National Estuary Program Guidance: Base Program Analysis
United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water
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Section 320 [of the Clean Water Act] establishes several purposes for NEP Management Conferences, including a requirement under purposes 1-3 to conduct an objective, technical assessment of the state of the estuary. This assessment, called characterization, is the basis for defining and selecting problems to be addresses in the CCMP. In addition, purpose 5 calls for Management Conferences to develop plans to coordinate implementation of the CCMP by federal, state, and local agencies. Also, purpose 7 requires the Conference to review all federal financial assistance programs and development project for consistency with the CCMP.