United States
              Environmental Protection
                Office of Water
February 1989
Marine and Estuarine

Programs and Activities



The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is

    To protect, restore, and maintain the
    nation's coastal and marine waters to
    protect human health and sustain living

    To take actions to further reduce pollu-
    tion of these waters and aggressively limit
    the  effects  of increasing coastal popula-

                  EPA supports these goals:
                      Recovery of full recreational use of shores,
                      beaches, and water by reducing sources
                      of bacterial and other contamination, and
                      plastics, floatable material, and other

                      Restoration of the nation's shellfisheries
                      and salt-water fisheries and protection of
                      marine mammals and living resources by
                      controlling pollution and causes of habitat
                      degradation and loss.

                      Reduction in the use of coastal and marine
                      waters for waste disposal by strictly limit-
                      Ing ocean dumping, tightening controls on
                      land-based sources, and establishing ag-
                      gressive programs to reduce the amount
                      of waste generated by our society.

                      Greater understanding of the effects of
                      pollution on complex coastal and marine
                      ecosystems by expanding scientific re-
                      search and monitoring programs and
                      developing new technology.

                      Leadership by the United States in protec-
                      tion of the world's oceans by aggressively
                      promoting international efforts to stop pol-
                      lution and safeguard critical marine
                      habitats and living resources.

                                            COASTAL AND MARINE WATERS - A UNIQUE RESOURCE
Seen from space, Earth is indeed "the Water
Planet"- unparalleled in our solar system
because 71 percent of the planet's surface is
water. Although vast, the oceans include
vulnerable and complex environments and
support many unique and  important species.

Throughout human history,  man has used this
resource and its shores in many ways, including food
production, transportation, scientific study, recrea-
tion, and waste disposal. In fact, the ocean is the ul-
timate repository for almost all waste disposed of on
land and the atmosphere over a time scale ranging
from days to geologic time.
But more than history attaches us to the oceans, and
makes us mindful of our continued dependency on
their properfunctioning. For many, today, the oceans
are the primary source  of  protein,  as  well as
livelihood, commerce, and recreation. Closer to
shore, in coastal waters, are  perhaps the nation's
most unique ecosystems-our bays, sounds and es-
tuaries. This coastal water environment provides the
critical habitat for a wide range of  commercial and
endangered  species of fish,  shellfish, birds, and
aquatic and terrestrial wildlife.
   A great diversity of plant and animal species are
   nurtured by coastal estuaries. In the Chesapeake
   Bay, more than 2,000plants and animals have
   been identified, including 41 endangered or
   threatened species. Puget Sound contains more
   than 200 varieties of fish and  14 species of
   marine mammals. The Gulf of Mexico provides
   a critical habitat for 75percent of the migratory
   waterfowl traveling across the United States.
Nationally, approximately 87% of the dollar value
and 82% of the weight of U.S. finfish harvests are
species whose life cycles depend entirely or in part
on near coastal waters habitats.

Economically, coastal waters are worth billions  of
dollars.Most of the Nation's commercially valuable
fish and shellfish depend upon tidal wetlands for sus-
tenance. Each acre of the Atlantic coast wetland-es-
tuary system can  produce up to 125  pounds  of
commercial fish, and 80 percent of the total West
Coast hardshell clam population is grown and har-
vested in muddy coastal wetlands. In total, commer-
cial and  recreational fishermen generate more than
$10 billion in direct revenue.

                  Several States have recognized the value of
                  their fisheries through investments in projects
                  such as warehouses, centralized ports, process-
                  ing plants, and marketing and distribution
                  operations. Maine is spending $25 million in
                  bond issues on port improvements and $12 mil-
                  lion on fishing piers in seven coastal towns.
                  North Carolina has invested $7.6 million in
                  Federal and State funds in a new wharf and
                  seafood industrial park.

                  Yet the economic value of a high-quality coastal en-
                  vironment  extends  far beyond fisheries. Coastal
                  property values  are skyrocketing  along many
                  shorelines,  as public demand for living or vacation-
                  ing by the  water increases. Each year, millions of
                  people enjoy the coastal environment for swimming,
                  boating, hiking, and bird  watching, and  as parks,
                  refuges, and open space.
   In Florida over 13 million adults used the state's
   beaches in 1984, with total related sales
   estimated in excess of $4.5 billion. Water-related
   tourism in the Great Lakes basin generates
   between $8 and $12 billion annually for local
   communities along the nation's northern border.
Although used by man, the oceans, like the air, are
not owned by man, but are an international
"commons." Both individual  citizens and govern-
ments share roles of stewardship and partnership
with other Nations to manage our ocean resources.
Within the United States, efforts to protect and con-
serve the resources of the oceans must balance
diverse interests.

                                                                     CURRENT PROBLEMS AND THREATS
The very richness of the coastal environment
has led to increased migration of the Nation's
population to the coast. Already 70 percent of
the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a
coastline, and that number is growing. From
1950 to 1984, the population in coastal coun-
ties grew by more than 80 percent. Florida's
coast is now being settled at the rate of 3,000
to 4,000 people a week.

Residential, as well as seasonal, population growth
has contributed to a boom in development in coas-
tal communities around the  country. Houses and
condominiums, hotels and motels, marinas and res-
taurants, shops and other services, and manufactur-
ing are taking over many shorelines. This new
construction  and development  means that coastal
waters receive more sediments and contaminants
from runoff of stormwater, more sewage from over-
loaded treatment plants and septic tanks, and more
wastes discharged from boats.
                       Figure 1.
       Tlie average population density in coastal counties is
        almost 5 times as great as in noncoastal counties.
In addition, contaminants from other land and water
uses in the coastal drainage basin continue to add to
the  problems of the coastal environment. These
problems include  runoff from  agricultural lands,
leachate from hazardous waste storage sites and
landfills, deposition of pollutants from the  air, dis-
posal of the materials from dredging of channels and
marinas, and draining and filling of wetlands.

The cumulative impacts of these activities have
destroyed critical habitats and resulted in declines in
important resources, toxic contamination offish and
sediments,  risks to public health, and  mounting
threats to the entire coastal region and economy.
                                                                    Non-coastal Areas  Coastal Areas

                  EPA has identified six major coastal environ-
                  mental problems.

                  1.  Toxic Contamination:

                  Throughout the United States, many fish, like striped
                  bass, can no longer be eaten because of contamina-
                  tion  by  metals,  pesticides,  and other chemicals.
                  Washington State fisheries report finding tumors in
                  the livers of English sole, which dwell on sediment
                  where contaminants can accumulate. Sport fishing
                  advisories exist for all Great Lakes waters. State offi-
                  cials in New York have warned women of childbear-
                  ing age  and children under  15 against consuming
                  more than half a pound of bluefish a week.
                 2.  Pathogen Contamination:

                 Fish are also subject to contamination by pathogens
                 such as  disease-causing bacteria and viruses.
                 Incidences of illness-including gastroenteritis,
                 hepatitis A and cholera-from eating contaminated
                 fish are rising around the United States. In addition,
                 fully one third of the U.S.  shellfish beds are closed
                 because of pollution, resulting in millions of dollars in
                 lost revenues. Over 4,500 cases of shellfish-
                 associated gastroenteritis,  believed  caused by
                 viruses, have been documented in the United States
                 since 1980.
3.  Eutrophication:
Patches of water that have been almost totally
depleted of oxygen are proliferating. Eutrophication,
the buildup of excessive organic matter in the water,
is a probable cause of these "dead zones." Marine
animals cannot survive without oxygen. As many as
one million fluke and flounder were killed in the sum-
mer of 1988 when they became trapped in oxygen-
depleted water in New Jersey's Raritan Bay. Another
huge dead zone, 300 miles long and 10 miles wide,
is adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.

