Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $662,518 to the University of Southern Maine to support its Casco Bay Estuary Partnership's (CBEP) Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. The CBEP agreement is aimed at reducing nutrient pollution and its impacts, including coastal acidification, in Casco Bay.
“Casco Bay is a beautiful area off the coast of Maine, attracting visitors from all across the country each year,” said Senator Collins and King in a joint statement. “This important investment will aid the University of Southern Maine in implementing its plan to preserve the waters around these beautiful islands for generations to come.”
The CBEP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan aims to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the estuary and support its sustainable human uses through tasks outlined in annual work plans of the CBEP and its partners. The cooperative agreement supports activities that will:
- Protect, restore, and enhance key habitats that sustain ecological health;
- Reduce nutrient pollution and its impacts, including coastal acidification;
- Foster resilient communities and their connections to Casco Bay; and,
- Mobilize collective knowledge and resources to support Casco Bay.
In 1990, Casco Bay was included in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program, a program which was established in 1987 under the Clean Water Act to protect nationally significant estuaries threatened by pollution, development, or overuse. As a result of this designation, the CBEP was formed. The CBEP is hosted by the University of Southern Maine and located at the Muskie School of Public Service.