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EPA PLACES PECONIC BAY, N.Y. IN THE NATIONAL ESTUARY PROGRAM

 EPA PLACES PECONIC BAY, N.Y. IN THE NATIONAL ESTUARY PROGRAM
 NEW YORK, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator William K. Reilly today designated Peconic Bay in New York as the newest estuary in the National Estuary Program (NEP).
 "Ten Years ago, Peconic Bay yielded a commercial shellfish harvest worth


more than $5 million. This year, the harvest was $13,000. Through the National Estuary program, with other federal, state and local agencies, with the business community and with concerned citizens, EPA is determined to restore the economic and environmental health of the estuary," Reilly said.
 A public-private partnership, called a management conference, will develop a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan over the next three years to identify solutions to the Bay's problems and restore its productivity. EPA will provide $150,000 start-up for the management conference.
 Located on eastern Long Island, N.Y., the Peconic Bay estuarine system provides important habitat for fish, shellfish and waterfowl, as well as scenic and recreational opportunities. Peconic Bay is threatened by urban and agricultural runoff, shoreline development, algal blooms and boat and sewage treatment plant discharges.
 "The designation of Peconic Bay is a fitting tribute to Norm Lent, who is retiring from Congress this year. Not only has he been a strong and effective advocate for the designation, he has distinguished himself as a champion for sound policies for environmental protection throughout his 21 years in Congress," Reilly said.
 The NEP was established by Congress in 1987 to identify and protect nationally significant estuaries. For each estuary, the EPA Administrator convenes a management conference to develop a plan. Management conferences comprise representatives from federal, state and local agencies, business, citizen groups and universities.
 There are 17 estuaries in the NEP: Casco Bay, Maine; Massachusetts Bay, Mass.; Buzzards Bay, Mass.; Narragansett Bay, R.I.; Long Island Sound, N.Y. and Conn.; N.Y.- N.J. Harbor, N.Y. and N.J.; Delaware Bay, Del., N.J. and Penn.; Delaware Inland Bays, Del.; Albemarle-Pamilco Sounds, N.C.; Indian River Lagoon, Fla.; Tampa Bay, Fla.; Sarasota Bay, Fla.; Barataria-Terrebonne, La.; Galveston Bay, Texas; Santa Monica Bay, Calif.; San Francisco Bay, Calif.; and Puget Sound, Wash.
 EPA is currently evaluating 10 new NEP nominations and expects to announce three more additions to the program this fall.
 Administrator Reilly today also sent Congress EPA's second report on the NEP. "The National Estuary Program After Four Years" summarizes the status and achievements of the NEP. It highlights the program's growing expertise in managing cumulative impacts of growth and development, non- point source pollution and habitat loss.
 -0- 9/9/92
 /CONTACT: Sean McElheny in the EPA Press Office at 202-260-1387/ CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: New York IN: SU:


LR -- NY055 -- 7554 09/09/92 13:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 9, 1992
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