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Celebrate National Estuaries Week!

National Estuaries Week will be observed this year from September 17 to 24. Each year, this week is a celebration of these incredible ecosystems and the benefits estuaries provide, including recreational opportunities, which are especially important to physical and mental health. We encourage you to get out and wade into an estuary near you and enjoy these benefits for yourself!

Don’t forget to participate in our Estuaries Week photo contest! Snap a few photos while visiting a National Estuarine Research Reserve and submit your best 10 to the contest! Visit our contest page for rules and details on how to submit. Find inspiration by checking out the 2021 winning photos.

Wade In!

The 30 national estuarine research reserves are yours to explore. Get outside and go hiking, biking, kayaking, or birding, or find another activity, to see what lies within the waters or trails. Check with your local reserve for details on safety measures and adjusted hours. Below are some additional ways to get involved:

  • Visit Restore America’s Estuaries website to register your National Estuaries Week event or find one to participate in.

  • Join a National Estuarine Research Reserve System friends group. Local friends groups are private nonprofit citizen organizations established to support and enhance environmental education, stewardship of natural and cultural resources, and scientific research of specific research reserves through volunteer initiatives, citizen involvement, and community partnerships. Find a reserve system citizen-support organization near you.

  • Sponsor a local naturalist or historian to provide a guided tour or lecture.

  • Sign up for a monitoring or stewardship program, such as being a sea turtle volunteer or helping with an oyster restoration project or terrapin tally. Check with a reserve near you to see what you can do.

  • Visit our Estuary Education website to find resources for highlighting estuaries in the classroom, including informative videos, lessons, activities, real-life data, and more.

  • Follow #EstuariesWeek on social media to join the conversation and post photos of what you explore as you #WadeIn to an estuary near you.

About National Estuaries Week

National Estuaries Day began in 1988 to promote the importance of estuaries and the need to protect them. In partnership with the National Estuaries Program, National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, Restore America’s Estuaries, and many other organizations, we have extended the festivities to a whole week. National Estuaries Week is an annual celebration and campaign to increase public awareness of estuaries and to encourage people to become involved in the protection of these important natural resources.