                                                                    CURRENT PROBLEMS AND THREATS
4.   Habitat Loss and Alteration:

Nearly 50 percent of coastal wetlands have been
destroyed in the continental United States since the
1700s. Losses have averaged 20,000 acres per year
over the past 25 years. Louisiana, which has 25 per-
cent of the nation's coastal wetlands, has lost 40 per-
cent of its wetlands from activities such as  the
channelization, draining, and leveeing of the Missis-
sippi River. Loss or alteration of wetlands destroys
the areas  where many species live or breed.
5.  Changes in Living Resources:

All too often coastal fisheries, wildlife, and waterfowl
populations are reduced or changed as a result of
pollution and habitat destruction. For example, har-
vest offish stocks in Chesapeake Bay has been shift-
ing from freshwater spawners such as striped bass
to ocean spawners such as menhaden. This is due
in part to degraded water quality in spawning and
nursery areas. In addition, striped bass commercial
harvest on the East Coast dropped from 14.7 million
pounds in 1973 to 1.7 million  pounds just 10 years
Many of us have now experienced the results of
these problems firsthand. During the summers of
1987 and 1988, the public was confronted with fish
kills, blooms of microscopic marine life (red and
green tides), beach closings caused by garbage and
medical wastes, and contaminated  waters
throughout the country. Frequent media attention,
which chronicles these events, has  reinforced the
public's concern.

Historically, the ocean has been one of several op-
tions for the disposal of society's  wastes. Most
people assumed ocean waters had an inexhaustible
capacity to assimilate wastes without harming ocean
living resources. There has been a growing public
perception that assimilative capacity is not infinite
and Congress has now acted to end the ocean
dumping of sewage sludge and industrial wastes by
6.  Persistent Marine  Debris:

U.S. shores are also being inundated with plastic
debris that can kill or maim marine life. As many as 2
million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die
every year after eating or  becoming entangled in
such debris.

                  EPA created the Office of Marine and
                  Estuarine Protection (OMEP) in 1984. This
                  action reflects EPA's continuing and
                  heightened commitment to protect the nation's
                  ocean and coastal waters. By centralizing the
                  major EPA programs dealing with this
                  resource, the Agency now provides a focused
                  responsibility for addressing the growing
                  coastal and ocean problems and a
                  concentrated emphasis on coastal protection.
                  OMEP's approximately 40 environmental scien-
                  tists, policy specialists, planners, and other
                  professionals carry out the following activities:
In each of these activities OMEP staff strive to focus
and integrate Agency regulatory tools and manage-
ment attention on current and future coastal
problems, for a unique geographic approach within
OMEP's activities to protect ocean and  coastal
waters include implementation of programs under
two major laws—the Marine Protection, Research,
and Sanctuaries Act and the Clean Water Act-as
well as a number of  provisions under other laws,
such as the Marine Plastic Pollution Research and
Control Act.
                       Establish and oversee regulatory and
                       monitoring policies for ocean disposal

                       Support the development and implemen-
                       tation of  comprehensive management
                       plans for estuaries of national importance.

                       Support the Great Lakes and Chesapeake
                       Bay Programs.
    Simply speaking, within EPA, OMEP provides
    the primary protection focus for an important
    environmental resource: the Nation's estuaries,
    coastal waters, and oceans.
                       Coordinate marine research activities.
                       Provide an environmental ethic and coor-
                       dination point for interagency and interna-
                       tional ocean and coastal actions and

                                                                         OCEAN DUMPING PROGRAM
The Marine Protection,
Research, and Sanctuaries Act

The Marine Protection, Research, and
Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA), better known
as the Ocean Dumping Act, regulates the
ocean dumping of all types of materials that
may adversely affect human health, the marine
environment, or the economic potential of the
ocean. Titles I and II make EPA and the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers responsible for
administering the Act, the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
responsible for monitoring the effects of ocean
dumping, and the Coast Guard responsible for
enforcing the Act. Title III gives the Secretary of
Commerce the authority to establish marine

In addition, the MPRSA is the domestic legislation for
implementing the provisions of the Convention on
the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of
Wastes and Other Matter (London Dumping Conven-
tion), the only global  agreement concerned solely
with the dumping of wastes into the marine environ-
    The MPRSA applies to the open ocean and
    coastal waters, but not to estuarine waters.
    MPRSA defines "material" as all wastes except
    those discharged through a pipeline or from a
    stationary drilling platform. The Clean Water
   Act governs these excepted materials and all
    dumping in estuaries.
In 1988, Congress passed the Ocean Dumping Ban
Act to amend the MPRSA. The primary purpose of
this  legislation is to end the dumping of sewage
sludge and industrial waste in the oceans by Decem-
ber 1991. In addition, this Act regulates the operation
of garbage barges and makes it illegal to dispose of
medical waste in coastal or navigable waters of the
United States.
The MPRSA also governs the ocean dumping of
dredged material. EPA is given authority to choose
sites for dredged material dumping, but the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for issuing
permits to dump at those sites.

                 industrial Waste and Sewage
                 Sludge Disposal

                 Between 1973 and 1986 the amount of
                 industrial waste dumped  in the ocean declined
                 steadily (Figure 2). The number of industrial
                 waste dumpers dropped from over 100 to 1.
                 The remaining dumper uses a site off the New
                 Jersey coast for disposing of hydrochloric acid.
                 The ocean dumping of sewage sludge has occurred
                 under court order since 1981. The amount of sewage
                 sludge increased from 4.8 million wet tons in 1973 to
                 7.9 million wet tons in 1986. As of January 1989, only
                 9 ocean dumpers remain active and all are located in
                 the metropolitan New Jersey/New York area.
The Ocean Dumping Ban Act  of 1988 sets a
December 1991 deadline to end  the dumping of
these types of waste. The Act directs EPA to require
the development of a compliance or enforcement
agreement between the dumper, the Governor of the
appropriate State, and EPA. This agreement must in-
clude a plan that will phase out the  dumping no later
than the deadline, and a schedule  for implementing
environmentally  sound disposal alternatives.
Through the agreement, dumpers are required to
establish trust funds that will target money to aid the
development of alternative systems. The legislation
imposes two disposal fees on permitted dumpers: an
administrative fee to cover the costs of carrying out
the Act and a punitive fee to be paid by dumpers
who cannot end ocean dumping by 1991.
                                                                                                     Sewage Sludge
                                                                           OCEAN DUMPING PROGRAM
Dredged Material Disposal

At present, over 90 percent of the total volume
of material dumped in the ocean consists of
sediment dredged from U.S. harbors and
channels. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
issues permits for disposal of dredged material
using human health and marine impact criteria
developed by EPA. Environmental aspects are
taken into account when sites are selected,
during the permitting process, and through
EPA's management and monitoring programs.
  465 Million
  Cubic Yards
       Total  I

                         265 MCY
                         Open waters/Upland

                         135 MCY
                         Coastal, Upland

                          65 MCY Oceans
  Ocean Dumping Sites

  A large number of ocean dumping sites
  existed in 1972 when the MPRSA was passed.
  Based on their historical use, EPA designated a
  few of these sites for disposal of nondredged
  material (for sewage sludge, woodburning, fish
  waste, and acid waste), and a larger number for
  disposal of dredged material. Designations
  were made on an interim basis until
  environmental evaluations could be completed.
  In 1977, a program was initiated for
  permanently designating the sites pending
  completion of environmental  impact statements
  or site designation studies.

  The site designation process takes about 2.5 years
  and is designed to minimize adverse environmental
  effects and to ensure that dumping interferes as little
  as possible with other activities in the marine environ-
  ment. OMEP has now completed final designation for
  60 sites (Figure 4).
                 Figure 3.
Of the approximately 465 million cubic yards of sediment dredged
 in the United Slates each year, about 65 million cubic yards are
              disposed in ocean waters.


