The Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership (CHNEP, formerly the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program) convenes a Technical Advisory Committee comprised of many of the most prominent scientists and experts in Florida.  This advisory committee, together with the CHNEP's staff, drafts technical comment letters to advise outside entities on regional priorities and the best available science for further protection and restoration of water, wildlife habitat and other natural resources in the CHNEP program area.

Additionally, CHNEP's Policy Committee which is comprised of elected leaders from from the 10 counties and 25+ cities CHNEP serves, creates resolutions on issues of shared interest to show solidarity and support for mutually beneficial actions and activities that protect Central & Southwest Florida's water and wildlife resources.  

Below is an example of a technical comment letter and a recently approved resolution. The letter is regarding priority Outstanding Florida Waters (specially designated waters that are to be protected from any degradation) which are not meeting state water quality standards and are in need of Total Maximum Daily Load limits ("impaired"). This letter was sent to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on behalf of the CHNEP (click on image to view full letter): 

CHNEP Letter to the FDEP about impaired Outstanding Florida Waters
Water impairment map og Lemon Bay, Dona Bay, and Roberts Bay
Water Impairment map at Matlacha Pass


Additionally, the Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership forms consensus positions that are transmitted as resolutions. In 2020, there have been three including (click on blue title to open document):

  • CHNEP Manatee County Land Conservation Referendum in support of the opportunity of the citizens of Manatee County to have the opportunity to vite on additional funding for land and water conservation.

  • CHNEP Climate Change Compact Resolution in support of the development of climate compact(s) for Central and Southwest Florida to work collaboratively on issues arising from sea level rise, increased intensity rainfall and storm events, and other issues arising from climate change.

  • CHNEP Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) Resolution in support of a science-based process for development of the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual, one that addresses all the defined project purposes and provides the desired flows to the Caloosahatchee to meet the defined salinity targets for the river and estuary, while balancing the needs of agriculture and municipal water supply.