National Marine Sanctuaries
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#29 1994
Howdy, Partner: Partnering to Protect Sanctuary Water Quality

Forging sanctuary partnerships was taken to an unprecedented new level in 1994 with the creation of Water Quality Protection Programs (WQPP) in Florida Keys and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries. Recognizing that water quality is key to ensuring protection for all sanctuary resources, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary worked with other federal, state, and local partners to take an ecosystem-based approach, integrating the expertise of regional resource agencies to protect water quality in the sanctuary and its watersheds. Six specific, collaborative plans have been developed to address the issues with the highest potential to affect sanctuary water quality.

Good water quality is also critical to the health of coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass habitats of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. To better understand how humans have an impact on water quality and how those changes affect sanctuary habitats, the Water Quality Protection Program was created in 1994 through a partnership that includes NOAA, the EPA, and the State of Florida. In 2002, state waters of the sanctuary were declared a No-Discharge Zone for vessels and in 2010 the federal waters of the sanctuary followed suit.

Water quality is something that everyone influences whether they live near the ocean or not. Investigate how much water you use every day and what may be getting into the water near you. Could you use less and still take care of business? Could you do more to keep excess fertilizers and other chemicals from washing down storm drains? Water quality is everybody's business. We all live downstream! Click here for ideas on things that you can do right now. You can also help keep an eye on the water quality in your community. Find a citizen monitoring project near you.

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More about the Water Quality Protection Program for Monterey Bay
More about the Water Quality Protection Program for Florida Keys