The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) consists of estuarine areas of the United States and its territories designated and managed for research and educational purposes (Reserve).
Each Reserve within the NERRS is chosen to represent a different bio-geographic region and to include
a variety of ecosystem types in accordance with the classification scheme of the national program as specified in 15 C.F.R.
Part 92 1. By funding Reserve lead agencies and universities to conduct land acquisition and construction projects that support the NERRS mission, NOAA will strengthen protection of key land and water areas, enhance long-term protection of Reserve areas for research and education, and provide for facility and exhibit construction activities that meet the highest sustainable design standards possible.
Each Reserve supports a wide range of beneficial uses important to ecological, economic, recreational, and aesthetic values, which are dependent upon the maintenance of a healthy ecosystem.
The sites provide habitats for a wide range of ecologically and commercially important species of fish, shellfish, birds, and other aquatic and terrestrial wildlife.
Each Reserve was designated to ensure its effectiveness as a conservation unit and as a site for long-term research and monitoring.
In maintaining their effectiveness, the Reserves may find it necessary to expand their boundaries through strategically planned land acquisitions and/or to develop or enhance their reserve facilities, including their in-situ monitoring infrastructure, to meet the demands of research, monitoring, and education program objectives.