How NERRA supports the reserves

The National Estuarine Research Reserve Association (NERRA) is a national nonprofit organization established in 1987 to advance the work of the reserve system. Reserves and their regional friends groups rely on NERRA to help enhance successful programs, strengthen the network, and enable reserves to better address growing challenges to our nation’s estuaries, coasts, and communities. NERRA communicates the funding needs and priorities of the reserves to Congress and federal agencies and educates the general public about the importance of estuaries and coasts.

Leadership

NERRA is directed by the vision and expertise of a governing board, comprised of the 28 managers of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System and representatives of the reserves’ research, education, coastal training, stewardship, and friends group communities.
Staff
Executive Committee
Governing Board
Rebecca K. Roth
Executive Director
Cindy Dabrowski Kennie
Director of Special Projects
Scott G. Rocray
Accountant
Dolores Leonard
Communications Consultant
Mark Salvatore
Web Development Consultant
Rebecca K. Roth
Executive Director
Contact Rebecca

Rebecca Roth is the executive director of the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association. She advances the mission of the reserve system by advocating for the shared interests of all reserves. She works with Congress and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to support annual budget appropriations and legislative priorities that enhance the value of all reserves for their many partners and stakeholders. She also works closely with NOAA and other federal agencies to help shape regulations and policies to sustain healthy estuaries nationwide.

A land use planner by training, Rebecca is a veteran coastal management and public administration professional with more than 25 years of experience. For 18 years, she worked for the California Coastal Commission, where she last served as Federal Programs Manager. She has been involved with the reserves since 1998 through her Coastal Commission work, which facilitated integrated coastal and ocean management among California’s reserves, coastal programs, and marine sanctuaries.

Rebecca earned her her Masters of Arts Degree in Public Administration and Policy at San Francisco State University and her Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and City Planning at San Diego State University. Rebecca grew up and lived near the Pacific Ocean in California for most of her life; she now resides in New England where she still finds her connection to the coast to be one of her greatest re-charges.

Rebecca K. Roth
Executive Director
Contact Rebecca

Rebecca Roth is the executive director of the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association. She advances the mission of the reserve system by advocating for the shared interests of all reserves. She works with Congress and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to support annual budget appropriations and legislative priorities that enhance the value of all reserves for their many partners and stakeholders. She also works closely with NOAA and other federal agencies to help shape regulations and policies to sustain healthy estuaries nationwide.

A land use planner by training, Rebecca is a veteran coastal management and public administration professional with more than 25 years of experience. For 18 years, she worked for the California Coastal Commission, where she last served as Federal Programs Manager. She has been involved with the reserves since 1998 through her Coastal Commission work, which facilitated integrated coastal and ocean management among California’s reserves, coastal programs, and marine sanctuaries.

Rebecca earned her her Masters of Arts Degree in Public Administration and Policy at San Francisco State University and her Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and City Planning at San Diego State University. Rebecca grew up and lived near the Pacific Ocean in California for most of her life; she now resides in New England where she still finds her connection to the coast to be one of her greatest re-charges.

Cindy Dabrowski Kennie
Director of Special Projects
Contact Cindy

Cindy Dabrowski Kennie is the director of special projects for the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association. She manages a range of system-wide initiatives, including the annual meeting and the reserves’ Friends and Foundations Network.

Cindy has worked for more than 20 years in the environmental sector, most recently as partner and co-owner of an environmental consulting firm. She has been involved with the reserves since 2005, when she joined the team at the Wells reserve to support planning and grant writing and to serve on the Board of Directors for the Laudholm Trust, the Wells reserve’s non-profit partner.

Cindy has a Master of Science Degree in Resource Administration and Management from the University of New Hampshire and a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont. She is a native of New England and lives with her family on the beautiful Maine coast.

Scott G. Rocray
Accountant
Contact Scott

Scott Rocray is the accountant for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. He provides support to ensure accurate financial reporting on behalf of NERRA and the Wells reserve. Scott is a certified public accountant, with more than 25 years of experience that includes financial oversight of federal grants and cooperative agreements.

