EPA Awards Over $1.1 Million to Assist In Restoration of Coastal Habitats
Release Date: 08/31/2012
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or email@example.com
(DALLAS – August 31, 2012) The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program $597,333 each to assist in the restoration of disappearing coastal habitats along the U.S. Gulf Coast in Louisiana and Texas.
The National Estuary Program (NEP) was established by the federal Clean Water Act to protect and restore water quality and ecological integrity of estuaries. The Clean Water Act requires each National Estuaries Program to develop and implement a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) to address water quality, habitat, and living resources challenges within the estuary watershed.
Currently 28 estuaries along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts and in Puerto Rico are under the NEP. Each estuary’s program focuses its work within a particular place or boundary which includes the estuary and surrounding watersheds.
The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium will use the funds to implement the CCMP outlined in the Barataria-Terrebone National Estuaries Program annual work plan. The Barataria-Terrebonne estuarine complex encompasses 4.2 million acres of wetlands, ridges, forests, farmlands and communities between the Mississippi and Atchafalaya River Basins in southeast Louisiana.
The Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program is dedicated to restoring and protecting the bays and estuaries of the Texas Coastal Bend. The mission of the Coastal Bend Bays work plan is to protect and restore the health and productivity of the bays and estuaries while supporting continued economic growth and public use of the bays. This 515 square-mile area of water includes all bays, estuaries and bayous in the Copano, Aransas, Corpus Christi, Nueces, Baffin and upper Laguna Madre Bay systems.
An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water along the coast where freshwater from rivers and streams meets and mixes with salt water from the ocean. Although influenced by the tides, they are protected from the full force of ocean waves, winds and storms by such land forms as barrier islands or peninsulas.
Estuaries are among the most productive areas on earth, creating more organic matter each year than comparably sized areas of forest, grassland, or agricultural land. The tidal, sheltered waters of estuaries also support unique communities of plants and animals especially adapted for life at the margin of the sea.
More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html