2021 Annual Meeting

With nearly $1k in the 50/50 NERRA 2021 Raffle kitty AND it being so close to the holidays, we thought we’d let the pot grow a bit (along with our waistlines).  The raffle is open until midnight (Hawai’i Time) on December 20. We’ll announce a random winner on the winter solstice to bring a little extra light into the darkest day of the year. C’mon, NERRds—who wants a holiday bonus?

2021 Annual Meeting

Across the country, Reserve staff, friends, and fans gathered for our second fully virtual NERRS/NERRA Annual Meeting this month. Virtual or not, we’re still basking in the after glow that comes from spending so much time with other NERRds.

There is such a long list of people to thank for making this meeting such a special event, but above all—thank YOU. This meeting wouldn’t have been possible without your contributions—and the contributions from people from across the System.

Thank You, Plenary Speakers

Our plenary speakers—Dr. Rick Spinrad, Brenda Mallory, Dr. Rick Bennett, and Eva DiDonato—inspired us with their eloquence and vision for climate science; mitigation and resilience; conservation of 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030; and the advancement of racial equity and support for underserved communities.

Thank You, Estuary Heroes

There is no shortage of people in the NERRS doing extraordinary work. This year, we were happy to honor three NERRds who inspire us.

NERRS-NERRA Award for Outstanding Contribution: Jeff Carter, stewardship coordinator at the Rookery Bay Reserve

For 13 years, Jeff’s infectious enthusiasm and authentic joy for people and the work we do has strengthened and enriched partnerships at Rookery Bay and across the System.

NERRS-NERRA Award for Outstanding Contribution: Lisa Auermuller, assistant manager at the Jacques Cousteau Reserve

A recognized leader in climate resilience,
Lisa is always thinking about how to
make things better. She is, quite simply, the best partner anyone could have. 

Nate Herold, physical scientist with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management: Technical Assistance Award

A whiz with remote sensing, digital imagery analysis, and GIS, Nate goes above and beyond to promote the translation and communication of NERRS data to benefit coastal communities nationwide.


Thank
You, Cinephiles

Many of you joined us on Facebook Live for the eighth NERRS Annual Filmfest. If you couldn’t make it, you can still watch the films on NERRA’s Youtube. Which is an awesome opportunity to subscribe to our Youtube Channel, while you’re at it 😉

Congratulations to the Mission-Aransas Reserve for their winning video, The Great Gulf Nurdle Expedition! And to the Jacques Cousteau Reserve for winning a DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo drone, compliments of NERRA and Roca Communications in the NERRS Filmfest Raffle

These videos help forge a connection to the amazing places and programs that are the NERRS.

… and thank You, Auction Team.

Going once, going twice and…SOLD! Kudos to this year’s ‘Bidding Bunch’ for finding ways to make our second annual auction fun, despite the distance. None of it would have been possible without our amazing donors, auctioneers, and of course, bidders.

Donate Items to NERRA Auction Now!

Donate Items to NERRA Auction Now!

They’re baaaaaaaack! Our very own bidding bunch is back to make your auction experience more awesome than ever!

The NERRA auction is back, and we learned a few things last year. Now it’s even easier to donate, browse cool stuff, track bids, and—most of all—have fun! We are excited to kick off the first phase of our auction by accepting item donations on Auctria through October 22nd, with bidding kicking off on November 1st.

We’re counting on everyone to do what we NERRds do best—come together to make our System stronger! Last year’s incredible donations included adventurous trips, stylish fashions, sleek monitoring equipment, fun swag, and of course—the best sweets, treats, and snacks that our coasts have to offer. Get creative and have fun with your donations. No item is too NERRdy.

Check out NERRA’s auction page for more details, and look for updates in the weeks to come! The auction is NERRA’s only annual fundraiser, and vital to helping us support Reserves in what they do.

Want more Reserve stories delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Enter Now! NERRS FilmFest 2021

Enter Now! NERRS FilmFest 2021

We’ve extended the deadline: Entries for this year’s NERRS Filmfest are now due by October 20.

Our annual meeting may be virtual, but we’re still rolling out the red carpet with prizes, Facebook Premiere on Friday, November 12th at 6PM ET, and eternal fame and glory on NERRA’s Youtube channel!

This year we’re introducing a new category: change communications. We know the System is filled with creative NERRds who are always thinking about better ways to communicate about climate change and its impact on the places we love. We want you to wow us with films that show how Reserves are changing and showcase the work you do to make them and coastal communities more resilient.

Not only will submitting your film make you a superstar in the eyes of NERRds everywhere, but there will be prizes! All Filmfest contestants will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo drone, compliments of NERRA and Roca Communications. Premiere participants also can compete to win a piece of NERRA swag.

The contest is open to all non-professional videographers. Films should be less than 5 minutes and can be clips from longer films. The goal is to highlight Reserves, our partners, and the amazing coastal resources we protect. Film selection will be by a panel of judges.

