Estuaries around the country had to feel the love during National Estuaries Week 2017! It was our most successful year ever with nearly 28,000 volunteers assisting with 215 projects in 27 states. They logged 101,852 volunteer hours worth an estimated $2.45 million. This incredible turnout is a testament to the thousands of community-based groups—including reserves—that work every day to steward and restore our nation’s estuaries.
Thank you to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island), who introduced Senate Resolution 230 honoring National Estuaries Week, and the resolution’s 28 bipartisan co-sponsors. Twelve governors issued proclamations to demonstrate support at the state level.
The month capped off with Estuaries Day, when reserves and friends around our national system celebrated these special places we love. Congratulations to Florida’s Apalachicola Reserve, which welcomed more than 800 visitors to enjoy their new butterfly garden and Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Reserve, which celebrated the opening of its Estuarium—a place-focused, mini–natural history museum and gathering spot that holds a wealth of personal stories about the area.
NOAA’s annual photo contest brought in a record-breaking 180 photos, from 37 photographers at 16 reserves. Congratulations to our winning photos and honorable mentions; you bring out the best in coasts and estuaries!