top of page

The Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership
Celebrating 25+ years of protecting Southwest Florida

The Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership (CHNEP, formerly the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program) began when former Florida Governor Chiles submitted a nomination to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to designate the greater Charlotte Harbor estuarine system as an estuary of national significance. On July 6, 1995, seven nominations were accepted, including the CHNEP.  Now the CHNEP is one of 28 organization nation-wide in the NEP; one of the four in Florida (along with Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, and Indian River Lagoon).

CHNEP's accomplishments include cutting-edge scientific research and restoration, environmental education and public outreach, as well as supporting and convening partners and stakeholders throughout our region to protect and restore water and other exceptional natural resources.

Coastal and Heartland National Estuary Partnership Logo
Cover of CHNEP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. Click the image to open the plan.


Jennifer Hecker

Executive Director



Nicole Iadevaia

Director of Research & Restoration



Andrea Vale

Conservation Specialist

Sarina Weiss

Research Specialist II

Keara Abel

Administrative Specialist

The Association of National Estuary Programs has also created a fact sheet to provide information to federal policymakers about the importance of support for the National Estuary Program. Click on either image to get a downloadable electronic version for your own use.

National Estuary Program fact sheet. Click to open the fact sheet.
National Estuary Program fact sheet. Click to open the fact sheet.
bottom of page