The Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine Study (A/P Study) is a joint effort funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of North Carolina. The purpose of the program is to provide scientific knowledge and public awareness about the estuarine environment to foster better resource management decision making in the area. The study area consists of all lands that drain into the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, representing approximately 10 million acres in North Carolina and another two million acres in Virginia as shown on the map. Scientific knowledge and public awareness are necessary to accomplish rational management decision making in the study area at the federal, state, and local levels. Through the A/P Study, a better understanding of the chemical, physical, and biological properties of the estuary and its biological habitat is being generated. From this understanding will come management strategies for restoring and maintaining the area. Upon completion of the five-year program in 1992, the State of North Carolina will have the responsibility of implementing the management strategies developed during the program.