation
floatable debris

Major Habitat Types:
submerged aquatic vegetation
open water geologic formations
reefs (rocky)
barrier islands/sand bars
lagoon/shallow open water
rocky intertidal/subtidal
shellfish growing areas
cliffs/bluffs
beach/dune
sand/mud/salt flats
tidal pools
salt/brackish marsh
freshwater marsh
forested wetland
seasonal wetland
salt ponds
freshwater lakes/ponds
grass/open fields
scrub/shrub
non-wetland forest
riparian/riverine (forested)
abandoned agricultural

Federally Endangered or Threatened Species:
mammals:
blue whale
finback whale
humbpack whale
Indiana bat
northern right whale
sei whale
sperm whale
birds:
bald eagle
peregrine falcon
piping plover
roseate tern
reptiles:
green sea turtle
hawksbill sea turtle
Kemp's ridley sea turtle
leatherback sea turtle
loggerhead sea turtle
fish:
shortnose sturgeon
insects:
Karner blue butterfly
northeastern beach tiger beetle
mollusks:
dwarf wedge mussel
plants:
American chaffseed
Knieskern's beaked rush
northrn wild monkshood
sandplain gerardia
sensitive joint vetch
sea-beach amaranth
small whorled pogonia
swamp pink

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Overviews and Highlights

Growing public concern for the health of the New York/New Jersey Harbor and Bight ecosystem led EPA to establish the New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program (HEP) in 1988. The Program pulled together representatives from the private and public sectors, including government, industry, business, and environmental interest groups, as well as elected officials from counties in the area. The HEP focuses on the following issues: habitat loss and degradation; toxics; dredge material management; pathogens; nutrients and organic enrichment; and floatable debris.


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