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Frequent Questions

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What are estuaries?

Estuaries are places where rivers meet the sea. Estuaries are critical to the health of coastal environments and to our enjoyment of them.
More: Basic Information about Estuaries: What is an Estuary?

Why are estuaries important?

Estuaries provide ecological systems that support a tremendous bounty of seafood, and numerous recreational opportunities. They also serve important functions, such as commerce, national security, esthetics, and navigation.
More: Basic Information about Estuaries: Why are Estuaries Important?

Why Protect Estuaries?

The economy of many coastal areas is based primarily on the natural beauty and bounty of estuaries. When those natural resources are imperiled, so too are the livelihood's of over 140 million Americans-over 50 percent of the U.S. population. More: Basic Information about Estuaries: Why Protect Estuaries?

How can I help my estuary?

Learn about your estuary and take action.
More: Ten Ways to Protect Estuaries (PDF) (1 pg, 426K, About PDF)

What is the National Estuary Program?

The National Estuary Program was established in 1987 by amendments to the Clean Water Act to identify, restore, and protect nationally significant estuaries of the United States and administered by the Environmental Protection Agency.
More: About the National Estuary Program

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