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Estuary Week events around the nation

National Estuarine Research Reserve System

Estuary Education

Office of Ocean & Coastal Resource Management

Did You Know?

Our 28 research reserves are leading the celebration of National Estuaries Week along with other federal, state, and local partners by hosting special public events from Kachemak Bay in Alaska to Waquoit Bay in Massachusetts. Learn more about estuaries, the reserves, and the many events going on during Estuaries Week.

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Do Your Part: Help Protect Our Estuaries

In celebration of National Estuaries Week, September 23-29


Estuaries are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world and are home to many different plants and animals. Estuaries also support the U.S. economy in the form of seafood sales, jobs, and recreational activities such as fishing, bird watching, and boating.

Our National Estuarine Research Reserves are designed to protect these areas and the species that inhabit them. Research reserves are unique places that represent an important part of NOAA’s place-based coastal management efforts. A total of 1.3 million acres of coastal wetland areas are managed and conserved through this partnership program with states and territories, but that’s not all. Reserve staff work closely with local coastal communities to help make them healthier and more resilient, bringing needed coastal science to the decision- making table, and providing innovative, estuary-based educational opportunities to children and adults. 

Do your part to help protect and conserve our nation's estuaries:
gravel driveway

At Home

  • Keep septic systems working properly. Pump your system every three years. Leaking systems seep into estuaries and pollute them.
  • Think before you pour something down the drain. Many hazardous products flow from household drains through sewage treatment plants and into coastal bodies of water.
  • Pave Less. Hard surfaces speed up water runoff and increase pollution and erosion.

In Your Garden

  • Avoid using toxic pesticides. Try using natural lawn and garden treatments. Plain soap and water does the job and can keep harmful chemicals from ending up in nearby waterways.
  • Use native plants. Garden and landscape with plants native to your areas and reduce the need for watering and fertilizing.
boat on water

On the Water

  • Adhere to "no-wake' zones when on your boat. Waves destroy shorelines and increase erosion.
  • Fish respectfully. Follow "catch and release" practices and keep more fish alive.
  • Respect habitat. Treat the homes of vital marine life with care. Healthy habitat and survival go hand in hand. When habitat disappears so do many plants and animals.
NERRS logo

Anytime, Anywhere

  • Take action and get involved! Volunteer at your nearest National Estuarine Research Reserve. Organize a stream or beach cleanup. Encourage your local newspaper to write a story, or ask an expert to speak at your community organization or school.
  • Take a few minutes to learn more about estuaries and perhaps visit your nearest National Estuarine Research Reserve.