Estuaries are invaluable resources for coastal dwellers, whether of fin, fur, or feather. For people, these ecosystems offer protection, recreation, and a wealth of learning opportunities. On this site, educators and estuary enthusiasts will find a variety of resources, including specially developed activities, animations, videos, teacher training workshops, real-time data, and opportunities to volunteer at a local reserve. This information will help educators share the wonders of estuaries with students and others.
The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a network of 29 coastal sites designated to protect and study estuarine systems. Established through the Coastal Zone Management Act, the reserves represent a partnership program between NOAA and the coastal states. Each reserve is a living outdoor classroom that advances estuary and data literacy and provides meaningful, hands-on educational experiences for adults, children, and teachers.
The opportunities are as varied as the locations and include topics such as climate change and building backyard habitats. Educational experiences provide an exciting entryway for people to become actively involved in coastal conservation.
Learn About Reserves Near You
News and Announcements
Bringing Students Closer to Nature through Technology
Location: Guana Tolomato Matanzas Reserve
In an increasingly digital world, educators sometimes struggle to get students to put down their devices and get outside to explore the world of science...
Animation Demonstrates the Role Estuaries Play in Water Filtration
One key component of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System is estuary education, which helps educate students and teachers on the valuable...
Students Become Hudson River Estuary Scientists for a Day
Location: Hudson River Reserve
Each fall, students and educators from New York City to Troy, New York, gather at sites along 160 miles of the Hudson River and New York Harbor to be...
Teachers on the Estuary: Wade In!
Join one of our Teachers on the Estuary workshops at most of our National Estuarine Research Reserve System locations this spring and summer. These...
Virtual Estuary Education
Location: All 29 research reserves
NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System keeps estuary education front and center through virtual tours, critter spotlights, and exploration...
Volunteer at a Reserve Near You
You can contribute in many ways to protect estuaries and conserve their valuable natural resources. No matter what your background or talent, we have volunteer opportunities at every national estuarine research reserve.
Contact your local reserve to learn more about volunteer opportunities.