The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the Guidance Specifying Management Measures for Sources of Nonpoint Pollution in Coastal Waters on January 14, 1993. This document is EPA's technical guidance on the best affordable ways to reduce or prevent nonpoint source (NPS) pollution in the coastal zone. The authors believe that it is currently the most comprehensive summary of best management practices (BMPs) available. The guidance contains BMPs for the control of NPS pollution from agriculture, forestry, urban areas, marinas, and hydromodification (channels, dams, and stream and shoreline erosion). Wetlands, riparian areas, and vegetated treatment systems are addressed in the guidance as additional options to control nonpoint pollution. The guidance also includes monitoring and compliance tracking techniques to accompany the management measures.
EPA and NOAA are developing approaches to help states, local governments, and affected parties understand and use the technical guidance in their coastal nonpoint source programs. Although final decisions have not yet been made, this paper summarizes the current thinking regarding this technical assistance.