National Estuary Program Booklet and Fact Sheets

Informational overview of the National Estuary Program. The National Estuary Program Booklet proviSmart Growth, Maryland Coastal Bays Program (PDF) (2 pp, 3 MB)

des an overview of the program and describes how NEPs are effective, efficient, collaborative and adaptive community-based programs. This document provides detailed information about and photographs from each National Estuary Program. List below was the 2007, 20th anniversary fact sheet, and another NEP program overview fact sheet.

The National Estuary Program in Action Addressing Climate Change

Success stories that highlights how the NEPs implement the Clean Water Act in Ways that are effective, efficient, collaborative and adaptive.

Case Studies on Improving Water Quality

These documents focus on improving water quality by showing case studies of TMDLs, nutrients, stormwater, water quality standards and pollution identification and reduction.

TMDLs

Total Maximum Daily Load, Tampa Bay Estuary Program (PDF; 2 pp, 2 MB)
Public Participation Standard for TMDL Program, Center for Inland Bays (PDF; 2 pp, 2 MB)

Nutrients

National Estuary Programs (NEPs) in Action

The following success stories demonstrate the significant work being done, and the broad range of issues being addressed by the 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 websites listed in each fact sheet, or go to National Estuary Home Pages.

Smart Growth through the NEPs

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. These documents are case studies of communities engaging in smart growth.

Seeking Sustainable Funding for National Estuary Program Locations

These documents show case studies of seeking sustainable funding.

Protecting and Restoring Habitat and Living Resources

These documents are case studies of communities protecting and restoring habitat and living resources.

Determining and Estuary’s Economic Values for the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program

This document summarizes the importance of placing economic values on estuaries.

Identifying Invasive Species

Stories of addressing invasive species within estuaries.

Environmental Stewardship for the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership

Success stories of increasing engagement from communities to protect the estuaries.

Progress Evaluation of the National Estuary Program

To assess NEP progress in achieving long-term program goals, EPA conducts a Program Evaluation for each NEP. EPA developed NEP Program Evaluation Guidance that covers how to assess the effectiveness of NEP actions. The Guidance presented below includes performance measures, describes a process for conducting site visits, and provides a feedback loop which helps ensure that recommendations for improvement are implemented.

EPA developed NEP Program Evaluation Guidance that provides EPA and the NEPs, with direction on how to assess the effectiveness of NEP actions. The Guidance includes performance measures, describes a process for conducting site visits, and provides a feedback loop which helps ensure that recommendations for improvement are implemented.

National Estuary Program Reports

The following National Estuary Program reports are available:

Green Infrastructure Opportunities that Arise During Municipal Operations

The Green Infrastructure Opportunities that Arise During Municipal Operations (PDF) (36 pp, 4 MB) report provides approaches that local government officials and municipal program managers in small to midsize communities can use to incorporate green infrastructure components into work they are doing in public spaces. The document presents examples and case studies of how integrating green infrastructure methods can enhance retrofits and maintenance projects and provide other multiple community benefits.

Getting to Green: Paying for Green Infrastructure, Finance Options and Resources for Local Decision-Makers

The Getting to Green: Paying for Green Infrastructure, Finance Options and Resources for Local Decision-Makers report summarizes various funding sources that can be used to support stormwater management programs or finance individual projects. Each type of funding source is illustrated by several municipal programs and contains a list of additional resources.

Coastal Stormwater Management Through Green Infrastructure: A Handbook for Municipalities

This handbook is designed to assist municipalities within the Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay areas to incorporate green infrastructure into their stormwater management planning. It can also be readily applied to other states. See: Coastal Stormwater Management Through Green Infrastructure: A Handbook for Municipalities (PDF; 156 pp, 12 MB)

Community Culture and the Environment: A Guide to Understanding a Sense of Place

This 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. See: Community Culture and the Environment: A Guide to Understanding a Sense of Place (PDF; 294 pp, 11 MB).

Indicator Development for Estuaries

The Indicator Development for Estuaries (PDF; 138 pp, 1 MB) manual provides information on indicator development and a framework for the development of indicators for use in coastal waters.

Volunteer Estuary Monitoring: A Methods Manual

This 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. See: Volunteer Estuary Monitoring: A Methods Manual – Second Edition (PDF; 396 pp, 7 MB).

Community-Based Watershed Management: Lessons from the National Estuary Program (NEP)

The Community Based Watershed Management – Lessons from the NEP report 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).

The NEP provides important lessons for other coastal communities working to restore and protect their watersheds. See: Lesson Learned by National Estuary Programs.

Successful Watershed Management and Lessons Learned from EPA’s National Estuary Program

The National Estuary Program (NEP) represents a unique partnership of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and numerous federal, state and local organizations working together to address coastal watershed management challenges.

To share the wealth of knowledge and experiences of the 28 NEPs, EPA developed the Community-Based Watershed Management Handbook. The Handbook describes the highly successful approaches implemented by the NEPs, and while NEPs focus on estuaries and coastal watersheds, their experiences can be adapted to non-coastal watershed initiatives.

Highlighted below are four keys to successful watershed management drawn from the NEP experiences. These elements, and other lessons learned, are further described in the Handbook.

Four Keys to Successful Watershed Management

  • Establishing governance structures according to watershed boundaries (PDF; 15 pp, 1 MB)
    Because environmental problems do not conform to political jurisdictions, the NEPs define their management areas and management committees according to watershed boundaries and the ecosystems within them.
  • Using science to develop and implement a management plan (PDF; 19 pp, 1 MB)
    The NEPs use science to assess estuary conditions, develop solutions to estuary problems and adapt management efforts. They conduct a technical characterization that describes the quality of the estuary, defines its problems and links problems to causes.
  • Fostering collaborative problem solving (PDF; 13 pp, 859 K)
    The NEPs invest a considerable amount of time to facilitate consensus on complex environmental issues. They develop mechanisms such as charters, bylaws or memoranda of agreement to provide a framework for resolving conflicts.
  • Informing and involving stakeholders to sustain commitment (PDF; 25 pp, 949 K)
    The NEPs inform stakeholders about the estuary and their mission, goals, objectives and progress to ensure their sustained commitment. The NEPs involve stakeholders through such mechanisms as opinion surveys and small group meetings, as well as formal participation on citizen advisory and other committees.