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In early August, congressional staff took to the water to see how Reserves protect places and people on Chesapeake Bay.

We’re happy to see members of Congress and their staff beat the DC heat this summer in the best way possible—by visiting Reserves around the country!

A big NERRA thank you to the co-chairs of the Estuaries Caucus—Representatives Bill Posey (FL), Suzanne Bonamici (OR), Rick Larsen (WA), and Brian Mast (FL). Earlier this month, they brought a group of congressional staff to our Maryland Reserve so they could learn how place-based programs build stronger communities.

The outing was hosted by Reserve staff with support from their partners at Patuxent River Park and NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management. Staff from the offices of Representatives Bonamici (OR), Jared Huffman (CA), Frank Pallone (NJ), Alan Lowenthal (CA), Jerry McNerney (CA), and members of the subcommittee for House CJS Appropriations got a hands-on opportunity to learn more about our Reserves and enjoy a beautiful day on Chesapeake Bay.

In the midwest, our Lake Superior Reserve hosted staff from the offices of Senator Tammy Baldwin’s and Representative Pete Stauber’s (MN). Our Great Lakes representatives in Congress have consistently demonstrated that they are true champions of the coasts and our Reserves and we thank them for that!

Colleene Thomas (second from right), senior policy advisor from Senator Baldwin’s office, joined Lake Superior Reserve staff and partners for a trip on the the R2512. This NOAA-supported vessel is used for research, monitoring and education in near-shore environments.

In the Mid Atlantic, the Jacques Cousteau Reserve hosted staff from Senator Cory Booker’s (NJ) office. Alongside tours of the Reserve’s Grassle Trail, Marine Field Station, Life on the Edge exhibit, and the Sandy Marsh restoration site, Booker’s staff gained a new appreciation of the entire Reserve System.

Are you planning to host congressional representatives at your Reserve in the coming months? Let us know at

Two of Senator Booker’s staff—Sea Grant Fellow Ben Hughey and Project Specialist Kaitlin McGuinness (center)—went from ship to shore to learn about monitoring and restoration at our New Jersey Reserve.

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ReservesChesapeake Bay, MarylandDC Download: August 2019