Restore America's Estuaries is dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries as essential resources for our nation.



Originally conceived with support from the Pew Charitable Trusts to focus on actions that would directly restore estuarine habitats, Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) was created in 1995 by nine nonprofit, community-based conservation organizations working to save our coastal heritage. In 1997, the group added two more partners for a total of eleven member organizations. From 1995 until shortly after it was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia on December 14, 1999, RAE operated as a project of the American Littoral Society. In June 2000, the IRS granted RAE status as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. (To see a timeline of our history, Click Here)

RAE Today

Today, RAE member organizations restore coastal habitats in 11 estuaries and 16 states nationwide. Because our member groups stretch from Maine to California, we have unmatched national reach and effectiveness. Our projects restore coastal wetlands, open fish passages, remove invasive species, build living shorelines, transplant seagrasses, re-plant salt marshes, and restore shellfish habitat. 

As the leader of a national alliance, we are a powerful force for coastal habitat restoration in the nation's capital. We provide a unified voice for coastal conservation in Washington D.C., and advance the science and practice of habitat restoration through on-the-ground projects, groundbreaking science, high-level meetings, and our biennial National Conference. 

RAE Member Groups

Today, Restore America's Estuaries has united ten key organizations throughout the nation dedicated to the preservation of our country's estuaries. Member organizations include:                                                                   

The American Littoral Society         North Carolina Coastal Federation     Tampa Bay Watch

Chesapeake Bay Foundation           Galveston Bay Foundation          Save the Bay - San Francisco

Coalition to Restore Coastal LA       EarthCorps                                   Save the Bay - Narragansett Bay

Save the Sound        


 rae member map by section web

National Events

RAE co-hosts two major national events: National Estuaries Week and Summit. Since the first National Estuaries Day in 1988, scientific advancements and extensive projects have stressed the importance of estuaries to our coastal areas. National Estuaries Week occurs in late September across the nation, giving people the chance to appreciate their local estuaries by participating in events like canoeing, photography contests, clean-ups, and more! (To learn more about National Estuaries Week, Click Here)

The National Summit on Coastal and Esuarine Restoration, is a conference held every two years by RAE and The Coastal Society. It is the largest gathering of the coastal management and coastal restoration community and is held for six days biennially in major cities around the country. The conference explores innovative ideas and current issues in the world of coastal management, and is comprised of workshops, field sessions, a community restoration event, and more. (To find out how to sponsor or support our 8th National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration in 2016, Click Here)


Accomplishments and Future Goals

Through extensive projects and community events, Restore America's Estuaries has effectively changed the course of the future of our nation's estuaries. We have advanced, funded, and implemented on-the-ground restoration projects on a national basis, addressed emerging issues, including climate change and estuary economics, and united the coastal restoration community, key government decision-makers, and citizens behind coastal and estuarine habitat restoration issues. In the future, we hope to continue these widespread conservation efforts in order to preserve our nation's estuarine habitats for the enjoyment of future generations to come.