Industrial Waste Disposal Site
   Total Number of Sites jpffl 18
   Draft EIS Completed  E312
   Final EIS Completed  fai?12
   Proposed Rule      jgB| 12
   Final Designation    • 9
 Dredged Material Disposal Site Status
      Total Number of Sites
      Draft EIS Completed _________
      Final EIS Completed  tmmmmxiFQrsa 64
      Proposed Rule
      inal Designation
                                 Figure 4.
              Completion status of industrial waste and dredged material
                           disposal site desigtiations.

                     In 1986, OMEP delegated responsibility to the seven
                     coastal EPA Regional Offices for the designation of
                     ocean dumping sites for dredged material. Regional
                     delegation will enhance local coordination and  ex-
                     pedite decisions about site designation. To speed up
                     the process still more, in 1987 OMEP negotiated a
                     national umbrella Agreement with the Corps of En-
                     gineers. This Agreement makes 1991 the deadline for
                     final action on all existing ocean disposal sites and
                     establishes priorities for designating  sites  at  the
                     regional level.
                                                                             Ocean Monitoring
An underlying assumption of the ocean
dumping program is that the ocean
environment will be protected if those who
receive permits for dumping obey the
conditions written into the permit and the
requirements for managing the dumpsite.
Monitoring programs are conducted to
determine (1) whether dumpers are complying
with their permits, and (2) whether the waste
disposal is causing any unexpected adverse
The Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988 requires EPA,
in cooperation with NOAA, to design and conduct
programs for monitoring environmental conditions at
dump sites for sewage sludge and industrial waste.
OMEP operates an Ocean Survey Vessel, the
Peter W. Anderson (Figure 5), for ocean monitoring
and site designation field studies.

                                                                               OCEAN DUMPING PROGRAM

The U.S. Coast Guard has overall
responsibility under the MPRSA for
surveillance to prevent unlawful ocean
dumping and to ensure that authorized
dumping complies with permit conditions. The
Coast Guard uses several surveillance
methods including vessel and aircraft patrols,
shipriders on dumping vessels, in-port
boardings and inspections, and radar.
Permittees must notify authorities in advance
of dumping operations.

The Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988 requires each
dumper of sewage sludge or industrial waste to enter
into a compliance  and enforcement agreement to
phase out ocean dumping by 1991 and to establish
an administrative and punitive fee structure.
   Approximately 117 civil enforcement actions
   have been brought under the MPRSA since
   1973. The violations have ranged from failure to
   meet permit reporting requirements to dumping
   without a permit. One criminal enforcement
   action filed in 1987 is awaiting trial.
Civil and criminal penalties will continue to be im-
posed for dumping without a permit. Beginning in
1992, civil penalties will be imposed on all ocean
dumpers of sewage sludge and industrial wastes,
whether or not they have received a permit. This fee
will increase yearly. Illegal dumpers are also subject
to criminal penalties.
                       Figure 5.
      TlieOSV Peter W. Anderson is equipped to sample the
         water column, sediments on the seafloor, and
       emissions from incinerator vessels. She can collect
        samples of dredged material, industrial waste, or
                     sewage sludge.

                 The Marine Plastic Pollution Research and
                 Control Act of 1987 requires that the effects of
                 plastic pollution on the marine environment be
                 identified and reduced. Under this law, EPA is
                 studying ways to abate plastic pollution. OMEP
                 is responsible for the marine aspects of this
                 study, which includes several elements:

                      A listing of improper disposal practices
                      and specific plastic materials that may in-
                      jure fish and wildlife, degrade or cause
                      economic loss to coastal waterfront areas,
                      or cause other impacts

                      A description of EPA's authority and on-
                      going reduction measures to reduce
                      plastics in the marine environment

                      An  evaluation of substitutes for some
                      plastic materials, recycling incentives, and
                      use ofdegradable materials.

                  In 1988, Congress passed another law dealing with
                  plastic pollution. Commonly called the Degradable
                  Plastic Ring Carrier Act, this legislation directs EPA
                 to require by regulation that plastic ring carriers be
                  made of naturally degradable material that, when dis-
                 carded, will decompose within a reasonable time.
   The Marine Plastic Pollution Research and
   of 1978 Relating to the International Convention
   for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
   (MARPOL). MARPOL prohibits discharge
   into the sea of all plastics including, but not
   limited to, synthetic ropes, synthetic fishing nets,
   and plastic garbage bags.  It also prohibits
   discharge of food wastes and other floating
   materials within specified distances from land.
In conducting these studies and analyses, OMEP
will work with other EPA programs, particularly those
dealing with waste minimization policies, and with
other Federal agencies that have related respon-
sibilities under  the law. The Department of
Commerce is charged with conducting an analysis
on the effects of plastic materials on the marine
environment and recommending appropriate legisla-
tion. NOAA, the Department of Transportation (DOT)
and EPA are charged  with running a three-year
program to educate the public about plastic pollu-

                                                               POINT SOURCE CONTROL ACTIVITIES
The Clean Water Act
The Clean Water Act is the single most
important law dealing with the environmental
quality of all United States surface waters, both
marine and fresh. This Act sets a national goal
to restore and maintain the physical, chemical,
and biological integrity of the Nation's waters.
For many years, EPA and the States have
engaged in an array of activities under the
Clean Water Act, including development of
standards for municipal and  industrial point
sources of pollution, grants for the
construction of sewage treatment facilities, and
compliance monitoring and enforcement.
   A point source of pollution is one that can be
   pinpointed specifically, for example, the
   discharge coming from a sewage  treatment
   facility or a manufacturing plant.
A central feature of the Clean Water Act  is the
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
(NPDES). This provision establishes a procedure by
which point sources discharging pollutants to
navigable waters receive permits authorizing the dis-
charge. Without permits issued either by EPA or
States  delegated responsibility for the permit
program, dumping or other discharge of any non-
dredged materials is illegal within 3 miles of the coast
and inland, and point source discharges are illegal
beyond 3 miles.

OMEP is directly responsible, under two
provisions of the Clean Water Act, for protection
of the marine ecosystem.

    Section 301 (h) of the Act allows qualified
    publicly owned treatment works (POTWs)
    thatdischarge into coastal or ocean waters
    to provide less than secondary treatment if
    certain conditions are_ met.  Secondary
    treatment removes 90 percent of all solid
    waste from sewage effluent.

    Section 403(c) requires that all NPDES-
    permitted discharges from point sources
    into the territorial seas, the contiguous
    zone, and the  oceans must not "un-
    reasonably degrade the marine environ-
    ment." This requirement can only be met

                      after considering the effects of pollutant
                      disposal on human health and welfare,
                      marine life, and aesthetic, recreational,
                      and commercial values; the persistence
                      and permanence of these effects; and the
                      effects of varying disposal rates.

                  Section 404 of the Clean Water Act controls the dis-
                  charge of dredged materials. This provision is regu-
                  lated  by the Army Corps of  Engineers, using
                  evaluation criteria developed jointly with EPA.

                  These provisions are intended to coverall pollutants
                  of concern to the marine and estuarine environment.
                  OMEP policy requires that, at a minimum, decisions
                  about granting permits under the Clean Water Act be
                  made on the basis of water quality. This approach in-
                  cludes a site-specific assessment to ensure that
                  public water supplies and recreational activities are
                  protected and a balanced fish population  is main-
                  tained. Section 403(c) goes still further, requiring a
                  more  thorough  assessment based on overall en-
                  vironmental effects such as ecosystem diversity and
                  productivity and  considering effects on sediment as
                  well as in the water column.
                                            18 Ponding
                     6 9 Withdrawn-..
                                                  ,,40 Approved
                                                73 Dtni.d
An Agency strategy for implementation of Section
403(c) of the Clean Water Act is under development.
The strategy will be discussed  in a report to be sub-
mitted to Congress in May 1989 as required by the
Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988. The Act requires
that the report include a schedule for implementing
403(c), an estimate of the resources needed for im-
plementation, and recommendations, if any, for
statutory changes.
Discharger Status
Very few U.S. municipal dischargers to coastal
or ocean waters qualify for a 301 (h) permit. A
total of 208 dischargers applied for these
permits by the Clean Water Act's 1982
deadline. No new applications are allowed.
As of December 1988, EPA had made  190 final
decisions, approving 48 permits and denying 73, the
remaining applications having  been withdrawn.
Denied permit applicants are required to meet secon-
dary treatment requirements (Figure 6).

