Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Reduction of coastal nonpoint source (NPS) pollution requires an innovative approach. Efforts must comprehensively address the cumulative effects of individual behaviors. Therefore, program objectives must apply to the entire contributing watershed, but emphasize local implementation. Local governments must be empowered to install regulatory and other mechanisms to reduce NPS pollution. Local citizen organizations such as watershed associations, must effectively educate watershed citizens about their ole in NPS pollution. Watershed citizens must change their behaviors which contribute to the problem. However, developing a vibrant constituency around NPS pollution itself remains a serious challenge to mitigation efforts. As a geographically defined, holistic approach stressing the role of local government and watershed citizens, the watershed protection approach holds great promise as a tool to address NPS pollution. This paper examines mitigation efforts as part of the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program with special attention on the increasing ole of local government and citizen activism. It concludes with recommendations for improved nonpoint source pollution outreach and education efforts.