The Barnegat Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) is open for public comment until August 31, the Barnegat Bay Partnership (BBP) reports.
Estuaries are natural resources increasingly threatened by pollution, habitat loss, development and resource conflicts.
Congress established the National Estuary Program (NEP) in 1987 to pioneer a broad and innovative approach to respond to these threats. Each program convenes a Management Conference to provide a forum for consensus building and problem solving among interested agencies and user groups.
The Management Conference identifies the estuary’s environmental problems, evaluates the existing management framework, and recommends priority corrective actions. The goal of the conference is to develop a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) for the estuary.
The U.S. EPA, which manages the National Estuary Program, approved the CCMP for the Barnegat Bay estuary in 2002. Since then, the Barnegat Bay Partnership has assessed progress on the plan and updated its priorities through two Strategic Plans.
Using the same consensus-building approach, the BBP is reviewing and revising the original CCMP to reflect the changes in the Barnegat Bay’s condition and emerging threats, such as climate change and sea level rise.