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National Estuary Program (NEP)

National Results from the National Estuary Program

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National Estuary Program (NEP) Habitat Goals

Photo of a riverLike the individual National Estuary Programs, EPA has established goals with respect to habitat in its Strategic Plan.

EPA's current Strategic Plan defines key goals for the Agency over the next five years. Under these goals, there are specific sub-objectives and strategic targets that define, in measurable terms, the environmental change to be accomplished. For the NEP, this target is the number of acres of habitat protected or restored within their study areas.

The 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.

The most current information (2010 - present) is accessible by going to NEPmap.  To view a pie chart of the NEP annual habitat acre totals by habitat type since 2000, please see below.

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National Results

View NEP financing strategies and total primary leveraged dollars. Leveraged dollars are defined as the dollar value (cash or in-kind equivalent) of resources dedicated to implementing an NEP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) above the funding provided to the NEP under Section 320, including earmark funding.

View successful financing mechanisms being used by NEPs.

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Progress Through Partnerships

The 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 also indirectly. Improvements in the water quality in these estuaries, their wetlands, and rivers and streams also benefit birds, shellfish and other species living there.

The habitat protection efforts reported here are coordinated and reported by the NEPs. However, they 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.

These CCMP actions serve as the basis of the acreage numbers reported. Through strong partnerships and collective efforts, NEPs are able to address habitat loss and alteration, and the broad range of problems facing coastal communities and our estuaries.

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Annual National Estuary Program Habitat Totals

The NEPs have restored or protected over 2 million acres since 2000. Annual acreage numbers vary due to many factors. These factors include funds available, weather conditions, negotiations with land owners, length of time to get a permit and availability of plant materials.

Total Year 2020 Habitat Efforts

Acres and Habitat types for NEPs in FY20Total Acreage: 114243.506


Total Year 2019 Habitat Efforts

2019 habitat acres chartTotal Acreage: 119,241.70


Total Year 2018 Habitat Efforts

2018 habitat acres chartTotal Acreage: 76,970.88


Total Year 2017 Habitat Efforts

2017 Habitat by AcresTotal Acreage: 52,188.29


Total Year 2016 Habitat Efforts

2016 NEP Pie ChartTotal Acreage:  70,462


Total Year 2015 Habitat Efforts

2015 Pie ChartTotal Acreage: 111,584.10

Total Year 2014 Habitat Efforts

2014 NEP Total Acres restored by Habitat TypeTotal Acreage: 128,859.82


Total Year 2013 Habitat Efforts

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


Total Year 2012 Habitat Efforts

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


Total Year 2011 Habitat Efforts

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


Total Year 2010 Habitat Efforts

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

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