NY/NJ Harbor Estuary Program
The NY/NJ Harbor Estuary Program (HEP) is one of 28 National Estuary Programs established under Section 320 of the Clean Water Act. The goal of the program is to establish, restore, and protect a healthy and productive harbor ecosystem with full beneficial uses.
The HEP Habitat Workgroup has developed watershed–based priorities for acquisition, protection, and restoration. The criteria used to rate the project sites include: existence of species or communities that are rare, endangered, or threatened at the federal, state, or local level; existing and potential ecological value and size; imminence of development; and economic considerations. The Acquisition and Restoration Priority Sites map employs an ecosystemic approach to watershed management and protection consistent with the HEP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan's Action Priorities.