Committing To Our Future
Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan

Together we can protect the region’s natural resources

A partnership of citizens, elected officials, resource managers and commercial and recreational resource users have been hard at work protecting the greater Charlotte Harbor estuarine system from Venice in Sarasota County to Bonita Springs in Lee County to Winter Haven in Polk County. The partners’ 20-year plan, known as the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), includes diverse resource management concerns such as fish and wildlife habitat loss, water quality degradation and water flow. The State of Florida and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the CCMP in 2001. That approval marked the beginning of action to protect and restore these estuaries and their watersheds.

The partnership, known as the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, has been successfully addressing issues identified in the CCMP. The CHNEP Management Conference decided that every five years the progress made should be assessed and the problems, priorities and actions re-assessed required to further protect the greater Charlotte Harbor estuarine system. In March 24, 2008 and again on March 18, 2103, the CCMP updates were approved by the CHNEP Management Conference. The CCMP can be obtained in several ways. PDF files are provided on this page.

The CHNEP will continue to update the plan every five years. We welcome your input on the next update of the CCMP. Please send us your suggestions by completing an online form.

We encourage you to learn more about this partnership's efforts to protect the estuaries and watersheds by exploring the wealth of information on this website. There are many other ways you can be involved.

CCMP 2013: On March 18, 2013, the CHNEP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) was approved by the program’s Management Conference.

CCMP 2008: On March 24, 2008, the CHNEP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) was approved by the program’s Management Conference.

CCMP 2000: On February 11, 2000, the CHNEP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) was approved by the program’s Management Conference. The development of the Management Plan began in 1995 when Charlotte Harbor was accepted into the National Estuary Program. On April 13, 2000, the program celebrated the adoption of the CCMP during a signing ceremony. The ceremony celebrated the completion of the management plan and the beginning of its implementation to restore and protect the estuary and its watershed.

The CCMP 2000 is published as a two-volume book. Volume 1 is the main part of the management plan. The management plan has goals, quantifiable objectives, and priority actions. These priority actions are the specific strategies for achieving the goals and quantifiable objectives for each of the three priority problems: hydrologic alterations, water quality degradation, and fish and wildlife habitat loss.

The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program’s Management Conference first completed the quantifiable objectives with measurable targets and timelines. These measurable targets can now be tracked during implementation to measure our progress. Once the quantifiable objectives were approved, the committees developed a series of strategies called priority actions that are needed to achieve the quantifiable objectives.

Specific information on each priority action is provided including some background, the quantifiable objectives to which it relates (sometimes there are more than one), some strategies to implement the priority action, its expected benefits, and other information. Each priority action also includes a list of preliminary implementation projects that are underway or may be funded in the near future.

The preliminary implementation projects listed with the priority actions are described in detail in Volume 2 of this document. Volume 2 describes each preliminary implementation project, as provided by its sponsoring organization. The projects in Volume 2 are organized first by the basin where the project is located, and then by sponsoring organization. The basins include (1) Regionwide; (2) Caloosahatchee River and Watershed; (3) Lower Peace and Myakka Rivers; and (4) Upper Peace and Myakka Rivers. To assist the reader in finding the page number for a particular project, several indexes of the projects are provided in Volume 2. Also, an extensive list of acronyms is provided in both volumes of this document.

The projects in Volume 2 are an important start to implementation. They do not, however, completely accomplish all the priority actions in Volume 1. Many more implementation projects will be necessary to achieve the quantifiable objectives and goals of the management plan. The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program stands ready to support the implementation of additional projects and funding to complete all the priority actions listed in this management plan.


request the printed CCMP 2013 or the CCMP Summary. (Be sure to provide your complete mailing address.)

download the PDF from the CHNEP FTP site. The user name is chnep and the password is chnepaccess. Note: For Internet Explorer, the user should click Page, and then click Open FTP Site in Windows Explorer.