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PA BROWNER APPROVES CASCO BAY, INDIAN RIVER ESTUARY MAN. PLAN

Release Date: 12/6/96
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PA BROWNER APPROVES CASCO BAY, INDIAN RIVER ESTUARY MAN. PLAN

FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1996

BROWNER APPROVES CASCO BAY, INDIAN
RIVER ESTUARY MANAGEMENT PLANS

EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner has approved comprehensive management plans to restore two estuaries: Casco Bay, Maine, signed on Oct. 11 and Indian River Lagoon, Fla., signed Nov. 15. Estuaries are coastal waterways, such as a bay or sound, where fresh water from rivers and streams mixes with salt water from the ocean. Casco Bay was brought into the National Estuary Program in l990. Its watershed covers 985 square miles of land in Maine and includes 41 municipalities, stretching from the coast at Cape Elizabeth east to Cape Small and northwest to the western mountains of Maine. Twelve significant lake and river systems drain into the bay. The management plan addresses stormwater, toxic pollution, dredging, habitat restoration, shellfish, swimming and public stewardship, with a strong citizen volunteer monitoring program. Indian River Lagoon also was brought into the National Estuary Program in l990. An important coastal lagoon and watershed along Florida's east coast, a coalition of local residents are working to protect its fragile ecosystem while maintaining its economic health: tourism alone generates more than $30 billion in revenues each year; sport fishing brings in $54 million; commercial fishing and shellfishing bring in more than $200 million. The management plan addresses population impacts; point source, freshwater and stormwater discharges; natural communities, such as sea grasses and wetlands; wildlife; and public information/education. There are now 28 estuaries in the National Estuary Program and 14 comprehensive management plans have been developed and approved. For more information on the Indian River Lagoon plan, call Johnny Ainsley at 407-984-4950. For more information on the Casco Bay plan, call Patricia Harrington at 207-828-1043.

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