A watershed is the area of land that drains all streams and rainfall into a common outlet, such as a bay, bayou, or a larger body of water.
An estuary is simply defined as “where the river meets the sea”. In other words, an estuary is where freshwater meets saltwater. Estuaries provide nesting, breeding, and feeding habitat for a wide range of fish, shellfish, aquatic plants and animals. They also play a critical role in filtering water to remove pollutants, stabilizing shorelines, and supporting our economy.
Salinity is the amount of dissolved salt in water.
Our first State of the Bays Report will provide preliminary information on the status of our waters in the future. You can currently use the How's My Waterway Tool to search your address and find out more information about your waters. You can also visit Florida Healthy Beaches and the Coastal Alabama Beach Monitoring Program for information on recent bacteria levels.
Our program was established in 2018 after securing a $2 million competitive grant from the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Gulf of Mexico Program. We secured $500,000 from Florida Legislative Appropriations in 2020 that funded our 2020-2021 Community Grants, NWCA and NCCA surveys, and oyster mapping. In 2021 we received $250,000 from the Florida Legislature that is funding our 2021-2022 Community Grant Program.
Point-source pollution is easy to identify and comes from one place (e.g. industry or wastewater discharges).
Nonpoint-source pollution is a combination of pollutants released over a wide area that is difficult to identify (e.g. runoff).
Addressing watershed level issues requires we take a watershed level approach to management. We are stronger together. Our plan will bring together stakeholders to ensure we are working collaboratively toward shared goals so we can effectively protect and restore our waters.
We are not a regulatory agency such as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection or the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. We do not have the authority to enforce environmental policy. PPBEP is a diplomacy organization that focuses on building consensus between industry, activists, academics, natural resource managers, etc. to identify science-based solutions for our waters.