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Coastal America Designates North Carolina Aquariums as the Nation’s 18th Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center

Release Date: 01/13/2005
Contact Information:

For  Release:  Thursday, January 13, 2005

Contact:  Carl Terry, 404-562-8327

Second National Coastal Condition report released

Today, Coastal America designated the North Carolina Aquariums as the 18th center in the United States to be part of the national network of Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers.  This designation was presented to the aquarium by Benjamin Grumbles, assistant administrator for water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and P. Lynn Scarlett, Assistant secretary for policy, management, and budget, U.S. Department of the Interior. Congressman Mike McIntyre and Bill Ross, North Carolina secretary of environment also attended the event.

The national network of Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers hosts more than 20 million people every year to educate them about the value of coastal resources.  As the first center to be designated with multiple facilities, The North Carolina Aquariums have learning centers in Fort Fisher, Roanoke Island and Pine Knoll Shores.

Grumbles also announced the availability of EPA’s National Coastal Condition Report II.  Second in a series of environmental assessments of U.S. coastal waters and the Great Lakes, the report represents collaboration among EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. The report contains data provided by 23 coastal states through EPA’s environmental monitoring and assessment program.

“America’s estuaries, wetlands, coral reefs, and mangrove forests are critical coastal habitats,” said Grumbles.  “We will continue to benefit from this abundant resource if we have a clear understanding of its health today.  This report will serve as a baseline to understand how we can move forward to protect these vital areas.”

America’s coastal waters are spawning grounds, nurseries, shelter and food for a host of fish, wildlife, waterfowl, and migratory birds.  They contribute most of America's commercial and recreational fish catch, and – through fishing, boating, tourism, and other coastal industries – they provide more than 28 million jobs nation-wide.

The EPA report is available at: