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EPA Highlands Action Program

The Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program, established by Congress in July 2001, encompasses 79,000 square miles in the Central Appalachians of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. It is a collaborative between EPA, local communities, state and local government, other federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, research institutions, and the private sector to carry out monitoring, research, management, and restoration activities within the region. The goals of the program are to improve water quality, living resources, and habitat, and to foster stewardship of resources through an outreach program for public information and education. HAP uses the best available science to improve the natural resources and socio-economic conditions in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands.

EPA Highlands Action Program

EPA Highlands Action Program and the Appalachian LCC

Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program: Transforming the Legacy

Transforming Legacy Report ImageThis report by the Canaan Valley Institute documents the need for the Highlands Action Program and recommends an approach to implement this program within the region. It identifies the values and needs of stakeholders in the region, evaluates the stressors affecting the environment, identifies human activities contributing to stressors, highlights factors affecting economic conditions, and proposes opportunities for sustainable environmental stewardship.

Click here to read the full report.

Strategic Plan for Restoration and Protection

Strategic Plan EPA HAP ImageIn 2002, Congress funded the Mid-Atlantic Highland Action Program. EPA then set out to establish interagency agreements with other federal agencies and cooperative agreements with states, local governments and non-governmental organizations. Together, these partners working with local communities and the private sector would use environmental indicators and strong science to identify the causes of problems, develop solutions and management actions to resolve identified problems; and develop a management plan.

On September 25, 2009, a Strategic Plan for the Mid-Atlantic Highlands was finalized to set forth an approach to meet the goals and objectives of the Program. Its title -- "Protect, Restore, and Connect Forested Headwaters.”

Charter for the Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program

EPA HAP Showcase ImageStewardship of the environment is an important part of the community, quality of life, and economics of the region. The Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program will use the best available science to improve the natural resources and socio-economic conditions in the mid-Atlantic highlands by achieving the following program goals:
  • Highlighting special places that have ecological and cultural importance
  • Revitalizing damaged ecosystems
  • Empowering citizens and communities to strengthen the linkages among cultural heritage, economic viability, and the condition of the environment
  • Enhancing opportunities for the restoration industry in the highlands, which will enhance lasting employment opportunities for its residents
  • Leveraging existing resources to support all these goals.
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