Thursday, August 23, 2012

National Estuaries Day Events

Are you planning an event for National Estuaries Day?  If so, let us know about it by posting in comments here or emailing Cindy or Rebecca.  

As an annual celebration of critical estuarine habitats, National Estuaries Day is a great opportunity to provide information to the general public but also to engage your local, state and federal politicians in your reserve.  We would like to hear more about what you are doing at your reserve!

National Estuaries Day is celebrated every last Saturday of the month of September - September 29th this year. Here is a little more information taken from the Estuary Education web site -  

  • National Estuaries Day was established in 1988 as part of Coast Weeks, this annual event is the inspiration for all of those who love and care for our nation’s estuaries.
  • The purpose of National Estuaries Day is to promote the importance of estuaries and the need to protect them.
  • It is also the occasion for a public-awareness campaign to inform people from coast to coast about their connection to these beautiful places and how they can encourage its healthy future.
  • Countless National Estuaries Day activities occur nationwide, from photography contests in Florida, canoe trips in Washington, estuary clean-ups in North Carolina, exhibits at state capitals, guided estuary tours in Texas, to festivals in California.
  • Since its inception in 1988, National Estuary Day has strengthened the partnership between the National Estuary Program (NEP) and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS). The two programs protect more than 50 estuarine habitats that have been federally designated as living resources.
  • Help spread the word that estuaries are vital to migratory species; provide critical habitat for a variety of marine plants and animals; help prevent coastal erosion; are important recreational and tourist destinations; and that estuaries are critical for our future and the health of the oceans. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Subcommittee to messaging / social media

We received support for the idea from Friends and Foundations and from the NERRA Board to pursue creating postcards that can be sent to legislators in support of our reserves.  Check out the example from Misson-Aransas TX NERR on our resources and document page.  

We are creating a subcommittee to assist with the development of the postcard and the idea of possibly using social media as an outlet.  If you would be interested in joining us for one or two meetings to help brainstorm ideas, please let me know.  

We hope that a few of you will be able to join us!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer Break for our Monthly Webinar Series.

We will be taking a summer break from our weekly webinar series this month.  We will continue the series next month with our September 18th meeting.  

Our monthly webinar series offers a way to connect with other friends organizations and foundations and to learn more about relevant topics.  Our meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 2:00 - 3:00PM ET.  We hope you will be able to join us in September!

Monday, August 6, 2012

New Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum!

Inspiring people to learn about & protect our nation’s estuaries

Who? NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR) and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are pleased to announce.

What? Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum, a new online multi-media science curriculum for grades 5-8th

Why? This curriculum provides interactive learning tools to teach fundamental concepts in science and develop scientific thinking skills, while helping students discover and virtually explore the nation's biologically rich estuaries.

Where? It is available free on the site in easy to access teacher downloads.

When? Available NOW!

Don't miss an opportunity to use this curriculum that engages students in real NERR research and monitoring through interactive classroom activities and user-friendly real time water quality and weather data exercises. Videos, simulations, teacher activity downloads, and interactive maps are all available to further help students visualize the inner workings of an estuary.


Learn more.
·        Background information and a short video clip click here.
·        Teacher on the Estuary training opportunities using this curriculum click here.

Thank you!
Atziri Ibanez, Bree Murphy and all 28 Education Coordinators from NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserve System

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Friends of the GTM Reserve need your help today!

Post from Christine Rich, President, Friends of the GTM NERR

The Friends of the GTM NERR would like to urgently request your support in voicing input to the Federal Government as it finalizes the Fort Matanzas Management Plan. This is a national monument run by the U.S. Parks service.  We have come out in support of one of the stated options which does not include beach driving in certain areas adjacent to the Reserve.  We’d like to ask you to visit the Fort Matanzas Management Plan website and state your preferences, particularly endorsing Option B. For more information, please see the Friends of the GTM Reserve Official Statement below.

This is one way to help ensure that real science and the opinions of those with a shared stake in the preservation of pristine natural resources are used to influence the decision-making process.

Comments can be made online at the comments page of the National Park Service site.   

Friends of the GTM Reserve Official Statement to the NPS
The waters on the estuary side of the Matanzas Inlet are within the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (“Research Reserve”) boundaries. Research conducted by the Research Reserve staff has shown that the water quality of the Matanzas Inlet is some of the most pristine in Northeast Florida. The Friends agree that “Alternative B” creates the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degradation or risk of other undesirable consequences due to the continued prohibition against driving on the beach south of the Matanzas ramp. The preservation of the water quality is important to the Friends because it serves the interests of the Reserve’s research and also enhances the quality of water-based recreational activities, including, boating and fishing which take place in the estuary adjacent to the Monument. Additionally, “Alternative B”, will increase environmental interpretation which will create enhanced educational opportunities for visitors to understand the area’s natural environment.

The Friends do not support “Alternative C" as proposed in the Fort Matanzas National Monument Management Plan. The Friends do support the variety of existing beach experiences a visitor can have within the boundaries of the Research Reserve and in St. Johns County. There are 16.7 miles of beaches available for visitor access by motor vehicle in St. Johns County. The Friends do not support “Alternative C” and its potential to allow for beach driving at the Monument due to the adjacent estuary's high water quality, the unique and changing coastal ecosystem at the Matanzas Inlet and the potential for negative effects on wildlife and public safety.