The Water Quality Act of 1987 modified the 301 (h)
program by, among other changes, requiring a min-
imum of primary treatment and compliance with all
pretreatment requirements. A number of permittees
will probably not be able to achieve the new stand-
ards and will  need to install additional treatment.
                                                                                 Figure 6.
                                                                  Tlie current slants of 301 (h) Penult Applications

                                                             NEAR COASTAL WATERS ACTIVITIES
In addition to managing programs to protect
the coastal and ocean environment from any
impacts of direct discharges, OMEP also
provides the primary focus within EPA for
comprehensive planning to restore and protect
coastal resources. It is this combination of
activities that will, over the long term, enable
EPA to meet its goals.

The Water Quality Act

In 1987, Congress amended the Clean Water Act
with the Water Quality Act. This new law offers op-
portunities for regulatory agencies, the regulated
community,  and the public to expand ongoing
programs with new initiatives, including programs to
control toxic materials in surface water and pollution
from nonpoint sources, and to protect and restore
lakes and estuaries.
The Water Quality Act places a new emphasis on
going beyond national pollution control standards to
address site-specific problems and maximize en-
vironmental results. Three of its provisions focus at-
tention on protecting and restoring important coastal
resources: the National Estuary Program, the Great
Lakes Program, and the Chesapeake Bay Program.
OMEP is directly responsible for carrying out the Na-
tional Estuary Program, and for overseeing and sup-
porting  the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes
   A nonpoint source of pollution is one that
   cannot be precisely pinpointed; it is diffuse, like
   runoff of nutrients from agricultural land or
   deposition of contaminants from the air.

                  A Resource Focus
                  E.PA programs are typically based on the
                  uniform application of controls nationwide. But
                  coastal problems and solutions tend to be
                  specific to a given site. The resource is a
                  complex ecological system with subtle
                  interdependencies among many species and
                  habitats. Agricultural runoff and other nonpoint
                  sources contribute pesticides and excess
                  phosphorus and nitrogen to bays hundreds of
                  miles away; the wind carries toxic materials to
                  contaminate bottom sediments in otherwise
                  pristine waters. Conventional, "end of pipe"
                  pollution controls are not typically enough.

                  As a result of these factors, OMEP has developed
                  programs and approaches that are in many ways uni-
                  que. Its programs zero in on a specific coastal area.
                  The OMEP approach is a fresh, creative way of solv-
                  ing environmental problems, one that recognizes an
                  integrated ecosystem, not clusters of isolated
                  problems. As problems are identified within an area,
                  all legal authorities and the regulatory and manage-
                  ment tools of other EPA, Federal,  State, and local
                  agencies must be put to work for maximum results.
                  Furthermore, those results, and the success of the
                  program, are measured in terms of the environmen-
                  tal health and living resources of the ecosystem,
                  rather than by surrogate measures such as com-
                  pliance statistics.
Over its four-year life, OMEP has initiated or sup-
ported such programs in  18 coastal areas
(Figure 7). Although the approach could be con-
sidered an experiment, it is clearly an opportunity for
innovation. EPA's experiences in the Great  Lakes
and Chesapeake Bay offer a successful environmen-
tal model to emulate and build on.

                                                                 NEAR COASTAL WATERS ACTIVITIES
        Puget Sound, WA

        Oregon Coast
                                                                               Buzzards Bay, MA
                                                                               Narragansett Bay, Rl
                                                                               Long Island Sound, NY/CT
                                                                               NY Bight
San Francisco Bay, CA
                                                                               NY/NJ Harbor
                                                                               Delaware Inland Bays
                                                                               Delaware Bay
                                                                               Chesapeake Bay
                                                                               Albemarle-Pamllco Sounds, NC
Santa Monica Bay, CA
                                                                      Sarasota Bay, FL
                                    Galveston Bay, TX  Perdido Bay, FL/AL

                                          Gulf of Mexico
                                                Figure 7.
                                  1988: Waters covered under Agency initiatives

                  The Great Lakes Program
                  The Great Lakes system is the largest
                  reservoir of fresh surface water in North
                  America and contains about 18 percent of the
                  world's supply. The Great Lakes are a fishery
                  resource, a transportation system, a water
                  supply, a recreation resource, a modifier of
                  climate, and a means of waste disposal. In both
                  Canada and the United States, all of these uses
                  have contributed to the development of one of
                  the world's largest inland concentrations of
                  population and industry.
One third of the 300,000-square-mile drainage basin
is  covered by water. The numerous tributaries
receive drainage from many land uses and types of
soil, resulting in a variety of pollution problems.
Despite their size, the Lakes are especially sensitive
to  pollution. Less than 1 percent of the total volume
of  water in the system flows  out the St. Lawrence
each year, thus toxic pollutants are left to accumu-
late in  bottom sediments and fish. The relatively
closed nature of the system makes the Great Lakes
vulnerable to pollution over the long term and their
huge volume of water makes reversal of change due
to  pollution very difficult.

Launched in 1970, the Great  Lakes Program is the
oldest  geographically  focused environmental
program in the United States. A cooperative effort be-
tween the United States and  Canada, the program
fulfills the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
between the two countries.
    Tlie goal of the Great Lakes Water Quality
    Agreement is "to restore and maintain the
   physical, chemical, and biological integrity of
    the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem." This
    emphasis  on a comprehensive  ecosystem
    approach is the cornerstone of both GLNPO
    operations  and OMEP's overall approach to
    coastal environmental management.

                                                                      NEAR COASTAL WATERS ACTIVITIES
The Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO)
was created in 1978 to oversee the United States' ful-
fillment of its obligations under the Agreement with
Canada. GLNPO is located in Chicago and provides
national management for the Great Lakes program.
OMEP's role is one of support and oversight.
Concerns about water quality in the Great Lakes
have  evolved over time from disease-causing
organisms to  oxygen depletion and eutrophication
and, recently, to toxic substances as the leading
threat to human and ecosystem health.

The program initially tackled control of pollution from
individual, identifiable—or point—sources. Major
municipal treatment plants were required to reduce
phosphorus in effluents, and phosphate detergent
was banned in many of the Great Lakes States. These
efforts successfully reduced  nutrients, resulting in
elevated oxygen levels and restoration offish in Lake
Erie and elsewhere.
The first Water Quality Agreement was signed by the
United States and Canada in 1972 and has been
amended three times. During negotiations for the
most recent amendments, in 1987, the principal con-
cern was the control of persistent toxic substances.
These substances have accumulated in sediments in
many urban and industrial centers, known as "Areas
of Concern," in both countries.
The Clean Water Act amendments of 1987 direct
GLNPO to coordinate actions within and external to
EPA that are aimed at improving water quality in the
Great  Lakes to ensure U.S. compliance with  the
Great  Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The Act  fur-
ther requires GLNPO to manage Great Lakes surveil-
lance, research, and demonstration projects.
The program then turned to nonpoint sources of pol-
lution.  The principal  nonpoint source of excess
nutrients was the runoff of surface water from agricul-
tural land. This water carries topsoil  laden with
nutrients (including fertilizers) to the Lakes. GLNPO,
working with the Department of Agriculture's Soil
Conservation Service,  funded projects with
individual farmers to illustrate how voluntary best
management practices could reduce phosphorus
loadings from agricultural sources. Today the States
have their own phosphorus control programs as part
of the implementation agreement with Canada.

                 A new five-year strategy for GLNPO has the
                 following goals:

                     Support the completion of Lakewide
                     Management Plans for Lakes Michigan,
                     Ontario, and Erie to determine the steps
                     needed to make fish safe to eat.