The stakes have been raised, so don’t forget Jace’s tips for a great video:

  • Keep your camera steady
  • Use a tripod
  • Take lots of short clips
  • Have the sun behind you
  • Take more footage than you need
  • Be creative!

Contact Jennifer Plunket or Jace Tunnell if you have any questions or if you’re interested in being a judge at this year’s FilmFest – we’re looking for volunteers.

Want more Reserve stories delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Annual Meeting Highlights 2020

Annual Meeting Highlights 2020

From Maine to Alaska, more than 400 NERRds gathered for our very first virtual annual meeting. While this year’s experience was different, we’re still left with that glow that only time with our NERRS family can bring. Your enthusiasm, camaraderie, and patience made the challenge of planning this meeting worthwhile. We have so many people to thank for making this time together so special, but first and foremost—thank YOU. It took everyone pulling together to make our virtual meeting a success.

Thank You, Plenary Speakers

Our plenary speakers, Parker McMullen-Bushman and J. Drew Lanham of Clemson University, inspired us with their eloquence and vision for building diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice into our work with estuaries and the communities that depend on them.

Thank You, Davidson Fellows

Part of what made this year special was the opportunity to meet our first cohort of Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellows. Thank you, fellows, for introducing yourselves and your projects. We’re looking forward to spending more time with you in the coming years!

Thank You, Sponsors

The NERRS/NERRA Annual Meeting would not be the same without our incredible sponsors. Our heartfelt gratitude to them.

Thank You, Estuary Heroes

In a talented, hardworking group like the NERRS, there is no shortage of outstanding people doing extraordinary things. But this year four super-NERRds stood out in the eyes of their colleagues and the System. Warm congratulations to…

Technical Assistance Award Winners

  • John Haskins, water quality monitoring scientist at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve. “He is the most patient and kind person I have ever worked with… Over 20 years, John has made me and many others believers in the power of water quality monitoring.”
  • Gregg Sakowicz, field researcher at the Jacques Cousteau Reserve. “He is an innovator, teacher, and the most passionate technician I have ever worked with. He does it all!”

Impact Award Winner

  • Atziri Ibanez, formerly the national education coordinator for NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, now at NOAA’s Office for Education. “She’s passionate, hardworking, strategic, inspiring, and a profound role model… Her impact on the Reserve System lives on.”

NERRS-NERRA Award for Outstanding Contribution

  • Coreen Weilminster, education coordinator at Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Reserve. “What is most outstanding is the relentlessness of her commitment, dedication, and passion. She will not accept that a disabled child must wait in the parking lot while her peers have a learning experience in the estuary.”

Thank You, Cinema Buffs

Many of you grabbed the popcorn and joined us on Facebook Live for the seventh NERRS annual filmfest. Watch the replay and individual films on NERRA’s Youtube and don’t forget to follow us! 

Congratulations to the Chesapeake Bay Sentinel Site Cooperative for their winning video, Turning the Tide! They’ve won a GoPro 9 donated by Roca Communications.

These videos create an immediate connection to the special places, people, and programs of the NERRS.  Thank you, cinephilic NERRds, for always showing us in our best light!

Thank You, Auction Team

SOLD! Our incredible donors, auctioneers, and of course, bidders all contributed to a successful NERRA online auction. Kudos to the auction ‘Bidding Bunch’ for finding ways to make this year fun.

If you were an item donor, hold tightwe’ll be in touch with where to ship items to your lucky winners soon.

NERRS Filmfest 2020: Enter Now!

NERRS Filmfest 2020: Enter Now!

Our annual meeting may be going virtual this year, but we’re still rolling out the red carpet for the 2020 NERRS annual filmfest! This festival celebrating Reserves and our coasts will be hosted on Facebook on Friday, October 23. Submit your entry here by October 2.

The contest is open to non-professional videographers and students. Films should be less than 5 minutes and can be clips from longer films. The goal is to highlight Reserves, our partners, and amazing coastal resources we protect. Film selection will be by a panel of judges.

Now more than ever, video is helping us connect across distance to celebrate the special places Reserves protect. To that end, we’ve added two special categories this year:

  • Virtual Road Trip: We may not be able to visit in person, but take us on a virtual tour of your Reserve, and show it off for all us would-be travellers!
  • Gratitude: What are you grateful for? Submit a film showing your appreciation for your estuary or for the people who protect it!

Not only will submitting your film make you a superstar in the eyes of NERRds everywhere, but this year, for the very first time, Roca Communications+ is offering a prize of a new GoPro camera to the overall filmfest winner!!!!

The stakes have been raised, so don’t forget Jace’s tips for a great video:

  • Keep your camera steady
  • Use a tripod
  • Take lots of short clips
  • Have the sun behind you
  • Be creative!

Questions?

Contact Jennifer Plunket or Jace Tunnell.

