Estuary Education

Estuaries are invaluable resources for coastal dwellers, whether of fin, fur, or feather. For people, these ecosystems offer protection, recreation, and a wealth of learning opportunities. On this site, educators and estuary enthusiasts will find a variety of resources, including specially developed activities, animations, videos, teacher training workshops, real-time data, and opportunities to volunteer at a local reserve. This information will help educators share the wonders of estuaries with students and others.

Map showing marker for each National Estuarine Research Reserve site

Our Reserves

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a network of 29 coastal sites designated to protect and study estuarine systems. Established through the Coastal Zone Management Act, the reserves represent a partnership program between NOAA and the coastal states. Each reserve is a living outdoor classroom that advances estuary and data literacy and provides meaningful, hands-on educational experiences for adults, children, and teachers.

The opportunities are as varied as the locations and include topics such as climate change and building backyard habitats. Educational experiences provide an exciting entryway for people to become actively involved in coastal conservation.

Learn About Reserves Near You

News and Announcements

Bringing Students Closer to Nature through Technology Article Thumbnail Image

Bringing Students Closer to Nature through Technology

Location: Guana Tolomato Matanzas Reserve

In an increasingly digital world, educators sometimes struggle to get students to put down their devices and get outside to explore the world of science...

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Animation Demonstrates the Role Estuaries Play in Water Filtration Article Thumbnail Image

Animation Demonstrates the Role Estuaries Play in Water Filtration

One key component of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System is estuary education, which helps educate students and teachers on the valuable...

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Students Become Hudson River Estuary Scientists for a Day Article Thumbnail Image

Students Become Hudson River Estuary Scientists for a Day

Location: Hudson River Reserve

Each fall, students and educators from New York City to Troy, New York, gather at sites along 160 miles of the Hudson River and New York Harbor to be...

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Teachers on the Estuary: Wade In! Article Thumbnail Image

Teachers on the Estuary: Wade In!

Our Teachers on the Estuary workshops might look slightly different this year. Several reserves have postponed their workshops to the fall, and others...

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Virtual Estuary Education Article Thumbnail Image

Virtual Estuary Education

Location: All 29 research reserves

NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System keeps estuary education front and center through virtual tours, critter spotlights, and exploration...

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Volunteer at a Reserve Near You Article Thumbnail Image

Volunteer at a Reserve Near You

You can contribute in many ways to protect estuaries and conserve their valuable natural resources. No matter what your background or talent, we have volunteer opportunities at every national estuarine research reserve.

Contact your local reserve to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

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