                     Support the completion and implementa-
                     tion of Remedial Action Plans to restore
                     beneficial uses in all Areas of Concern.

                     Obtain enough information  about sour-
                     ces, fates, and effects of pollutants to sup-
                     port a mass balance approach in remedial

                     Conduct a demonstration program to as-
                     sess and address contaminated bottom
Evaluate results of point source and non-
point source remedial programs to deter-
mine whether additional controls are
needed to restore oxygen levels in Lake

Strengthen partnerships with the  Great
Lakes States,  other EPA programs, and
other Federal agencies in carrying out all

Protect the Lakes from human abuse by
improving public understanding  of the
Great Lakes system and related issues.

                                                                    NEAR COASTAL WATERS ACTIVITIES
The Chesapeake Bay Program
                                          ATLANTIC OCEAN
                                       CHESAPEAKE BAY
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in
the United States; biologically, it is one of the
most productive systems in the world.  It is part
of an interconnected system that includes a
portion of the Atlantic Ocean and rivers
draining parts of New York, Pennsylvania, West
Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. The
Bay proper is approximately 200 miles long and
ranges in width from about 4 miles to 30 miles.
The water surface of the Bay proper covers
more than 2,500 square miles. However, the
Bay is relatively shallow, averaging 28 feet in
depth, making it very sensitive to temperature
and wind. The water and related  land
resources of Chesapeake Bay serve over 12
million people.
The Chesapeake Bay program is managed by EPA's
Region in Philadelphia (Region III), and day-to-day
operations are handled by the Chesapeake  Bay
Liaison Office in Annapolis, Maryland. OMEP's role
is one of support and oversight.

The Chesapeake Bay Program began in 1977 as a
Federal-State partnership. In 1983 the Governors of
Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, the mayor of
the District of Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay Com-
mission, and  EPA signed  the Chesapeake  Bay
Agreement. This agreement committed the States
and the District of Columbia to prepare plans to im-
prove and protect the Bay's water quality and living
resources. The following  actions were imple-

    Institution of land-use controls at or near'
    the bay shoreline

    Development of nonpoint source control
    programs for agricultural and urban sour-

    Acceleration of tighter controls on point
    sources, particularly municipal treatment

    Strengthening of wetlands protection
    laws and programs

                  When the Chesapeake Bay Program began, many
                  studies had documented the negative effects of pol-
                  lution. However, scientific data were lacking for two
                  serious problems that were disturbing leaders and
                  citizens throughout the Bay region. The Bay's gras-
                  ses were disappearing in many areas and landings
                  of certain fish species were declining.

                  Three critical areas were chosen for intensive
                  investigation—nutrient  enrichment,  toxic  sub-
                  stances, and the decline of submerged aquatic
                  vegetation (SAV). Results of these investigations
                  have greatly increased the understanding of sources
                  of pollutants, their transport and fate within the es-
                  tuary, and their impacts on a major ecosystem com-
                  ponent, SAV.

                  These research findings contributed to the second
                  phase of the program, the characterization effort,
                  which concentrated  on determining trends  in the
                  Bay's water quality and the health of its resources.
                  The goal of characterization was to provide an infor-
                  mation base for evaluating human impacts on the
                  ecosystem and a framework for guiding manage-
                  ment options. The product of this phase is
                  Chesapeake Bay: A Profile of Environmental
                  Change. This report presents the current state of the
                  bay and trends in its  water quality and resources. It
                  also suggests possible causes of some of the chan-
                  ges observed and thereby provides a useful manage-
                  ment tool.
The technical studies and Bay-wide characterization
laid  a foundation for determining appropriate
management strategies. The major product from the
third phase is Chesapeake Bay: A Framework for
Action. This report presents a framework for the
actions that users must take to restore and maintain
the ecological integrity of Chesapeake Bay. Addition-
al products of the phase include predictive models
and  a comprehensive data management  system.
This phase also encouraged a regional management
approach to guide the future of the Bay.

In 1987, the parties signed a new Agreement for con-
tinued cooperative efforts to restore and protect
Chesapeake Bay. It contains goals and priority com-
mitments for living resources; water quality; popula-
tion  growth and  development; public information,
education and participation; public access; and
governance. A most important provision is a commit-
ment among the Bay States to reduce the levels of
nutrients in the Bay by 40 percent by the year 2000.
Strategies to  control toxic  materials,  manage
fisheries, and minimize the impact of development
on the Bay's drainage basin are being developed.
The Chesapeake Bay Program was also formally
mandated by the 1987 Amendments to the Clean
Water Act.

                                                                    NEAR COASTAL WATERS ACTIVITIES
The National Estuary Program

The lessons learned and the precedents set by
the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay
programs helped lay the foundation for the
National Estuary Program. In 1985, the
Congress directed EPA to conduct programs in
four estuaries: Narragansett Bay in Rhode
Island, Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts, Long
Island Sound in New York and Connecticut,
and Puget Sound in Washington. In 1986, EPA
added San Francisco Bay in California and
Albemarle/Pamlico Sounds in North Carolina.
The National Estuary Program was formally estab-
lished by the 1987 amendments to the Clean Water
Act. The program's goals are protection and im-
provement of water quality, and enhancement of
living resources.  The types of environmental
problems the national program addresses are com-
plex. They include loss of habitat and living resour-
ces, contamination of sediments by toxic materials,
elevation of nutrient levels, contamination by bac-
teria, and depletion of oxygen. These problems can
affect human health through contact with the water
and by ingestion of contaminated shellfish and fin-
fish. More frequently, pollution problems limit the
estuary's desirable  uses, like recreational and com-
mercial finishing and shellfishing, and may even
close beaches to swimming. Environmental
problems may not affect other important uses, such
as shipping, municipal and industrial water use, and
waste disposal.  Nevertheless the program assumes
that these conflicting use demands  can be met
through collaborative planning.
                                                    PUGET SOUND
                                                                   BUZZARDS BAY
                                                                 NARRAGANSETT BAY
                                                            LONG ISLAND SOUND


                  The Clean Water Act amendments authorize EPA to
                  convene  Management Conferences to develop
                  Comprehensive Conservation  and Management
                  Plans (CCMP) for  estuaries of national significance
                  that are threatened by pollution, development or
                  Management Conferences may be convened for up
                  to five years. The Act identifies seven major pur-
                  poses of a Management Conference:

                     1. Assess trends in water quality, natural
                      resources and uses of the estuary.

                     2. Collect, characterize, and assess data
                      on toxic materials, nutrients, and natural
                      resources within the estuary to identify
                      the causes of environmental problems.
   5. Develop plans for the coordinated
    implementation of the CCMP by the
    States as well as Federal and local
    agencies participating in the conference.

   6. Monitor the effectiveness of the actions

   7. Review all Federal financial assistance
    programs and Federal development
    projects for consistency with the plan.

The Act identifies required members of a Manage-
ment Conference to ensure representation by a
broad range of interests. Membership must include
representatives of Federal, State, regional and local
agencies,  affected industries, academia,  and  the
                    3. Develop the relationship between the
                      Inplace loads and point and nonpoint
                      loadings of pollutants to the estuary and
                      the potential uses of the estuary.

                    4. Develop a CCMP that recommends
                      priority corrective actions and
                      compliance schedules addressing point
                      and nonpoint sources of pollution to
                      restore and maintain the chemical,
                      physical, and biological integrity of the
                      estuary, and assures that the designated
                      uses of the estuary are protected.

                                                                   NEAR COASTAL WATERS ACTIVITIES
Each estuary program must establish its own objec-
tives and operating methods, which depend on the
character and problems of that estuary. The interests
and values of its public are also a paramount con-
cern. Although each program is unique, each goes
through the following four phases:

   1. The planning initiative during which the
     management framework is built
Figure 8 shows the kinds of conflicts and probable
causes faced by the 12 estuaries now in the national
program.  Although each estuary is unique, their
programs share some  common themes. Two es-
tuaries, one on the East Coast and one on the West,
will be discussed as examples of how the National
Estuary Program works. All of the six  original
programs will complete a CCMP during the early
2. Characterization and problem
definition, which examines changes in
water quality and natural resources,
evaluates point and nonpoint pollutant
loadings, and determines their
relationship to pollution problems
3. Creation of a Comprehensive
Conservation and Management Plan
4. Implementation of the plan.

