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National Estuary Program (NEP)

State of the Bay Report for Casco Bay

Many environmental stressors affecting the Bay and its watershed stem from gradual changes in population and land use. Even slowly growing populations require new housing, schools and other infrastructure. Under current development patterns, providing for those needs stresses aquatic ecosystems, forests, and rural landscapes. Expansion of road networks, for example, can decrease commuting times and improve commerce, but it also increases impervious surfaces, generates stormwater that can degrade streams, and creates new corridors for suburban sprawl. Without thoughtful planning, deterioration of water quality and fragmentation of rural landscapes can result.

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