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Estuaries Tutorial

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) home page

This is the home page of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS.) Through the NERRS home page you can access general information about the NERRS Program, read detailed information about the location and activities of each of the 26 NERRS sites throughout the United States, and access each reserve’s individual website. There is also information about training and fellowship opportunities, as well as restoration initiatives, invasive species, and links to additional organizations that deal with estuaries.

The NERRS Centralized Data Management Office (CDMO) website

This website provides an overview of the NERRS System-wide Monitoring Program (SWaMP) at 25 NERRS sites across the country, as well as the meteorological and water quality data collected through SWaMP from 1995 to 2003. The lesson plan “Getting Physical with Estuaries” in the NOAA Ocean Service Lesson Plan Library presents a formal exercise using this website and explains in detail how to download and manipulate the data this site presents.

North Carolina Coastal Reserve and NERRS home page


In North Carolina Currituck Banks, Rachel Carson, Masonboro Island, and Zeke’s Island are designated as National Estuarine Research Reserves. The website includes aerial views and descriptions of each of the reserve sites, videos, virtual field trips, and lesson plans for students and educators, as well as weather and water data and detailed information as to how it is collected.

South Slough NERRS home page

From this page you can access information on research, education, stewardship and restoration activities taking place at the South Slough (Oregon) NERRS site.

Tijuana River NERRS home page

From this page you can access information on research, restoration, management and educational activities taking place at the Tijuana NERRS site.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Estuary home page

The EPA National Estuary home page contains links to a wide range of resources that provide research and educational information related to estuarine ecosystems and the many factors that impact them. Information on watersheds, water quality monitoring, and nonpoint source pollution are just some of the excellent materials that can be accessed from this Web page.

NOAA National Ocean Service Education Tides and Water Levels Tutorial

The Tides and Water Levels Tutorial presents an overview of the complex systems that govern the movement of tides and water levels. This is particularly relevant to understanding the organization of estuarine ecosystems. It includes many illustrations and interactive graphics to enhance the text. A roadmap to resources directs you to real-time tidal and current data, and lesson plans in the Ocean Service Education Lesson Library focus on the forces that cause and affect tides, analysis of the variations in tidal patterns and what conditions may cause them, and the effect of lunar cycles on living organisms.

NOAA NOS Essay and Links on Coastal Monitoring and Observations

This essay discusses three major classes of coastal observations and monitoring that NOAA’s National Ocean Service undertakes within U.S. territorial waters. The first measures environmental features simultaneously across large geographic areas. This includes coral reef and shoreline mapping, as well as harmful algal bloom monitoring. The second characterizes chemical, physical, meteorological, or biological properties via repeated measurements at selected sites throughout a region. The NERRS System-wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) is an example of this type of monitoring program. The third usually involves intensive and frequent measurements of environmental conditions at a few sampling locations. This third class of monitoring allows scientists to identify, measure, and potentially link environmental changes detected by the other two types of monitoring with the causes of these changes.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) home page

The VIMS CCRM home page provides many links to informational and data resources relating to wetlands ecology, ecosystem science, and policy and management.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Graphics for Educators

These are downloadable posters and activities graphics for educators on a variety of topics effecting the bay. Graphics  include: The Dead Zone, Effects of Nutrient Pollution, Trends in Blue Crabs: Maryland and Virginia, Decimated Oyster Population, and Nitrogen Loading of Chesapeake Bay.

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NSTA - National Science Teachers Association

The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) includes this resource in its database. NSTA provides educators and students access to Web-based, educationally appropriate science content that has been formally evaluated by master teachers.

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