Typical conflicts and probable
causes faced by 12 estuaries in the
national program.

Albemarle-Pamlico Sounds
Buzzards Bay
Delaware Bay
Delaware Inland Bays
Galveston Bay
Long Island Sound
Narragansett Bay
NY/NJ Harbor
Pugct Sound
Sarasota Bay
San Francisco Bay
Santa Monica Bay
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                  Puget Sound
Over the past three decades,  environmental
programs designed to protect this area have control-
led many conventional pollutants  and maintained
Puget Sound in relatively good health. However, con-
tinuing development of the region  has imposed
growing demands on the estuary. This growth is
accompanied by  increasing evidence of serious
water and sediment quality problems, biological
stresses, and limitations on beneficial water uses.

During the 1980s, significant concentrations of toxic
contaminants have been found in the sediments of a
number of the Sound's urban and industrial embay-
ments. These include highly toxic and very persist-
ent chemicals.  Field surveys have identified
abnormalities in bottom-dwelling communities, in-
creased incidence of disease in fish caught in parts
of the Sound where sediments contained high con-
centrations of chemicals, and  elevated levels of
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the edible tissue
of fish and shellfish.
                   Puget Sound supports a rich and diverse
                   commercial and sport fishery for fish and
                   shellfish. Its 2,200 square miles of bays and
                   inlets and over 2,000 miles of shoreline
                   embrace industrial and commercial activity,
                   shipping, and international commerce. Puget
                   Sound is a major recreational attraction that
                   contributes significantly to growing tourism in
                   the area.
    PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are highly
    toxic organic chemicals. Tliese compounds were
    manufactured and marketed in the  United
    States until 1977. Tlie same quality that made
    them suitable for a variety of industrial
    applications—(heir stability—also makes them
    a lingering problem in the environment. PCBs
    accumulate in sediments, where they persist for
    longperiods, and from there can be taken up by
    tlie tissues of marine organisms.

                                                                      NEAR COASTAL WATERS ACTIVITIES
Further, nonpoint source pollution from rural septic
systems and farm practices appears to be a major
source of bacteria. In developing urban areas,
stormwater is contributing additional bacterial and
toxic contamination. As a result of these combined
high levels of bacteria and toxicants, many produc-
tive shellfish areas are being closed.

The Puget Sound Estuary Program  (PSEP), started
in 1985, has been jointly managed by EPA's Seattle
Region (Region X), the Puget Sound Water Quality
Authority, and the Washington State Department of
Ecology.  PSEP has successfully completed major
steps toward identifying problems, characterizing
the estuary, and planning for and developing action

A highlight of the Puget Sound work has been the
Urban Bay Toxics Action Program. Concentrating
limited resources first  in the areas needing them
most, the Program designed and is implementing
toxics action programs for the urban industrial bays.
Based on existing information, these programs call
for early  action to prevent further  chemical  con-
tamination and environmental degradation. Special
action teams of enforcement and compliance inves-
tigators are assigned to each bay by the Washington
Department  of Ecology. These teams investigate
high priority areas to identify and control sources of
The Puget  Sound  Estuary Program has also
produced the Puget Sound Environmental Atlas, a
series of 500 maps with up-to-date information on
pollution sources, resource distribution within the es-
tuary, and current environmental conditions; and the
Protocols Manual, developed with the Army Corps of
Engineers, which recommends techniques for the
sampling and analysis of variables in  the Sound.
Since the program began, PSEP has produced about
50 other technical reports and manuals.          J

The 1989 Puget Sound Water Quality Management
Plan outlines action plans to protect and enhance
three resources: the  Sound's water and sediment
quality; its fish and shellfish; and its wetlands. The
final plan, or CCMP, is scheduled for release in 1991.

                  Long Island Sound
                                       LONG ISLAND SOUND
                  The Long Island Sound is a 110-mile-long
                  estuary with 1,300 square miles of water and
                  577 miles of coastline. To many, the Sound is a
                  favorite spot for sportfishing, sailing, and
                  swimming. To others, it is a vital transportation
                  route or the home of commercial fisheries.
                  Approximately 200,000 boats are registered and
                  operate on Long Island Sound; the commercial
                  catch of lobsters, finfish and shellfish exceeds
                  $20 million annually.

                  Bordered on one end by New York City, the Sound
                  is surrounded by 14.6 million people. As a result of
                  the population,  86 sewage treatment plants dis-
                  charge processed  effluent and wastes into waters
                  entering Long Island Sound, as do many industries.
Nonpoint source runoff from land surrounding the
Sound  also contributes to pollution, not all from
local sources.  Eighty percent of the fresh water
entering Long Island Sound comes from rivers that
drain States as far north as Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, and Vermont.

This program is unique among the original six es-
tuary programs in that two EPA regions, Region I in
Boston and Region II in New York, and two States,
New York and Connecticut, share leadership respon-
sibility for the management coalition.

In 1985, based on substantial input and review by
diverse interests, the program selected two priority
problems for major study: low dissolved oxygen, or
hypoxia, and the distribution and impacts of toxic
substances. The program is also addressing the
need to protect living marine resources.
   Although a variety of causes can deplete oxygen
   in water, scientists believe mat eulrophication,
   discussed in the introductory sections of this
   report, contributes to the problem in Longlsland
   Sound. Nutrients that produce eulrophication
   are added to the Sound by input from sewage
   treatment plants, slonnwater runoff,  and die

                                                                   NEAR COASTAL WATERS ACTIVITIES
The Long Island Sound  Study is working to

    The scope of the Sound's problems with
    toxic contamination and low dissolved

    The year-to-year trends of toxic pollution
    and nutrient input

    The specific effects of these toxic con-
    taminants on the living resources of the
    sound, including fish  and shellfish des-
    tined for human consumption.
                                      BUZZARDS BAY
                                 NARRAGANSETT BAY
Other Original Estuary Programs
Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Program began in 1985 as a joint
project of EPA's Boston region and the Mas-
sachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.
This program is focusing on three priority problems
in the Bay: (1) closure of shellfish beds, (2) con-
tamination of fish and shellfish by toxic metals and
organic compounds, and (3) high nutrient inputs and
their potential pollutant effects.

Narragansett Bay

The Narragansett Bay Project, jointly managed by
EPA's Boston office and the  Rhode Island Depart-
ment of Environmental  Management, is tackling
seven priority problems:  (1)  management of
fisheries,  (2) nutrients, (3) impacts of toxic con-
taminants, (4) health and abundance of living marine
resources, (5) health risk to consumers of con-
taminated seafood, (6) land use, and (7) recreation-
al uses.

                 Albemarle/Pamlico Sounds

                 EPA's Atlanta Region (Region IV) with the coopera-
                 tion of EPA Region III and the North Carolina Depart-
                 ment of Natural  Resources and Community
                 Development  manage the program  in Al-
                 bemarle/Pamlico Sounds. Current work centers on
                 10 conflicting uses of the estuary system. Six of these
                 uses directly or indirectly affect the ecology of the
                 system: (1)  waste disposal,  (2) agriculture,  (3)
                 forestry, (4)  residential and commercial develop-
                 ment, (5) mining, and (6) national defense. The four
                 other uses are primarily affected by the health of the
                 estuary system: (7) commercial fishing, (8) wildlife,
                 (9) natural resources, and (10) tourism and  recrea-

                 San Francisco Bay/San Joaquin

                 The San Francisco Estuary Project is managed by
                 EPA's San Francisco Region (Region  IX) at the
                 Association of Bay Area Governments in Oakland.
                 Using a survey to identify technical and management
                 issues, the estuary program reached consensus on
                 five basic priority problems that affect the beneficial
                 uses, public health, and living resources of the area:
                 (1)  decline of biological resources, (2) increased
                 point and  nonpoint source pollution, (3) reduced
                 freshwater inflow and salinity,  (4) increased water-
                 way modification, and (5) intensified land use.

