The European Water Framework Directive (WFD; Directive 2000/60/EC) establishes a framework for the protection and improvement of all surface waters, including coastal and transitional (estuaries and lagoons) waters. Its final objective is to achieve ‘good ecological status’ for all waters by 2015. The required assessment is based upon evaluation of biological, hydromorphological and physico-chemical quality elements, using available data in Member States, to develop classification systems that define the ecological status of surface waters within five status classes required by the Directive.
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