EPA Science Inventory

Monitoring the Condition of the Estuaries of the United States: The National Coastal Assessment Experience

Citation:

SUMMERS, J. K., V. D. ENGLE, L. M. SMITH, L. HARWELL, J. M. MACAULEY, AND J. E. HARVEY. Monitoring the Condition of the Estuaries of the United States: The National Coastal Assessment Experience. Chapter 11, Estuaries: Classification, Ecology, and Human Impacts. Nova Science Publishers, Inc, Hauppauge, NY, , 249-268, (2012).

Description:

Coastal waters in the United States include estuaries, bays, sounds, coastal wetlands, coral reefs, intertidal zones, mangrove and kelp forests, seagrass meadows, and coastal ocean and upwelling areas (i.e. deep water rising to surface). These coastal areas encompass a wide diversity of ecosystems that result from the tidal exchanges between freshwater rivers and saline ocean water that occur within coastal estuaries. Coastal habitats provide spawning grounds, nursery areas, shelter, and food sources critical for the survival of finfish, shellfish, birds, and other wildlife populations that contribute substantially to the economic health of the Nation. Section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act requires that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report periodically on the condition of the nation’s coastal waters. As part of this process, coastal states provide valuable information about the condition of their coastal resources to EPA; however, because the individual states use a variety of approaches for data collection and evaluation, it has been difficult to compare this information among states or on a national basis. In 1999, to better address questions about national coastal condition, EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), agreed to participate in a multiagency effort to assess the condition of the nation’s coastal resources. The agencies chose to assess condition using nationally consistent monitoring surveys to minimize the problems created by compiling data collected using multiple approaches. The results of these assessments were compiled periodically into a series of National Coastal Condition Reports (NCCR). This series of reports contains the most comprehensive ecological assessment of the condition of U. S. coastal bays and estuaries. This chapter describes the planning, execution and communication of the National Coastal Assessments.

Purpose/Objective:

Book chapter explaining National Coastal Assessment

URLs/Downloads:

Monitoring the Condition of the Estuaries of the United States: The National Coastal Assessment Experience   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (BOOK CHAPTER)
Start Date: 05/11/2012
Completion Date: 05/11/2012
Record Last Revised: 02/05/2013
Record Created: 03/31/2011
Record Released: 03/31/2011
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 234434

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION

IMMEDIATE OFFICE