                                                                NEAR COASTAL WATERS ACTIVITIES
1988 Additions to the National
Estuary Program

The 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act
and 1988 Appropriations Act directed EPA to
give priority to including an additional six
estuaries in the national program. These
estuaries (New York-New Jersey Harbor, New
York and New Jersey; Delaware Bay, Delaware
and New Jersey; Delaware Inland Bays,
Delaware; Sarasota Bay, Florida; Galveston
Bay, Texas; and Santa Monica Bay, California)
were added to the program in 1988.

The Governor's  nomination package for each
estuary describes the major environmental
problems, probable causes of the  problems, and
preliminary program issues. Specific goals for these
new programs will  be refined by the Management
Conference in each area.
                                                                 NEW YORK/
                                                                 NEW JERSEY HARBOR
                                                           DELAWARE INLAND BAYS
                                                            DELAWARE BAY
                                                             GALVESTON BAY
                                                                                    SARASOTA BAY

                  New York - New Jersey Harbor

                  The New York State Department of Environmental
                  Conservation and the New Jersey Department of En-
                  vironmental Protection proposed broad goals and
                  objectives to maintain and enhance the water quality
                  of New York-New Jersey Harbor. The nomination ac-
                  knowledged the need to go beyond secondary treat-
                  ment and deal with combined sewer overflows to
                  ensure that a healthy diverse marine community is
                  maintained, minimize human health risks associated
                  with consumption of shellfish and finfish, maximize
                  opportunities for water contact recreation, and en-
                  sure that citizens of New York and  New Jersey real-
                  ize to the  fullest extent possible the social and
                  economic benefits associated with the New York-
                  New Jersey Harbor.

                  The  broad problems to  be addressed by the
                  Management Conference are pathogen contamina-
                  tion, toxic contamination, changes in living resour-
                  ces, habitat loss and modification, eutrophication,
                  and floatable debris.
Delaware Bay

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and
Environmental Control, the Pennsylvania Depart-
ment of Environmental Regulation,  and the  New
Jersey Department of Environmental  Protection
proposed goals for the program. These include
providing for the restoration of the living resources
of the Delaware Estuary, reducing and controlling
point and nonpoint sources of pollution, protecting
public  water supplies, managing the economic
growth of the  Delaware Estuary, and promoting
greater public understanding about the Delaware
Estuary and participation in  decisions and programs
affecting the estuary.

Delaware  Inland Bays

Problems affecting the Inland Bays include in-
creased population growth and land development
due to the relatively low cost of land and building
construction, and the accessibility of the beaches to
a large population, as well as nonpoint pollution
problems due to the extensive agricultural interests,
specifically poultry farming. With  poor flushing
capabilities  and low freshwater input, the geologic
and geographic characteristics of the Inland  Bays
contribute to their vulnerability.
                                                                         Goals set by the State of Delaware's Department of
                                                                         Natural Resources  and Environmental Control
                                                                         include strategies to  develop more complete infor-
                                                                         mation  about the Inland Bays, to build  better
                                                                         cooperation and coordination between different

                                                                       NEAR COASTAL WATERS ACTIVITIES
Federal, State, and local agencies, to increase public
participation and education, and to build com-
prehensive strategies for regional planning, for was-
tewater and drinking water management, and for
managing fertilizer,  herbicide, and sediment con-
Sarasota  Bay
Sarasota Bay is a small, subtropical, relatively pris-
tine bay located in one of the nation's fastest grow-
ing areas and thus is  increasingly threatened by
residential and commercial development and over-
use. It has been designated by the State of Florida
as an Outstanding Recreational Water,  provides
critical habitat  for endangered species such as
manatees and loggerhead sea turtles, and generates
millions of dollars annually through recreational uses
.and tourism.

The State of Florida has established six goals linked
to the environmental problems and causes that it has
identified.  These  goals  are to improve water
transparency in the Sarasota Bay Study Area; reduce
the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater
runoff to Sarasota Bay; prevent further losses of
seagrasses and shoreline  habitats and restore lost
habitats; coordinate  beach/inlet/channel creation
and  maintenance  activities to reduce dredging,
eliminate conflict, and enhance the Bay; provide in-
creased levels of managed access to Sarasota Bay
and  its resources; and establish  a  vertically in-
tegrated management system for Sarasota Bay.
Galveston Bay
Many development and water resource enhance-
ment projects are currently in progress or proposed
in the Galveston Bay area. Issues associated with
these projects are potential water quality changes in
the Bay and its tributaries, which transport nutrients
and both treated and untreated wastewater dischar-
ges to the Bay; potential reductions  in freshwater
inflow in the Bay system and its associated wetlands,
and potential changes  in Bay salinity; possible
increased turbidity, resuspension of toxic or hazard-
ous chemicals, and potential changes in Bay circula-
tion and salinity profiles; possible loss of contiguous
wetlands due to subsidence, erosion, decreased
sediment transport or shoreline development; oil and
gas exploration/ production, including seismic
activities in the Bay environment; and ecosystem
interconnection between the riverine  systems, the
Bay system and the Gulf of Mexico.


                  Goals set by the Texas Water Commission include
                  the maintenance of water quality and the enhance-
                  ment of estuary productivity in the shallow bays, the
                  prevention of water quality deterioration in the Hous-
                  ton Ship Channel, the examination  of  current
                  wastewater  treatment  programs and dredge spoil
                  disposal methods, the development and analysis of
                  baseline toxics data, and the prevention of man-
                  induced wetlands losses and the control of shoreline
                  erosion in the four-county area.
                                                                          Santa Monica  Bay

                                                                          Santa Monica Bay is one of the most heavily utilized
                                                                          areas in California. Approximately 8 million people
                                                                          live near the Bay and use it for bathing,  boating,
                                                                          sport fishing,  and other forms of recreation.  Many
                                                                          marine species may be impacted by current prac-
                                                                          tices, including at  least five  Federally-listed
                                                                          endangered species.  Some of the problems facing
                                                                          the Bay include the  following: two of the largest
                                                                          treated sewage discharges in the nation are within
                                                                          the study area; sediments around the Los Angeles
                                                                          County outfall contain  high levels of DDT,  other
                                                                          organic compounds,  and trace metals; there have
                                                                          been several sewage spills to Ballona  Creek, a
                                                                          tributary of the Bay,  usually during storms and
                                                                          power outages; substantial pathogen contamination
                                                                          has temporarily closed many beaches in the Bay.
The Management Conference will refine the broad
environmental goals proposed by the State, focusing
on problems related to storm drain discharges, sedi-
ment quality, fish tissue body burdens, pathogen
contamination, and others.

                                                                  NEAR COASTAL WATERS ACTIVITIES
 Estuaries Identified by the
 Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988

 In 1988, the Ocean Dumping Ban Act identified
 four new areas to receive EPA's priority
 consideration for inclusion in the National
 Estuary Program. These four areas are
 Massachusetts Bay; Barataria-Terrebone Bay,
 Louisiana; Indian River Lagoon, Florida; and
 Peconic Bay, New York.

