The National Estuary Program (NEP) is a unique voluntary program established in 1987 under the Clean Water Act Amendments. A successful ecosystem-based management program, it works to restore and maintain the water quality and ecological integrity of estuaries of national significance.
To achieve these goals, NEPs involve community members and other key partners to develop and implement integrated management plans. Citizens are fully engaged throughout this process to ensure that local needs are addressed in a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP). The CCMP contains specific actions that support the priorities of diverse coastal communities.
For over 25 years, the NEPs across the nation have demonstrated an impressive ability to protect and restore coastal habitats and water resources, expand public understanding of estuaries, stay informed about environmental conditions, and work to address emerging challenges such as sea level rise.
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