Dolores Leonard
Communications Consultant
Contact Dolores

Dolores Leonard is a communications consultant for the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association. She provides guidance for communications strategies and products that promote understanding of reserve system mission and the benefits that reserves provide for coastal communities, public agencies, universities, and other organizations that work on behalf of healthy estuaries and coasts.

Dolores has been with the reserves since 2004, when she began working with national programs that focused on developing science-based solutions to problems in coastal environments. Prior to joining NERRA, she was part of the University of New Hampshire team that designed and launched the inaugural National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative, a nationally focused science funding and knowledge transfer program that received the inaugural NERRS Impact award in 2014.

Dolores is a veteran communications professional, with more than 20 years of experience helping nonprofits, public research programs, and academic institutions design and deliver a range of communications and learning products and experiences. As a consultant, she works with diverse partners to provide a full suite of planning, group process, and communications services. She personally specializes in science translation and has more than ten years of experience working with coastal resource management issues. She lives with her family in Maine, enjoys hiking and paddling along the coast, and is never far from her yoga mat.

Mark Salvatore
Web Development Consultant
Contact Mark

Mark has been a web developer since 1994. He has built sites for Ascend Communications, Lucent Technologies, and Electronic Arts before committing to an independent career in 2005. Since then, he has engineered a wide variety of custom web applications including e-commerce solutions, digital asset libraries, and online service applications. He is a full-stack developer with expertise in the front and backend of web development.

Lisa Auermuller
NERRA President & Assistant Manager, Jacques Cousteau Reserve, New Jersey
Kim Cole
Executive Committee Member at Large & Manager, Delaware Reserve
Mike DeLuca
NERRA Chair of Government Affairs & Manager, Jacques Cousteau Reserve
Paul Dest
Treasurer & Director, Wells Reserve, Maine
William Reay, Ph.D.
NERRA Past President & Manager, Chesapeake Bay Reserve, Virginia
Cory Riley
NERRA Past President & Manager, Great Bay Reserve, New Hampshire
Erika Washburn, Ph.D.
Vice President & Manager, Lake Superior Reserve, Wisconsin
Lisa Auermuller
NERRA President & Assistant Manager, Jacques Cousteau Reserve, New Jersey
Contact Lisa

Lisa Auermuller has been the Watershed Coordinator for the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JC NERR) in Tuckerton, NJ since 2002. Lisa’s role includes assessing the needs of coastal decision makers and assembling training opportunities through JC NERR’s Coastal Training Program. These programs are designed to better inform decision makers through the use of science-based applied research, visualization tools and best practices.  Most recently, Lisa’s primary areas of interest have coastal community vulnerability and resilience as they relate to current and future coastal hazards. Lisa has worked with a variety of partners and stakeholders to develop tools and protocols to help communities understand their risks, plan for those risks and put resiliency, mitigation and adaptation measures into place. Lisa oversees a team of Coastal Resilience Specialists who work one-on-one with municipal staff and elected and appointed officials to assess municipal vulnerability and risk, facilitate a resilience preparedness and planning assessment process and to recommend implementation options at short and long-term scales. Lisa’s work combines natural and social science aspects of the coastal decision making process.

Kim Cole
Executive Committee Member at Large & Manager, Delaware Reserve
Contact Kim

Kimberly Cole is the Environmental Program Administrator for the Coastal Programs Section at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and Manager of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve.  She has over 19 years of experience working on marine, estuarine, and coastal management science and policy .  Kim is always trying to find new and better ways to connect people to science in her quest for the science-based management of our ocean, coasts and estuaries.  

Mike DeLuca
NERRA Chair of Government Affairs & Manager, Jacques Cousteau Reserve
Contact Mike

As chair of government affairs, Mike provides input on the strategic direction of the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association and guidance of strategies to engage federal partners and educate Congress. He also provides executive management and leadership for New Jersey’s Jacques Cousteau reserve and the Aquaculture Innovation and Coastal Exploration Centers at Rutgers University. His work encompasses the design and management of large-scale research initiatives, science education and service programs, government relations, marine and coastal science policy, and major field facilities.

