The Association of National Estuary Programs (ANEP) is a non-profit organization established in 1987. The ANEP aims to promote responsible stewardship and a common vision for the preservation and restoration of America’s bays and estuaries.
The amendments to the Clean Water Act established the ANEP in 1987 to "identify, restore, and protect nationally significant estuaries of the United States." The ANEP works with the 28 National Estuary Programs (NEPs). It co-ordinates the national agenda and helps in achieving support and communication among these NEPs.
The ANEP supports the local programs and serves as a unified voice for issues affecting the NEPs and America’s estuaries. This voluntary, community based, watershed program focuses not just on improving water quality in an estuary, but on maintaining the integrity of the whole system-its chemical, physical, and biological properties, as well as its economic, recreational, and aesthetic values.