Habitat degradation action agenda for the Gulf of Mexico. First generation-management committee report: framework for action
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The Gulf of Mexico contains ecological and commercial resources matched by few other bodies of water. Yet its blue-green waters disguise the increasing environmental threats that endanger these resources. In recognition of the growing threats, Regions 4 and 6 of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which share jurisdiction over the five Gulf Coast States (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas), initiated the Gulf of Mexico Program in August 1988. The goal of the Gulf of Mexico Program is to protect, restore, and enhance the coastal and marine waters of the Gulf of Mexico and its coastal natural habitats, to sustain living resources, to protect human health and the food supply, and to ensure the recreational use of the Gulf shores, beaches, and waters - in ways consistent with the economic well being of the region...The Habitat Degradation Committee was charged with characterizing habitat degradation problems and identifying ways to restore damaged habitat and prevent this damage from continuing... The culmination of Issue Committee efforts is this Habitat Degradation Action Agenda which specifies and initial set of activities needed to reduce, and eventually eliminate, habitat degradation in the Gulf of Mexico. This Action Agenda is the first generation of an evolving series of Action Agendas that will be developed to meet the future needs of the Gulf of Mexico.