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Water: Estuaries and Coastal Watersheds

Publications and Links

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  • National Estuary Program Booklet (PDF) (11 pp, 2.8MB) - To order free copies of this publication, simply call 800-490-9198 and request the EPA document number provided.
  • National Estuary Program: Habitat Protection and Restoration book:
  • Get Free NEP Posters including "Protecting Our Nations Estuaries" and "Estuaries: Scenes of Transitions"

Fact Sheets

The National Estuary Program in Action

The following success stories demonstrate the significant work being done, and the broad range of issues being addressed by the National Estuary Programs (NEPs). Each highlights how the NEPs implement the Clean Water Act in Ways that are Effective, Efficient, Collaborative, and Adaptive. To find out more about the NEPs featured, please visit their Web sites listed in each fact sheet, or go to National Estuary Home Pages

SmartGrowth and the National Estuary Program

Because growth and development can have a profound effect on water quality, many NEPs have shown leadership in local Smart Growth efforts to protect and improve their estuaries:


  • Community Culture and the Environment: A Guide to Understanding a Sense of Place (PDF) (293 pp, 10MB) - The Guide explores the concepts of community and culture and provides tools for identifying, assessing, and working cooperatively within the social dynamics and local values connected to environmental protection.
  • National Estuary Program Coastal Condition Report - NEP CCR The NEP CCR reports on the condition of those 28 estuaries while the National Coastal Condition Report series describe the condition of 100% of all estuaries in the contiguous 48 states.
  • Indicator Development for Estuaries (PDF) (138 pp, 1.4MB) - This manual has been prepared to provide information on indicator development and to offer a framework for the development of indicators for use in coastal waters.
  • Volunteer Monitoring - The Volunteer Estuary Monitoring Manual contains information and methodologies specific to monitoring estuarine water quality. The manual explains how to establish and maintain a volunteer monitoring program, as well as working effectively with volunteers and ensuring their safety.
  • Community-Based Watershed Management: Lessons from the National Estuary Program (NEP) - The document is designed for all individuals and organizations involved in watershed management, including states, tribes, local governments, and nongovernmental organizations. This document describes innovative approaches to watershed management implemented by the 28 National Estuary Programs (NEPs).



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