National Estuaries Week


National Public Lands Day is pleased to partner with National Estuaries Week.  This year marks the 25th Anniversary of National Estuaries Week. Normally a one day event, National Estuaries Day has been extended into a week-long series of celebrations taking place from September 23-29.

An estuary is where the river meets the sea. Freshwater from rivers and streams mixes with ocean salt water to produce a highly productive ecosystem that is important for plant and animal life. Estuaries serve as breeding grounds for birds and fish, including over 75 percent of all seafood harvested in the U.S. Some commonly known estuaries include:

  • Chesapeake Bay (the largest estuary in the U.S.)
  • Hudson River (New York City is at the heart of the estuary)
  • Mississippi River (where the river meets the Gulf Coast)

To learn more about the biology, cycles and locations of estuaries in the U.S., visit NOAA's website.


Celebrate National Estuaries Week!Volunteers cleaning estuary.

National Estuaries Week was created to teach the public about estuaries and the many threats facing coastal habitats. Pollution, development, invasive species, climate change and over-fishing are endangering estuaries and impacting the wildlife and people who rely on the habitat for their survival. From September 23-29, individuals and families are encouraged to take some time to think about the importance of estuaries and what every American can do to help protect them for the long-term.

With NPLD occuring during National Estuaries Week, volunteer projects can be focused on helping protect estuaries:

  • Stream clean-ups
  • Tree plantings
  • Erosion prevention projects
  • Invasive species removal

Site managers including an educational component in their NPLD activities can celebrate National Estuaries Day with lessons on watersheds, water quality and estuary wildlife.

The primary sponsors of National Estuaries Week are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Restore America's Estuaries and the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association.

      NERRA Logo            Restore America's Estuaries logo