The Congressional Estuary Caucus was established in early 2017 to help educate leaders at all levels of government on the importance of estuaries, and ensure we sustain the robust support for proven programs that work to confront the mutual troubles of U.S. estuaries. 

Estuaries are bodies of water usually found where rivers meet the sea. These singular ecosystems are best characterized by their brackish water – a mixture of fresh water draining from the land and salt tidal water from surrounding areas. Estuaries are home to a diverse set of plants and animals that rely on the delicate balance of salt and fresh water to survive; in addition estuaries serve as vital nursery grounds for many fish and ocean mammal populations.

Individuals across the country rely on estuaries for food, jobs, recreation, and coastal protection. The health of local communities and our nation’s economy is deeply intertwined with the health of our estuaries. More than half of the U.S. population lives in coastal areas, with coastal watershed counties providing an estimated 69 million U.S. jobs and contributing an estimated $7.9 trillion to the GDP annually. 

Estuaries are as important as they are delicate and in recent years many have faced significant challenges, ranging from harmful algal blooms to invasive species, which threaten their survival and the survival of the areas that surround them. For years Congress has worked, in bipartisan fashion, to implement and support initiatives aimed at protecting the many unique estuaries in the United States. Representatives from every corner of this great nation have come together repeatedly to address the problems facing these ecosystems so that they may be enjoyed by future generations.

Congressman Posey offers testimony before the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment in support of the National Estuary Program and critical legislative reforms to make additional funding available to distressed estuaries.

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The National Estuary Program (NEP) was authorized by Congress through section 320 of the Clean Water Act in 1987. The purpose of the NEP is to protect and restore the water quality and ecological integrity of estuaries of national significance. Currently, 28 estuaries located along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts and in Puerto Rico are designated as estuaries of national significance. Each NEP focuses within a study area that includes the estuary and surrounding watershed.

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Posey Testimony Supports National Estuary Program and L...

This week Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) offered testimony before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment in support of the National Estuary Program. Hi...

New Bipartisan Congressional Caucus Formed to Support O...

U.S. Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL) and Brian Mast (R-FL) have worked with their house colleagues to found a new bipartisan congressional caucus to give our Indian River Lagoon a stronger voice and...

Congressman Posey Leads Bipartisan Letter in Support of...

Today, Congressman Posey sent a letter, signed by 31 Members of the House of Representatives, to the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee advocating for robust support of the National Estu...

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Natural Infrastructure 101: What are living shorelines and how do they protect coastal communities? The Co-Chairs of the Congressional Estuary Caucus, Representatives Bill Posey, Suzanne Bonamici, Frank LoBiondo, and Rick Larsen, along with the Coastal Communities Caucus, invite you to a briefing to...
Private Sector and NGO Support for Clean, Healthy Estuaries The recently formed Congressional Estuary Caucus focused its first briefing on Federal Agencies responsible for estuary protection and restoration. The second briefing in May focused on practitioners ...
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Photo Gallery

Currently, 28 estuaries located along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts and in Puerto Rico are designated as estuaries of national significance. Click the thumbnails below to view photos of some of the estuaries.