Together again, at last!

Nov 28, 2022

Photos thanks to our official NERRd photographer (and Elkhorn Slough Reserve manager) Dave Feliz. Have some great annual meeting pics to share? Send them our way at!

NERRds from 25 states and territories gathered in Seattle, Washington for our first in person annual meeting in three years! Although we persevered (and sometimes thrived) in the Zoom world, there’s nothing like the real thing. 

So many people worked hard to make this meeting such a special event, but most of all we’d like to thank YOU. This meeting wouldn’t have been possible without you bringing your best, NERRDiest self to share the amazing work your Reserve has been doing and to work together to move our System forward.

Thank You, Sponsors

This year’s generous sponsors were In-Situ, HOBO, NERRS Science Collaborative, YSI, PEW, and Lynker. We are deeply grateful for your support at our conference and partnership with the NERRS throughout the year.

Thank You, Plenary Speakers

Our conference started off with a warm welcome from Joenne McGerr, program manager at the Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelands and Environmental Assistance, Patti Gobin, knowledge keeper for the Tulalip Tribes, and Joe Gaydos, science director at the SeaDoc Society. Thanks to all of you for inspiring us to make stronger partnerships, revel in the natural wonder of the Puget Sound, and above all, never forget that the “salmon and the eelgrass have no voice except for us.”

Thank You, Super NERRds

While there is no shortage of NERRS folks who do extraordinary work, we recognized a few special NERRds who have consistently gone above and beyond to support the mission of their Reserve and our national System.

This year, we presented Rebecca Ellin, manager of the North Carolina Reserve, with the NERRS/NERRA Award, the highest honor our System can bestow. Rebecca is a true leader at her Reserve and in the System. A former NERRS graduate fellow, she was instrumental in the development of the Margaret A Davidson Felllowship, and she is a trusted mentor for new Reserve managers. As a natural boundary spanner, she brings insight and equanimity to groups like NOAA’s Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team. She combines a clear vision of growth with a “full of heart” management approach to elevate her Reserve in broader coastal management policy work and further its impact to the benefit of North Carolina.

We also awarded the Margaret A. Davidson Fellowship Award to four fellows who personified the NERRS spirit. Throughout their fellowships, they demonstrated innovation, challenged the norm, motivated and mentored others, and performed random acts of kindness and caring! Congratulations to Nancy Torres (Tijuana River Reserve), Derek Detweiler (Chesapeake Bay Reserve, Virginia), Edgar Guerron Orejuela (Kachemak Bay Reserve), and Jessica Brunacini (Wells Reserve). We can’t wait to hear where your NERRS experience takes you!

Thank You, Movie Makers

For the ninth year, we were wowed by the movie makers who contributed to the NERRS Annual Filmfest. Congratulations to the South Slough Reserve for their winning video, Watershed Investigations! Another of their videos, How to trap European Green Crabs, won the Marsh Mud Award for Most Captivating. Additionally, the Sapelo Island Reserve won the Langosta Award for Inspiring Work for their Intro Video and the Mission Aransas Reserve won the DO Award for Presenting Vital Information for their SWMP 2021 video. The Jobos Bay Reserve won the Egret Award for Best Scenery for their video, Cassiopea Study, and the Rookery Award for Conservation Efforts for their video, Bird Monitoring. The Wells Reserve won the Grackle Award for Entertaining Information for Golf Cart Test Drive

If you couldn’t make it, you can still watch the films on NERRA’s Youtube. This is an awesome opportunity to subscribe to our Youtube Channel, while you’re at it 😉

Finally, thank you, auction team.

Going once, going twice and…SOLD! Kudos to this year’s auction team, who found a way to make our third annual (and first in-person) auction just as fun and successful as ever. None of it would have been possible without our amazing donors, auctioneers—and of course, bidders. 

NERRA is proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Coastal Zone Management Act—the legislation that led to the creation of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Want more Reserve stories delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter.

ReservesTogether again, at last!