The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) is a network of 29 sites dedicated to the effective, science-based management of coastal and estuarine environments. Together, Reserves encompass more than 1.3 million acres of coastal and estuarine habitats nationwide.
Established by the Coastal Zone Management Act in 1972, each Reserve is a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a U.S. state or territory. NOAA provides funding and national guidance, and Reserve-based monitoring, research, education, stewardship, and training programs provide information and services to make coastal communities and environments more resilient.
Like the estuaries they support, Reserves thrive on an extensive web of local and regional relationships. They work with scientists, decision-makers, nonprofits, policy-makers, citizens, educators and students from different sectors and communities. Ideas, knowledge, and tools from each Reserve are shared through the system’s powerful network to address national needs and challenges. Learn more about the NERRS and our partners at NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management.