Estuaries and Watersheds

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National Estuary Program

The National Estuary Program was established in 1987 to identify, restore and protect nationally significant estuaries of the United States. The program focuses not just on improving water quality in an estuary, but on maintaining the integrity of the whole system--its chemical, physical and biological properties as well as its economic, recreational and aesthetic values.

National Estuarine Research Reserves

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERR) is a network of protected areas established to improve the health of the nation's estuaries and coastal habitats by developing and providing information that promotes informed resource management. This website lists all the NERR locations around the country.

National Estuarine Research Reserve Association

The National Estuarine Research Reserve Association (NERRA) site contains the names and descriptions of all of the 27 National Estuarine Research Reserves and their websites. You will find information on exactly what an estuary is and links include news from the System about research, fellowships, education, training and stewardship.

Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

The Great Bay Estuary is a complex embayment on the New Hampshire-Maine border that is composed of the Piscataqua River, Little Bay and Great Bay. Ocean tides and river runoff mix 15 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, making Great Bay one of the most recessed estuaries in the nation.

Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve (WNERR) is a 1600-acre research, education and public recreation facility in Wells, Maine. The coastal views and various wildlife habitats found at the Reserve make it a noted destination for nature photographers and bird watchers.

Rachel Carson Site

Take a virtual field trip to the estuary without getting your feet wet! Visit the Rachel Carson Site of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve, an uninhabited island with saltmarshes, and see live internet images of this unique estuarine environment.

Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership

The Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP) is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Estuary Program (NEP). The NEP is a joint local/state/federal program established under the Clean Water Act to promote the protection and enhancement of important estuarine resources.