 Other Near Coastal Waters

 OMEP completed a strategic plan for Near
 Coastal Waters at the EPA Administrator's
 request in 1987. This long-term plan is the
 logical extension of experiences and success
 achieved through the Great Lakes, Chesapeake
 Bay, and National Estuary Programs. It
 provides a framework for management
 attention to complete coastal ecosystems and
 to the thousands of square miles of near
 coastal waters that have problems similar to
 those found in the current estuary programs.
 The goal for the plan is to maintain and, where
 possible, enhance near coastal water
 environmental quality. A wide range of coastal
 experts, including Federal, State and local
 managers, EPA regional and headquarters
 staff, scientists, environmental groups, and
 citizens participated in the development of the
OMEP's approach for implementing the plan is to
identify coastal areas requiring additional manage-
ment attention,  encourage Federal  and State
managers to use their existing regulatory tools and
resources to solve problems more efficiently, and
help Federal, State and local officials implement new
management tactics  that will achieve measurable
environmental improvements in these coastal areas.

                  Four priority projects are under way:

                     1.A national assessment of the
                       environmental status and trends of all
                       near coastal waters fo identify those in
                       need of management attention, using
                       existing data from Federal, State, local
                       agencies and academia. With this
                       assessment, OMEP will assist the EPA
                       Regions and States in developing specific
                       regional coastal strategies that focus or
                       increase management activities at the
                       regional and State level.

                     2. The selection of pilot projects fo
                       demonstrate innovative management
                       actions, which can then be applied to
                       environmental problems in other coastal
                       waters. Projects are currently underway in
                       Delaware, Perdido Bay, and Oregon.

                     3. A technology transfer initiative to
                       continue to develop management
                       expertise in  coastal regions and a national
                       network of environmental managers  in
                       coastal States, counties, and local
                       governments through which OMEP can
                       informally transfer and receive key
                       information on coastal problems and
                       strategies. This technology transfer
                       initiative will encompass all of OMEP's
                       Near Coastal Waters programs.

                     4. The examination and expansion of
                       existing  coastal regulatory authorities
                       through OMEP's coordination with other
                       EPA offices and EPA Regions.
The Gulf of Mexico Initiative

The Gulf of Mexico initiative is an example of the
near coastal waters approach in practice. It was
launched by the EPA Regional Administrators in
Atlanta and Dallas in 1987 and is jointly managed by
the two EPA regions, with a program office located
at the John C. Stennis Space Center near  Bay St.
Louis, Mississippi. The purpose of this initiative is to
develop and implement a comprehensive strategy
that will  balance the needs and demands of man-
related activities with the preservation and enhance-
ment of living marine resources in the Gulf. Initial
emphasis of the program will be on  six areas that
have been widely accepted as issues of major con-
cern: extensive  loss of  valuable habitats such as
wetlands and submerged aquatic vegetation,
nutrient  over-enrichment,  toxics and pesticide
contamination, shellfish bed  closures, human altera-
tion of freshwater flow to Gulf estuaries, and public

The environmental problems of the Gulf of Mexico
result from many different, and sometimes conflict-
ing, State and regional activities. Thus EPA's Gulf of
Mexico program must work to improve communica-
tion among all Federal agencies, States,  public and
private organizations, and citizens.

                                         NEAR-COASTAL WATERS ACTIVITIES
                           The New York Bight
The New York Bight Restoration Plan is required by
the Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control
Act of 1987. This plan is being developed by EPA's
New York region,  in cooperation with NOAA and
other Federal and  State agencies. The objective of
the plan, which follows the National Estuary Program
model, is to restore the Bight to its prior uses. Due
in FY 1991, the plan will  identify and assess the
impact of pollutants to water  quality and  marine
resources,  identify technologies and practices to
control pollutant inputs, identify costs  of control
measures and impediments to implementation, and
develop recommendations for funding and for coor-
dinating these projects.
wontinuing Activities

OMEP is developing an index of susceptibility for the
remaining 90 estuaries not designated by the Water
Quality Act. This assessment will identify high-risk,
medium-risk, or low-risk estuaries for three classes
of pollution: (1) point source nutrient loadings, (2)
nonpoint source nutrient and pesticide loadings, and
(3) point source toxicant loadings. An assessment of
the cumulative impact of all three classes of pollution
will also be produced. These  assessments will be
used to determine future directions for the national
demonstration program and support regional, State
and  local  initiatives for estuarine management.
OMEP will also support the development of  near
coastal waters strategies in each of EPA's seven
coastal regions.

                                                          DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

                                                         AGRICULTURAL STABILIZATION AND
                                                            CONSERVATION SERVICE
The governments and people of this Nation
share responsibility for protecting our coastal
and marine waters. OMEP's success in meeting
its objectives and in supporting EPA's coastal
goals will depend on the many regulatory and
management programs of other EPA offices
and other Federal, State, and local
governments, as well as on public participation
in these programs.
                                                            DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
                                                           U.S. MINERALS MANAGEMENT SERVICE
                             SCS.CCKSSWATICH SBWX.

                                                                                THE COASTAL PARTNERSHIP
Within EPA's Office of Water, tools for improv-
ing water quality include construction grants,
criteria and standards, NPDES permits, com-
pliance and enforcement actions, water quality
management grants, controls for combined
sewer overflows, groundwater protection
programs, nonpoint source control programs,
water quality  monitoring, and wetlands protec-
tion programs.

Other EPA offices are also responsible for control ac-
tivities not based on water quality.  These include
Clean Water Act dredge and fill permits, Environmen-
tal Impact Statements for other Federal agencies, Su-
perfund and Resource Conservation and Recovery
Act activities, atmospheric loadings,  pesticides and
toxics substances controls,  research and develop-
ment activities, and  international activities.  OMEP
works with these offices to ensure that their regula-
tions and national policies consider the special con-
cerns of the coastal and ocean environment.
A number of other Federal  agencies also have
statutory responsibilities related to the coastal and
ocean environment. These agencies administer at
least 21  programs affecting the coastal and ocean
environment. Additionally, the coastal States and
local governments are directly concerned  with
water, agriculture, fisheries, land use, and resource
protection programs.

No area of environmental cooperation has received
more sustained attention by the international com-
munity than the prevention and control of marine
pollution. Within EPA, OMEP has a lead role in sup-
porting the London Dumping Convention and MAR-
POL  OMEP must assure that U.S. positions are
consistent with U.S. law and policies and coordinate
with other EPA offices and  Federal  agencies  to
assure that international requirements are met on a
government-wide basis.

                   For general information or questions about national programs or policy, contact
                   Ms. Darla Letourneau at the following address:

                                                   EPA Office of Marine and Estuarine Protection
                                                                 401 M Street, SW
                                                              Washington, DC 20460

                   For area-specific questions, contact the closest EPA regional representative:
                    EPA Region I, Boston, Massachusetts
                                   Mr. Ron Manfredonia
                                   Water Management Division
                                   John F. Kennedy Building
                                   Boston, MA02203

                    EPA Region II, New York, New York
                                   Mr. Mario DelVioaro
                                   Water Management Division
                                   26 Federal Plaza
                                   New York, NY 10278

                    EPA Region III, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
                                   Mr. Randy Pomponio
                                   Environmental Management Branch
                                   841  Chestnut Street
                                   Philadelphia, PA 19107

                    Chesapeake Bay Program, Annapolis, Maryland
                                   Mr. Charles Spooner
                                   Chesapeake Bay Program
                                   410 Severn Avenue
                                   Annapolis, MD 21403

                    EPA Region IV, Atlanta, Georgia
                                   Mr. Robert McGhee
                                   Water Management Division
                                   345 Courtland Street
                                   Atlanta, GA 30365
Great Lakes National Program Office,
EPA Region V, Chicago, Illinois
               Ms. Carol Rnch
               230 South Dearborn Street
               Chicago, IL 60604

EPA Region VI, Dallas, Texas
               Mr. Bruce Elliott
               Water Management Division
               1201  Elm Street
               Dallas, TX 75270

EPA Region IX, San Francisco, California
               Ms. Loretta Barsamian
               Water Management Division
               215 Fremont Street
               San Francisco, CA 94105

EPA Region X, Seattle, Washington
               Mr. Ron Kreizenbeck
               Water Management Division
               1200 Sixth Avenue
               Seattle, WA 98101
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