The National Estuarine Research Reserve Association (NERRA) is a nonprofit established in 1987 to advance the work of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS).


National Estuarine Research Reserves and their friends groups rely on NERRA to strengthen the network and help Reserves address the challenges facing estuaries and their communities. (Read more about NERRA’s roots & shoots.) 

NERRA communicates Reserve funding needs and priorities to Congress and federal agencies, enhances NERRS programs, and educates the public about estuaries. We also work with NOAA to provide support for Reserves impacted by disasters and hazards.

NERRA’s staff is directed by a governing board of Reserve managers and representatives of the NERRS research, education, coastal training, stewardship, and friends group communities.


The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a network of 30 sites dedicated to effective, science-based management of coastal and estuarine environments. Learn more >


Reserves get by with more than a little help from friends groups and foundations, which provide funding and other kinds of support. Learn more >


Estuaries promote clean water, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, buffer against flooding, and provide many other valuable benefits for coastal communities. Learn more >