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EPA Charts Bold Course for America's Oceans

Release Date: 10/23/2006
Contact Information: Laura Niles, (404) 562-8353,

(TAMPA, Fla. – October 23, 2006) EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson took a first-hand look at the agency's oceans and coastal monitoring capabilities aboard EPA's oceanographic vessel, the Bold. Local officials joined Administrator Johnson on the floating laboratory while he discussed EPA's commitment to protecting the health of America’s oceans and coastal waters, as well as the success of the local EPA-supported Tampa Bay Estuary Program.

“President Bush and EPA are ensuring the beauty and health of our oceans will be enjoyed by future generations of Americans,” said EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson. “Through this floating laboratory, EPA is charting a healthier course for our oceans.”

The Bold is EPA's 224-foot ocean monitoring and assessment flagship that is an integral part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to the protection of the marine environment. The Bold is equipped with state-of-the art sampling, mapping, and analysis equipment including side scan sonar, underwater video, water sampling instruments, and sediment sampling devices, which scientists use in various monitoring activities.

This past year alone the Bold has supported research on topics such as red tide, coral reefs, Gulf hypoxia, and dredged material dumpsites. Dredged material sites are monitored as required under the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, a major milestone in the protection of the marine environment, which became law 34 years ago today.

Administrator Johnson also celebrated the successes of Florida’s National Estuary Programs (NEP), including the Tampa Bay Estuary Program. Tampa Bay is an estuary of national significance and the program has sponsored groundbreaking scientific research into the bay’s most pressing problems. EPA continues to support these efforts and just provided the Tampa Bay Estuary Program $492,600 for the next 12 months of activities.

More than 18,000 acres of habitat have been restored and protected in the last 6 years by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program and its partners through grass-root cooperative conservation efforts. Since 2000, all four Florida NEPs have restored and protected almost 235,000 habitat acres, and nationally over one million acres of coastal habitat have been protected and restored by the 28 NEPs.

For more information on the OSV BOLD, please visit
For more information about the National Estuary Program, please visit