Mike is currently leading efforts to address New Jersey’s most critical coastal management issues, including the restoration of coastal ecosystems and communities in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, development of science-based strategies to enhance future resilience of coastal areas, design of innovative approaches to science-based management of coastal systems, management of marine protected areas, and restoration of the Barnegat Bay watershed. He has led initiatives that leverage environmental sampling and sensing networks to inform coastal management and enrich science education and advance aquaculture in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Mike is chair of the Public Policy Committee and President-Elect of the National Association of Marine Laboratories, and he has served as NERRA president, chair of the Science and Technical Advisory Committee for the Barnegat Bay National Estuary Program, and member of the Heinz Center Panel on Innovations in Coastal Zone Management.

Paul Dest
Treasurer & Director, Wells Reserve, Maine
Contact Paul

As treasurer, Paul provides input on the strategic direction of the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association and its financial strategies and reporting. As director of the Wells reserve, he provides leadership in areas such as scientific research and monitoring, interpretive education and training, land acquisition and habitat stewardship, facility maintenance and construction, and strategic planning. In his work, he fosters good relations and strong partnerships between the reserve and federal, state, and municipal governments; nonprofit organizations; community groups; residents of neighboring communities; and other partners.

Paul has been active in environmental conservation, education, and communications in Maine and New Hampshire for more than 25 years. In his career, he has served on numerous boards, commissions, and committees related to advancing conservation. Before joining the reserve in 2001, he focused on coastal access and protection as a senior planner with the Maine State Planning Office’s Coastal Program and the Land for Maine’s Future Program. Prior to that, he was a supervisor in the Public Affairs Division at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

William Reay, Ph.D.
NERRA Past President & Manager, Chesapeake Bay Reserve, Virginia
Contact Willy

As past president of National Estuarine Research Reserve Association and director of the Virginia reserve, Willy is a strong supporter of conservation-based research, education, and stewardship of our nation’s estuaries. His research explores watershed hydrology and nutrient dynamics, with an emphasis on the interaction of ground and surface waters. He is also active in the areas of shallow water monitoring, ocean and coastal observation, and the management of “sentinel sites” that track the response of wetlands and forests to climate change.

William Reay, Ph.D.
NERRA Past President & Manager, Chesapeake Bay Reserve, Virginia
Contact Willy

As past president of National Estuarine Research Reserve Association and director of the Virginia reserve, Willy is a strong supporter of conservation-based research, education, and stewardship of our nation’s estuaries. His research explores watershed hydrology and nutrient dynamics, with an emphasis on the interaction of ground and surface waters. He is also active in the areas of shallow water monitoring, ocean and coastal observation, and the management of “sentinel sites” that track the response of wetlands and forests to climate change.

Cory Riley
NERRA Past President & Manager, Great Bay Reserve, New Hampshire
Contact Cory

As president of National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, Cory is a passionate advocate for the reserve system and estuarine environments. As manager of the New Hampshire reserve, she oversees the site’s education, research, stewardship, and coastal training programs and works closely with partners to promote clean water and healthy coastal habitats in the surrounding region.

Before joining the reserve, Cory worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Estuarine Reserves Division, where she served as a federal liaison to East Coast reserves and used her expertise in strategic planning, facilitation, policy analysis, and evaluation to advance reserve planning and to enhance national science funding and training programs.

A former member of the Peace Corps, Cory holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental, Coastal, and Ocean Science from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a Bachelor’s in Biology from the College of William and Mary. She has loved mucking in and around estuaries from the time she was a child.

Erika Washburn, Ph.D.
Vice President & Manager, Lake Superior Reserve, Wisconsin
Contact Erika

Dr. Erika Washburn is the Manager of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve in Superior, Wisconsin. An environmental anthropologist specializing in the application of social science to challenges at the intersection of society, water and coastal systems, Erika has worked in not for profits, academia and government at multiple levels both in the US and abroad. Erika’s professional experience is at multiple scales in natural and cultural resource management, climate adaptation, planning and policy. Prior work experience includes the US EPA, the Great Lakes Historical Society and The Nature Conservancy. She holds degrees in marine biology and archaeology from Boston University, a Master’s in Anthropology from Texas A&M, specializing in maritime archeology, and a Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire’s Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science program. The recipient of a Fulbright and a NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve Social Science Fellowship, Erika’s dissertation focused on land use decision making and participatory action research in coastal watersheds, and led to a NOAA 2010 Walter B. Jones Award for Excellence. A 2010 NOAA Sea Grant Knauss Fellow with strong coastal science and management ties in the Great Lakes, Erika returned to the region to work for NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab before taking the position with the Reserve.

