Introduction to Restoration

The Estuary Restoration Act

The Estuary Restoration Act (ERA) was passed into law on November 7, 2000.  The primary goals of the ERA are:

  1. to promote the restoration of estuary habitat;
  2. to develop a restoration strategy and partnerships among public agencies and to establish new partnerships between the public and private sectors;
  3. to provide Federal assistance for restoration projects; and,
  4. to develop and enhance monitoring and research capabilities to ensure that restoration efforts are based on sound scientific understanding and innovative technologies.

The ERA established an Estuary Habitat Restoration Council that was responsible for developing an Estuary Restoration Strategy with the goal of restoring 1,000,000 acres of habitat by 2010. Click here for more information on the Estuary Restoration Act.

What types of habitats are found in the Gulf of Mexico region?

There are over 100 estuaries along the United States coastline which are composed of many different habitats. The following habitats can be found in the Gulf of Mexico Region. Click the habitat type for a description.




Forested Wetland

Freshwater Marsh

Hard Bottom




Maritime Forest

Oyster Reef


Riparian Vegetation

Rocky Shoreline

Salt Marsh

Shrub Swamp

Soft Bottom - Mud

Soft Bottom - Sand

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation


Water Column