What Challenges Do
Our Estuaries Face?
Estuaries face a host of common challenges. Because we love and
depend on the water, more than half of the people in the United
States live within 100 miles of the coast, including on the shores
of estuaries. And more and more people are moving to these areas.
Coastal communities are growing three times faster than counties
elsewhere in the country.
Unfortunately, as more people flock to the shore, we are upsetting
the natural balance of estuaries and threatening their health. We
endanger our estuaries by polluting the water and building on the
lands surrounding them. These activities can contribute to unsafe
drinking water, beach and shellfish
bed closings, harmful algae
blooms, declines in fisheries,
loss of habitat, fish
kills, and a host of other human health and natural resource
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