Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program
We are a partnership of government, business, scientists, conservation organizations, agricultural interests, and individuals for the preservation, protection, and restoration of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary in southeast Louisiana.

The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) is one of 28 National Estuary Programs throughout the United States and its territories.  The National Estuary Program was established by Congress through section 320 of the Clean Water Act or 1987.  The Barataria-Terrebonne estuarine complex became a National Estuary in 1990. 

The National Estuary Program (NEP) was established by Congress through section 320 of the Clean Water Act in 1987 and is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency. The goal of the National Estuary Program is to prevent activities that:
  • threaten an estuary's public water supply
  • are harmful to shellfish, fish and wildlife populations
  • negatively impact recreational opportunities for estuary residents 
Louisiana's Barataria and Terrebonne basins were nominated for participation in the EPA administered National Estuary Program on October 16, 1989. In his nomination letter, the Governor of Louisiana stated, "Louisiana faces a pivotal battle in the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuarine Complex if we are to do our part in winning the national war to stem the net loss of wetlands..."
On September 13, 1990, the EPA and the State of Louisiana committed to a cooperative agreement under the National Estuary Program to form the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program. The program's charter was to develop a coalition of government, private, and commercial interests for the preservation of the Barataria and Terrebonne basins by:
  • identifying problems
  • assessing trends
  • designing pollution control
  • developing resource management strategies
  • recommending corrective actions
  • seeking implementation commitments 
A partnership of all the stakeholders of the Barataria-Terrebonne estuarine complex was created including government, business, scientists, conservation organizations, agricultural interests and individuals called the Management Conference.  Over the first 5 years of the program's existence, these stakeholders collaborated and conducted research which culminated in the development of the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) that guides BTNEP in the preservation, protection and restoration of the Barataria-Terrebonne estuarine complex. 
BTNEP is administered through the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) . The fundamental goals of BTNEP were delineated in 1992 by the Management Conference. These goals provide the basis for all action plans found in the Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan. Goals of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program are to:
  • Preserve and restore wetlands and barrier islands
  • Realistically support diverse, natural biological communities
  • Develop and meet water quality standards that adequately protect estuarine resources and human health
  • Promote environmentally responsible economic activities that sustain estuarine resources
  • Generate national recognition and support
  • Implement comprehensive education and awareness programs that enhance public involvement and maintain cultural heritage
  • Create an accessible, comprehensive database with interpreted information for the public
  • Create clear, fair, practical, and enforceable regulations
  • Develop and maintain multi-level, long-term, comprehensive watershed planning
  • Be compatible with natural processes
  • Forge common-ground solutions to estuarine problems
  • Formulate indicators of estuarine ecosystem health and balance estuary use

Contact Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program

Kerry St. Pe'
Program Director
320 Audubon Dr.
N. Babington Hall, Rm 105
Thibodaux, Louisiana  70301
Phone: (985) 447-0868
Toll Free: (800) 259-0869
Fax: (985) 447-0870


Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Ascension Parish, Louisiana
  • Assumption Parish, Louisiana
  • Iberville Parish, Louisiana
  • Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
  • Lafourche Parish, Louisiana
  • Orleans Parish, Louisiana
  • Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana
  • Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana
  • Saint Charles Parish, Louisiana
  • Saint James Parish, Louisiana
  • Saint Martin Parish, Louisiana
  • Saint Mary Parish, Louisiana
  • St John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana
  • Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana
  • West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

Office Locaters

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator
Related Success Stories for Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program

Woodlands Trail and Park, Inc.
As an American Heritage Rivers “Keystone” projects for Louisiana, Woodlands Trail and Park, Inc. is uniting the river communities of Orleans and Plaquemines Parish with a series of greenways.