Annual Meeting 2019 Highlights

Annual Meeting 2019 Highlights

How many NERRds can fit in a photo? Infinite. Photos courtesy NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, Elkhorn Slough’s Dave Feliz, and other awesome NERRds.

High on our gratitude list is everyone who helped make this year’s NERRS/NERRA Annual Meeting in Charleston such an energizing experience. Thanks to our fantastic hosts from the ACE Basin and North Inlet-Winyah Bay Reserves and NOAA’s conference support team and to every NERRd who really brought it this year.

That includes you! Your enthusiasm and camaraderie are what make this gathering of our national family so special. Where else can we connect with so many colleagues who really get it? Who not only understand the work we do, but are full of ideas and experiences that we can use when we get back “to the office”?

Thank you field trip leaders!

It wouldn’t be a NERRS meeting if we spent the week in a conference room and it wouldn’t be a NERRS field trip if we didn’t pack in a little learning or habitat building. Thank you to the South Carolina team who created so many opportunities for us to experience your beautiful coasts—and the critters that live there!

Thank you sponsors!

Our meeting would not be the same without our incredible sponsors. Our heartfelt gratitude to them.

Thank you super NERRds!

Well-deserved! Congratulations to award recipients Sue Bickford (front left) and Erica Seiden (front right).

In a talented, hardworking group like the NERRS, there is no shortage of outstanding people doing extraordinary things. But this year four super-NERRds stood out in the eyes of their colleagues and the System. Warm congratulations to…

  • Erica Sieden, ecosystem services manager at NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management and recipient of the NERRS/NERRA award —the highest honor we confer. “As much as we honor the work she’s done, we are especially grateful for how she does it,” says Rebecca Roth, Executive Director of NERRA. “Her most inspiring leadership skill is how she puts people first, and in turn helps us all build a reservoir of gratitude.”
  • Sue Bickford, director of stewardship and GIS services at Maine’s Wells Reserve and recipient of the NERRS Impact Award.  From the GIS Center she founded at Wells 20 years ago, Sue has produced thousands of maps, educated many of us about how to use them effectively, and pushed the NERRS to stay on the cutting-edge of technology including unmanned aerial systems and soundscape ecology.
  • Kim Cressman, SWMP Coordinator at the Grand Bay Reserve, received a NERRS technical award, not only for her skills as a scientist, but for always working to increase technical knowledge and share that with others. As noted by a peer, “Kim’s contributions cannot be over-emphasized and her dedication and passion for learning and sharing knowledge will help the Reserve system continue to grow.”
  • Jeremy Miller, SWMP Coordinator at Wells Reserve, received a NERRS technical award for his contribution to the success of SWMP and Sentinel Sites. He has leveraged the NERRS technical toolbox to help many Reserves understand, improve, and expand their monitoring programs.

Thank you NERRS Videographers!

Enjoy this year’s People’s Choice winner River Rovers at the Lake Superior Estuarium.

Now in its sixth year, the NERRS Film Fest showcased amazing video talent and drew NERRDy film buffs  from across the System. Congratulations to all of our winners— we’ll be sharing your videos on NERRA’s Youtube channel. And many thanks to our intrepid organizers Jen Plunket of South Carolina’s North Inlet-Winyah Bay Reserve and Jace Tunnel from Texas’s Mission-Aransas Reserve. We couldn’t do this without you—and we’ll bring the popcorn next year.

Congratulations to this year’s Film Fest award winners!

Thank you extraordinary auctioneers!

Auctioneers Becky Swerida, Chesapeake Bay Reserve-Maryland, and Chris Bowser, Hudson River Reserve, work the room.

SOLD! Our incredible donors, auctioneers, and of course, bidders all contributed to the most successful NERRA auction ever. And we know this didn’t happen by accident—kudos to our auction committee who continues to find ways to make each year better than the last: Nik Charov, Chris Bowser, Coreen Weilminster, Maggie Pletta, Jace Tunnell, Sue Bickford, and Pete Wiley. 

Also, thanks to Becky Swerida, Christina Whiteman, Dave Feliz, Jen West, Lisa Auermuller, Cory Riley, Anne Cox, Adrianne Harrison, Todd Bochholz, Jen Read, Brandon Puckett, Jessica Shepard, Jessica McIntosh, Jessica Kinsella, Abi Locatis Prochaska, Andrew Thomas, Olivia Bueno, Mary Ellen Williams, and all the others who chipped in at the last minute whenever and wherever help was needed.  You all rock! 

 

Worth a thousand words

Hasta la vista, Jobos Bay comrades. We look forward to seeing you and everyone else in Washington State next year!

Last but not least, we appreciate everyone who snapped photos and took the time to share them on social media (we’re looking at you Beth Thomas and Deborah Rudd!). Every family album needs lots of candids. Want to rekindle the Annual Meeting glow? Check out the annual meeting photo gallery from our veteran photographer, Dave Feliz, manager of the Elkhorn Slough Reserve and the one from Hansje Gold-Krueck from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management.

NERRS Annual Meeting