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The National Estuary Program

The National Estuary Program (NEP) was established by Congress in 1987 through Section 320 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) to "identify, restore, and protect nationally significant estuaries of the United States."  Section 320 of the Clean Water Act directs the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop plans for attaining or maintaining water quality in an estuary. This includes protection of public water supplies and the protection and propagation of a balanced, indigenous population of shellfish, fish, and wildlife, and allows recreational activities, in and on water, requires that control of point and nonpoint sources of pollution to supplement existing controls of pollution. The National Estuary Program is administrated by the EPA. There are 28 NEPs throughout the United States and the Barnegat Bay Partnership is one of them.