National Coastal Condition Report
AuthorUnited States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development; United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and seven other federal agencies developed a Clean Water Action Plan to protect public health and restore our nation's waterways through 111 key actions. Included in those waterways are our coastal waters, and the Action Plan contains several key actions related to coastal waters. Key Action Plan No. 60 calls for the development of a comprehensive report on the condition of the nation's coastal waters. This National Coastal Condition Report fulfills that key action of the Clean Water Action Plan and also serves as a foundation for the current administration's efforts to protect, manage, and restore coastal ecosystems. Four federal agencies and several state and regional/local organizations have come together to report on the current condition of the nation's coasts. This National Coastal Condition report compiles several available data sets from different agencies and areas of the country and summarizes them to present a broad baseline picture of the condition of coastal waters. Although data sets presented in this report do not cover all coastal areas with respect to ecological issues of concern, they do tell a story about coastal conditions from a multiregional perspective. For example, EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) has monitoring data for the Virginian, Louisianian, and Carolinian provinces, which encompass 70% of continental U.S. estuarine acreage (or about 18% of U.S. estuarine acreage if Alaska is included). This report will serve as a useful benchmark for analyzing the progress of coastal programs in the future and will be followed in subsequent years by reports on more specialized coastal issues.