Estuary Education

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 curricula, 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.

Map showing marker for each National Estuarine Research Reserve site

Our Reserves

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 Article Thumbnail Image

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...

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Cape Cod Students Learn about Coastal Hazards and Preparedness Article Thumbnail Image

Cape Cod Students Learn about Coastal Hazards and Preparedness

Location: Waquoit Bay

Hurricanes and nor’easters are major hazards that face the coastal communities of Massachusetts. As coastal development increases, less-intense storms...

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Carlton High School Students Conduct Research at Thomson Reservoir Article Thumbnail Image

Carlton High School Students Conduct Research at Thomson Reservoir

Location: Lake Superior Reserve

Since this winter, students in Tracy Bockbrader’s advanced chemistry class have been studying the muck at the bottom of the Thomson Reservoir with the...

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Infographic: Hands-On Learning Fosters Human Connection to Estuaries Article Thumbnail Image

Infographic: Hands-On Learning Fosters Human Connection to Estuaries

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a network of 29 coastal sites designated to protect and study estuary systems and how they respond...

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Animation Demonstrates the Role Estuaries Play in Water Filtration Article Thumbnail Image

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...

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Teachers, Get Muddy at an Estuary Workshop! Article Thumbnail Image

Teachers, Get Muddy at an Estuary Workshop!

Join one of our Teachers on the Estuary workshops at most of our National Estuarine Research Reserve System locations this spring and summer. These...

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