An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal water body where freshwater from coastal lagoons mixes with salt water from the ocean.
Estuaries, and their surrounding lands, are places of transition from land to sea.
Estuaries are an irreplaceable natural resource that must be managed carefully for the mutual benefit of all who enjoy and depend on them.
Along with being home to thousands of species of birds, mammals, fish and other wildlife, estuaries have important commercial value, and their resources provide economic benefits for tourism, fisheries and recreational activities.
Now, on April 13, 2023, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the Delaware Inland Bays Program will receive $1.8 million in restoration funds.
The funding comes from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding to estuaries of national significance.
“This funding is a valuable investment in equity, clean water and resilience for Delaware’s sensitive coastal shoreline,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz.
“Thanks to the support of the President’s BIL, we can accelerate efforts to preserve and improve the health of the Inland Bays,” he added.
The Delaware Inland Bays Program is one of 28 estuary organizations under the National Estuaries Program (NEP) receiving this funding.
The funding supports projects that address climate resilience, prioritize equity, and manage other key water quality and habitat challenges.
Among other things, this funding will help the Delaware Inland Bays Program seek expertise to assess the center’s internal and external operations as they relate to the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Environmental Justice, and Accessibility (DEIJA) initiative.
This assessment will identify gaps and recommend policies, best practices, programs, milestones, and organizational behaviors that would foster authentic and meaningful DEIJA engagements across the organization’s functions.
Photo courtesy of James R. White / USEPA.