Research reserves are living laboratories, ideal sites for research and long-term monitoring.
Research. With a focus on the information most needed by coastal communities, investigations delve into ecosystem impacts from development, climate change, invasive species, storms, and other change agents. Much of the work occurs through partnership efforts, with some projects funded through the reserve’s competitive funding program, the Science Collaborative.
Monitoring. The monitoring program (known as the System-Wide Monitoring Program, or SWMP) provides long-term data on water quality, weather, biological communities, habitat, land use, and land-cover characteristics. The standardized instrumentation and data collection protocols allow the delivery of near real-time data, from each of the reserve sites, that are uniform, consistent, and reliable. Data are available from the Centralized Data Management Office.
The research, coupled with the monitoring data, provides a strong, science-based foundation for addressing coastal management challenges on local and national levels.
Selected Publications and Reports of System-Wide Data
Are Crabs Killing the Nation’s Salt Marshes? 2019. The Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America.
Accuracy and Precision of Tidal Wetland Soil Carbon Mapping in the Conterminous United States. 2018. Scientific Reports.
The National Estuarine Research Reserve System: An Integrated Network of Research and Monitoring Sites Supporting Coastal Zone Management. 2018. Estuaries and Coasts Special Edition.
Rising to the Challenge: Will tidal marshes survive rising seas? an overview of the study, Assessing Tidal Marsh Resilience to Sea-Level Rise at Broad Geographic Scales with Multi-metric Indices, published by Raposa and others in Biological Conservation, 2016.
For information about research projects being conducted within the reserves, please visit the reserve webpages and see the Science Collaborative projects.