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National Estuaries Week

National Estuaries Week

Enjoy these unique ecosystems where rivers meet the sea

National Estuaries Week Take in the wetland wildlife during National Estuaries Week (Andrew George/Share the Experience)

What You’ll Find

An opportunity to learn and celebrate critical coastal habitats on National Estuaries Week, September 20 to 27, 2014, culminating with National Estuaries Day on the last Saturday of September. National Estuaries Week (and Day) promote the importance of estuaries—where fresh water meets the salt water of the ocean—and the need to protect them. It is also a time for people from coast to coast to learn about their connection to these inspirational bays, sounds, lagoons and sloughs and perhaps to enjoy them by boating, swimming, hiking, birding, fishing, crabbing, or digging clams and oysters!

Getting There

First, find an estuary near you! Then find an event—National Estuaries Week events occur nationwide, such as photography contests, canoe trips, estuary clean-ups, exhibits at state capitals, guided estuary tours or public festivals.

Make Sure You

Learn more about estuaries while you explore them with family or friends. Each year, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System organizes special events in bays or estuaries. You might join a guided walk or hike, a canoe or kayak tour or an educational cruise. You can also explore on your own at any time of the year. If you aren’t near the coast, you can still view the Estuary Education website’s video gallery.

Try This

Use the interactive map on the National Estuaries Week website to find an event near you. You’ll also find a complete listing of events below the map. Choose from hands-on restoration events (like beach clean-ups) or take advantage of an educational workshop, class or program.

Eat This

Estuaries produce more food per acre than the most productive mid-western farmland. About 86% of recreational fishing trips occur within 10 miles of the shoreline (in and around estuaries) and 75% of commercial species, including shrimp, oysters and crabs depend upon estuaries for living, breeding and nursery areas. Learn more about the economics of estuaries.

Did You Know?

Estuaries are abundant with life! It’s no wonder that marine mammal viewing, birding, fishing, crabbing and clamming are such popular activities. Estuaries can support many different animals and plants because they offer different habitats, from the water, to oyster reefs, coral reefs, kelp, rocky shores and bottoms, soft shores and bottom, coastal marshes, mangroves, deepwater swamps and riverine forests.