National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR)

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In addition to academic institutions, the ECSC collaborates with three NERR sites (Apalachicola, Grand Bay and Mission-Aransas) and intends on collaborating with Flower Garden Banks Marine Sanctuary (FGBMS) - all of which are deeply involved in science and policy issues in the Gulf of Mexico regions. Besides providing site-based research opportunities, the collaborations increase opportunities for our students to learn about current management practices and issues affecting the Gulf region.

Over the past 10 years, we have built a strong partnership with several NERRs. A number of ECSC student thesis and dissertation projects, as well as postdoctoral research have been performed at NERR sites, in collaboration with NERR scientists and managers.

We presently maintain full-time field research coordinators and boats at three sites to foster and facilitate research activities.  To find out more information about each NERR site and the FGBMS, please visit the links below.

The Apalachicola NERR is a joint partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The second largest Research Reserve in the country at 246,000 acres...

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The Grand Bay NERR is a large, pristine, intact estuary which supports a highly diverse floral and faunal community. This site encompasses about 7,446 acres and is one of the largest estuarine systems in Mississippi.

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The Mission-Aransas NERR (185,708 acres or 751.5 km2) is located in the Mission-Aransas Estuary. The lands within the Reserve are managed by a combination of state, federal and private entities.

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What is an estuary?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (2015), "an estuary is a body of water formed where freshwater from rivers and streams flows into the ocean, mixing with the seawater".

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