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Water: Estuaries and Coastal Watersheds

National Habitat Goals & Annual Results

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National Estuary Program Habitat Goals

photo of a river

Like the individual NEPs, the EPA has established goals with respect to habitat in its Strategic Plan (GPRA).

EPA's current Strategic Plan defines key goals for the Agency over the next five years (2011-2015). Under these goals, there are specific sub objectives and strategic targets that define, in measurable terms, the environmental change to be accomplished by 2015. The strategic target that addresses the NEPs states that:

"By 2015, protect or restore an additional 600,000 acres of habitat within the study areas for the 28 estuaries that are part of the National Estuary Program."

NEPs report the number of habitat acres they have protected and/or restored with their partners annually to EPA. These reports provide a description of the project (with photos if available), specify the Habitat type or category, indicate the Protection Activity/Restoration Technique associated with the project, and identify the lead implementer along with some other data. This most current information (2010 - present) is accessible by going to NEPmap and visiting one of the links below the map titled "View 2010 - Present: NEP Habitat Project Descriptions & Pie Charts".

To examine previous years, this information can be found in the Local NEP Projects & Regional Summary. To View a pie chart of the NEP Annual Habitat Acre Totals by habitat type from 2000 to the present, please see below.

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Progress Through Partnerships

NEPs have made substantial progress in protecting and restoring habitats in their estuaries. The habitat efforts carried out by the NEPs and their partners have yielded measurable environmental results. Not only do these projects improve coastal habitats directly, but the water quality in these estuaries, their wetlands, and rivers and streams, thereby benefiting birds, shellfish, and other species living there.

The habitat protection efforts reported here, while coordinated and reported by the NEP, were accomplished through the efforts of the many individual state, local, and federal partners that comprise each estuary program. These stakeholders have committed significant time and resources to support habitat-related Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) actions that serve as the basis of the acreage numbers reported. It is through these strong partnerships and collective efforts that the NEPs are able to address not only habitat loss and alteration, but the broad range of problems facing local coastal communities and our estuaries.

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Annual NEP Habitat Totals

National Estuary Programs restored and protected over 1.75 million acres since 2000. Annual acreage numbers vary due to many factors such as funds available, weather conditions, negotiations with land owners, length of time to get a permit, and availability of plant materials.


Total Year 2013 Habitat Efforts


Total acres restored by the NEPs in 2013 equaled 127,593.95 acres

Total Acreage: 127,593.95


Total Year 2012 Habitat Efforts


Total acres restored by the NEPs in 2012 equaled 114,579.51 acres

Total Acreage: 114,579.51


Total Year 2011 Habitat Efforts


Total acres restored by the NEPs in 2011 equaled 62,487.57 acres

Total Acreage: 62,487.57


Total Year 2010 Habitat Efforts


Total acres restored by the NEPs in 2010 equaled 127,593.95 acres

Total Acreage: 127,593.95


View Individual NEP Habitat Pie Charts from 2010 - present year




Pie Charts for Previous Years: Show | Hide

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