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Celebrate National Estuaries Week!

National Estuaries Week will be observed this year from September 14 to 21. Reserves will be hosting numerous fun and educational events throughout the week to build awareness of the important benefits provided by estuaries.

Congratulations to the 2019 National Estuaries Week photo contest winners. A panel of judges anonymously selected winning photos from nearly 120 submissions in the following categories: I Did This, Learn, Play, Smile, View, and Work. View the winning photos.

Get Involved!

Looking to plan a National Estuaries Week event? Visit Restore America’s Estuaries’ events page to register your event or find one to attend. Potential activities include beach or river sweeps, guided estuary tours, festivals focused on estuary education, and photo contests. Below are just a few ideas for events that would highlight estuaries:

  • Join a National Estuarine Research Reserve System friends group. Local friends groups are private nonprofit citizen organizations established to support and enhance environmental education, stewardship of natural and cultural resources, and scientific research of specific research reserves through volunteer initiatives, citizen involvement, and community partnerships. Find a reserve system citizen-support organization near you.

  • Take a field trip to a local reserve or preserve—many have public access or offer guided tours for kayaking, birding, hiking, and many other outdoor activities. Check your local reserve or National Estuary Program website to see what’s available.

  • Sponsor a local naturalist or historian to provide a guided tour or lecture.

  • Host a book reading and signing by local authors that have written works about estuaries or coastal issues. Your local reserve, local bookstores, and book clubs should be able to give you leads on persons to contact.

  • Have a film festival showcasing nature videos about estuaries or the plants and animals that depend on them.

  • Hold a cleanup in an estuary near you. Just make sure to get any necessary permits ahead of time.

  • Sign up for a monitoring or stewardship program, such as being a sea turtle volunteer or helping with an oyster restoration project, or a terrapin tally. Check with a reserve near you to see what you can do.

  • Find resources for highlighting estuaries in the classroom at coast.noaa.gov/estuaries.

  • Follow #EstuariesWeek on social media to join the conversation. Post photos of your own involvement and accomplishments using #IDidThis.

About National Estuaries Week

National Estuaries Day began in 1988 to promote the importance of estuaries and the need to protect them. In partnership with the National Estuaries Program, National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, Restore America’s Estuaries, and many other organizations, we have extended the festivities to a whole week. National Estuaries Week is an annual celebration and campaign to increase public awareness of estuaries and to encourage people to become involved in the protection of these important natural resources.