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Why is a CCMP important to the Choctawhatchee Bay and it's watershed?

It establishes priorities for activities, research, and funding for the Choctawhatchee Bay estuary. The CCMP serves as a blueprint to guide future decisions and addresses a wide range of environmental protection issues, to include improving water quality and protecting key living resources and their habitats.


CLICK on the green boxes below to view the CCMP Executive Summary or the entire CCMP Plan.

Please submit comments for either document to

CCMP Executive Summary
Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan


Subject:  Notice of 45-Day Public Comment Period for the Choctawhatchee Bay and Watershed Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan


This is notice that Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary Coalition has drafted a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan and Executive Summary to be submitted to the US Treasury in accordance with the RESTORE Act.  The Plan and Executive Summary will be made available to the public on March 7, 2024 for a period of 45 days. 


The Plan and Executive Summary are available at or to view in person, please contact Melinda Gates, Interim Executive Director, at (850)892-8108 or Sabina Pennington, Public Education and Outreach Specialist, at (850)609-5383.  To submit comments:  email or by mail to 1250 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548. 


The Choctawhatchee Bay Estuary Program Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan establishes a strategic vision for enhanced public awareness and environmental education, improved environmental monitoring, continued resource protection for resilience and sustainability and targeted restoration when and where needed. 


This project was paid for with federal funding from the Department of Treasury under the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act). 


For more information, contact Melinda Gates, Interim Executive Director, at (850)892-8108 or Sabina Pennington, Public Outreach Specialist, at (850)609-5383.  


Our mission is to implement programs and initiatives for the protection and stewardship of natural resources and water quality, strengthen community resiliency and provide environmental education to maintain a vibrant economy and high quality of life.

Our Events

How To Help?

Citizens Advisory Committee

Be an Ambassador on our team help develop our Estuary Program

Technical Advisory Committee

Provide expertise to support the management, conservation, and restoration efforts of the Choctawhatchee estuarine ecosystem

Education & Outreach Committee

Promotes public awareness, understanding, and stewardship of an estuary's ecological importance. Develops educational initiatives and outreach to engage the community, building relationships with students and the general public

An estuary program focuses on

Community Resilience

these vital ecosystems need protection and management for waterways to be resilient. Through collaboration with many people, agencies, non-profit organizations, local communities, and businesses we can inspire behavioral changes that positivly impact our communities.

By promoting awareness and providing education about estuarine ecosystems

community members can make informed decisions and actively participate in the program's initiatives

Engaged communities are more likely to work together, share resources, and contribute their knowledge and expertise to an Estuary Program. This collaboration might be participating in monitoring activities, providing input on management strategies, and supporting restoration efforts

Resilient communities are adaptable and responsive to change. Estuaries face various threats, such as pollution, habitat degradation, and climate change impacts. Communities can contribute local knowledge, help identify emerging issues, and support the implementation of adaptive measures.

Resilient communities take an active role in stewardship and conservation practices. They recognize the value of their local estuary and actively participate in restoration projects, habitat conservation efforts, and sustainable land-use planning.

Resilient communities are more likely to support sustainable economic activities such as ecotourism, recreational fisheries, and nature-based businesses. By promoting a healthy and well-managed estuary, the program can contribute to the local economy and provide livelihood opportunities for community members.

Communities build public support for policies and regulations that protect estuaries, by informing the public about the importance of estuarine conservation and the potential consequences of degradation.

For more beautiful sunsets

Estuaries - where rivers meet the sea