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 curricula, 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

Cape Cod Students Learn about Coastal Hazards and Preparedness Article Thumbnail Image

Cape Cod Students Learn about Coastal Hazards and Preparedness

Location: Waquoit Bay

Hurricanes and nor’easters are major hazards that face the coastal communities of Massachusetts. As coastal development increases, less-intense storms...

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Carlton High School Students Conduct Research at Thomson Reservoir Article Thumbnail Image

Carlton High School Students Conduct Research at Thomson Reservoir

Location: Lake Superior Reserve

Since this winter, students in Tracy Bockbrader’s advanced chemistry class have been studying the muck at the bottom of the Thomson Reservoir with the...

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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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