In 1982, the City of Quincy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed suit against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for violations of the Clean Water Act in Boston Harbor, and won.
The Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP) was launched in 1988 as a result of the settlement fines from this lawsuit. That same year, MBP was nominated into the United States National Estuary Program (NEP) , and was officially accepted in 1990. The National Estuary Program is sponsored by the EPA to identify nationally-significant estuaries threatened by pollution, development, or overuse, and create comprehensive management plans to ensure their ecological integrity. MBP is one of 28 NEPs in the United States and is administered by the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Office (MCZM) .