National Estuaries Week will be observed this year from September 15 to 22. Reserves will be hosting numerous fun and educational events throughout the week to build awareness of the important benefits provided by estuaries. Click on the map below to find out more about events that are planned in your area! If you’re planning an event, add it to the map.
When you visit a National Estuarine Research Re
Looking to plan a National Estuaries Day or Week event? Potential activities include beach or river sweeps, guided estuary tours, festivals focused on estuary education, and photo contests. Below are just a few ideas for events that would highlight estuaries:
- 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.
- Take a field trip to a local reserve or preserve—many have public access or offer guided tours for kayaking, birding, hiking, and many other outdoor activities. Check your local reserve or National Estuary Program website to see what’s available.
- Sponsor a local naturalist or historian to provide a guided tour or lecture.
- Host a book reading and signing by local authors that have written works about estuaries or coastal issues. Your local reserve, local bookstores, and book clubs should be able to give you leads on persons to contact.
- Have a film festival showcasing nature videos about estuaries or the plants and animals that depend on them.
- Hold a cleanup in an estuary near you. Just make sure to get any necessary permits ahead of time.
- Sign up for a monitoring or stewardship program, such as being a sea turtle volunteer or helping with an oyster restoration project, or a terrapin tally. Check with a reserve near you to see what you can do.
- Find resources for highlighting estuaries in the classroom at coast.noaa.gov/estuaries.
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, the reserve system takes advantage of National Estuaries Day to launch an annual week-long campaign to increase public awareness of estuaries—and to encourage people to become involved in stewardship of these important natural resources.