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PA SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3, IS NATIONAL ESTUARIES DAY
Release Date: 09/18/98
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 1998
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3, IS NATIONAL ESTUARIES DAY
EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have jointly designated Saturday, Oct. 3, as National Estuaries Day. The theme of this celebration is "Estuaries -- Gateways to the Ocean." EPA’s National Estuary Program and NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System will join with local communities to observe the day with educational activities, exhibits and festivals to highlight the importance of our nation’s bays and coastal waterways. Narragansett Bay, R.I., will serve as the site for a national celebration. Estuaries are transitional coastal areas where freshwater from upland streams and rivers mixes with the sea water from the ocean. They are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. Nearly 50 percent, 110 million, Americans live in coastal areas and an estimated 180 million tourists travel to these communities each year. It is estimated that by the year 2010, the U.S. coastal population will increase to 127 million. Americans annually spend about $75 billion on coastal recreational activities each year. Coastal waters provide approximately 28.3 million jobs and annually generate $54 billion in goods and services. These environmentally critical areas serve as nursery grounds for two-thirds of the nation’s fish and shellfish, provide habitat, resting and feeding sites for thousands of birds and other wildlife, and serve as buffers against storms and filter pollutants. Coastal ecosystems are increasingly threatened by growth and development and associated impacts such as nutrient over-enrichment, causing adverse fish and wildlife impacts as well as subsequent recreational and economic impacts. Under its National Estuary Program, EPA is working with state and local governments, environmental and business groups and citizens to protect and restore living resources and improve water quality of 28 nationally significant estuaries around the country. The general public can get more information on National Estuaries Day, the National Estuaries Program and on estuaries in general on the Internet at: https://www.epa.gov/owow/estuaries/nep.html or by calling EPA’s Coastal Management Branch at 202-260-6502.