EPA National Estuary Program

National Estuary Program

In 1987, Congress established the National Estuary Program (NEP) to protect estuaries threatened by the degradation caused by human activity. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers the program, provides financial and technical support to NEPs.

NEPs are collaborative, community-based entities that address issues facing the estuaries with specific environmental protection actions. Each NEP develops and implements a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) for the designated study area. CCMPs must carry specific actions that will address priority problems, identify parties to implement the actions, develop a plan to ensure implementation occurs and funding for each action.

Three of the 28 nationally designated estuaries are in Region 10: Puget Sound, Lower Columbia River, and Tillamook Bay.

Puget Sound

Puget Sound was one of the original NEP programs. The first CCMP was approved in 1991. In 2007, due to persistent threats to our valuable ecosystem, Washington State created the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) to reinvigorate efforts.

In 2008, PSP released an Action Agenda that describes a set of actions and priorities to restore and protect Puget Sound by 2020.

The Action Agenda identifies the following threats:

  • Habitat Alteration and Land Conversion
  • Pollution
  • Surface and Groundwater Supply
  • Invasive Species
  • Artificial Propagation of Species
  • Harvest

Actions identified were organized around five priority strategies:

  • Protect Intact Ecosystem Processes, Structures, and Functions
  • Restore Ecosystem Processes, Structures, and Functions
  • Prevent Water Pollution at its Source
  • Work Together
  • Build an Implementation, Monitoring, and Accountability Management System

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Snohomish Basin Protection Plan

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Guiding growth-healthy watersheds: McLane Creek Basin water resource protection study

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Marine shoreline design guidelines

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The 2012/2013 Action Agenda for Puget Sound

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The 2014/2015 Action Agenda for Puget Sound

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Development of a stormwater retrofit plan for Water Resources Inventory Area (WRIA) 9: Comprehensive needs and cost assessment and extrapolation to Puget Sound

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Stormwater fixes could cost billions

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A 2014 report prepared by the Stillaguamish Tribe analyzes potential causes of changes in peak and low flows in the Stillaguamish River basin. 

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12/16/2014

Biennial Science Work Plan for 2014-2016

Every two years, statute requires the Puget Sound Partnership to produce a Biennial Science Work Plan (BSWP). Its primary purposes are to I) assess how well ongoing research addresses decision-­‐critical uncertainties relating to the recovery of Puget Sound; II) identify additional science needs for recovery; III) make recommendations for priority science actions in the coming biennium; and IV) suggest how science can better support recovery. This document is the third BSWP to be produced in the series, covering the 2014-­2016 biennium.

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