Increasing Scientific Literacy and Promoting Coastal Stewardship
We engage students and teachers in classroom and field studies that relate to the Reserve’s ongoing research and introduce them to the ecology of marshes, ponds, uplands, and coastal bays as they make observations, record data, and interpret graphs, maps and images. Each class’s investigation is framed in the larger context of issues such as the health of coastal waters, climate change, habitat quality, and biodiversity, and the results provide a valuable basis for discussions of local impacts and appropriate actions to restore and protect coastal environments. The goal of the Community Education Program is to foster behavior change that leads to resource conservation and advances the mission of the Reserve. Community members can take advantage of courses, workshops, and other more informal events to broaden their scientific and practical knowledge on topics including estuarine ecology, fertilizer reduction, ecological landscaping, and organic gardening, energy efficiency, and coastal processes. Field walks and special events raise awareness of the importance of estuaries and inspire sustainable behaviors.
Bringing Estuaries To You – National Estuarine Research Reserve Association – Virtual walkabouts and tours, live “ask-a-naturalist” sessions, videos, story maps, lesson plans, wildlife discovery stories, e-libraries—NERRS educational resources are responsive to a range of interests and learning needs.
National Estuarine Research Reserve System – Estuary Education
This suite of estuary education resources help educators bring estuarine science into the classroom through hands-on learning, experiments, fieldwork, and data explorations. These specially designed lessons, activities, explorations, animations and videos can be used independently or as a supplement to existing curricula and can be adapted to meet any grade level.
Additional Estuary Websites and Activities:
Estuary Quiz: Test Your Estuarine Wisdom
Estuaries: Nature’s Water Filters – animation about how estuaries filter runoff
Estuary Video Gallery: Browse to connect to Reserve’s YouTube Channels
NOAA Satellite and Information: Data In The Classroom – Self-led modules – topics include water quality, sea level rise, and ocean acidification