FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
February 5th, 2015
PRESIDENT’S FISCAL YEAR 2016 BUDGET RENEWS SUPPORT FOR NATIONAL ESTUARY PROGRAMS
President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget request was released earlier this week and strongly renews support for the National Estuary Program (NEP), directly requesting significant funds for each NEP. The language in the budget is highly complementary of the NEP’s work throughout the country and specifically gives recognition to the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program.
The National Estuary Program/Coastal Waterways Programs works to restore the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of estuaries of national significance and coastal watersheds by protecting and restoring water quality, habitat, and living resources. The water quality and ecological integrity of estuarine and coastal areas is critical to the economic vitality of the United States. In FY 2016, the EPA will provide $16.8 million in Clean Water Act Section 320 grants for the 28 National Estuary Programs ($600,000 per NEP). This funding continues the EPA support for implementation of the NEP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans.
The Mobile Bay NEP recently completed a one million dollar project addressing serious erosion and sedimentation problems for Joe's Branch of the D'Olive Creek watershed. This project used funds from the State of Alabama, EPA Section 319 funds as well as EPA Section 320 NEP and local funds. The project was widely supported locally and has successfully addressed the degradation of this waterbody. This is one example of the type of projects that will be accomplished using the FY 2016 requested funds.