LG Adams
Weeks Bay
Manager
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Wendy Allen
North Inlet-Winyah
Manager
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Leo Asuncion
Hawaii (in process)
Manager
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Lisa Auermuller
Jacques Cousteau
NERRA President & Assistant Manager, Jacques Cousteau Reserve, New Jersey
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Betsy Blair
Hudson River
Manager
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Nik Charov
Laudholm Trust
Friends and Foundations Rep.
Contact
Kim Cole
Delaware
Executive Committee Member at Large & Manager, Delaware Reserve
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Gary Cooper
South Slough
Manager
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Mike DeLuca
Jacques Cousteau
NERRA Chair of Government Affairs & Manager, Jacques Cousteau Reserve
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Paul Dest
Wells
Treasurer & Director, Wells Reserve, Maine
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Rebecca Ellin
North Carolina
Manager
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Deanna Erickson
Lake Superior
Education Coordinator
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Dave Feliz
Elkhorn Slough
Manager
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Aimee Gaddis
Sapelo Island
Stewardship Coordinator
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Kristen Goodrich
Tijuana Estuary
Coastal Training Program Coordinator
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Ayesha Gray, Ph.D.
Grand Bay
Director
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Jenna Harper
Apalachicola
Manager
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Jace Tunnell
Mission-Aransas
Manager
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Keith Laakkonen
Rookery Bay
Manager
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Frank Lopez
Old Woman Creek
Manager
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Phil Maier
ACE Basin
Manager
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Mike Shirley, Ph.D.
Guana Tolomato Matanzas
Manager
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Aitza Pabón
Jobos Bay
Manager
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Chris Peregrin
Tijuana Estuary
Member at Large and Manager
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Chris Peregrin
Tijuana Estuary
Executive Committee Member at Large and Manager
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Jim Rassman
Waquoit Bay
Acting Manager
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Jennifer Raulin
Chesapeake Bay
Manager
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William Reay, Ph.D.
Chesapeake Bay
NERRA Past President & Manager, Chesapeake Bay Reserve, Virginia
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Cory Riley
Great Bay
NERRA Past President & Manager, Great Bay Reserve, New Hampshire
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Jessica Ryan
Kachemak Bay
Acting Manager
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Doug Samson, Ph.D.
Sapelo Island
Manager
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Bob Stankelis
Narragansett Bay
Manager
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Terry Stevens
Padilla Bay
Manager
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Mike Vasey, Ph.D.
San Francsico
Manager
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Erika Washburn, Ph.D.
Lake Superior
Vice President & Manager, Lake Superior Reserve, Wisconsin
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Funding for Reserves and NERRA

Baseline funding for the reserve system is provided by NOAA through an annual federal appropriations process that contributes to site operations and planning, environmental monitoring, coastal training, GIS, education programs, restoration efforts, facilities maintenance and construction, and land acquisition. These funds are matched by the reserves’ state partners. Many reserves also have a friends group that participates in reserve activities and raises funds for the site.

NERRA is funded by direct contributions from reserves and friends of the system. NERRA uses these funds to support and advocate for the work of reserves.

NERRA's appropriations request for FY 2017

Outreach materials for FY 2016

National Estuaries Week

As regular as the tides, National Estuaries Week rolls in during late September. In 2015, it will take place between September 20 and 27. This nationwide celebration raises public-awareness of our connection to estuaries and what we can do protect these beautiful, vital places for generations to come. From photography contests in Florida and canoe trips in Washington to estuary clean-ups in North Carolina and festivals in California, there’s sure to be an Estuaries Day event near you. Contact your reserve to learn more.

National Estuaries Week is supported by NERRA, the reserve system, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Restore America’s Estuaries, and the National Estuaries Program Association.