, Volume 51, Issue 1-2, pp 269-284

State of the Estuaries in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States

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Abstract

The U.S. EPA has prepared a State of the Region Report for Mid-Atlantic Estuaries to increase knowledge of environmental condition for improved environmental management. Sources of information included the National Estuary Programs, the Chesapeake Bay Program, the state monitoring programs in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, Federal programs such as National Status & Trends, National Shellfish Register, National Wetlands Inventory, the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program, and other primary literature sources. The state of the estuarine environment was summarized using indicators for water and sediment quality, habitat change, condition of living resources, and aesthetic quality. Each indicator was briefly discussed relative to its importance in understanding estuarine condition. Wherever possible, data from multiple programs were used to depict condition. Finally, an overall evaluation of estuarine condition in the region was determined. The usefulness of monitoring programs that collect consistent information with a well-defined sampling design cannot be overemphasized.