National Estuaries Week
National Estuaries Week (NEW) is a nationwide celebration of our bays and estuaries and the many benefits they provide to local communities. Each year, hundreds of organizations throughout the country host local events in celebration of National Estuaries Week, from beach cleanups and marsh restoration events, to kayaking tours. We create awareness around our estuaries through social media and engaged citizens.
The goals of National Estuaries Week include:
- To create broad public awareness and support for our nation’s estuaries and coasts
- To encourage active engagement and participation with local estuaries through volunteer and educational events
- To communicate the value and importance of our estuaries and coasts to key decision makers at the local and federal levels
National Estuaries Week 2019: September 14-21
Last year's celebration of National Estuaries Week, the 30th anniversary, was a huge success. Organizations and volunteers from across the country gathered at their local bays, riverfronts, and classrooms to celebrate and learn about the importance of our estuaries and how they benefit our daily lives. More than 30,000 volunteers across 21 states, Canada, and Guam participated in over 105 events. We garnered the most engagement ever on social media – on Twitter alone we had more than 1,200 mentions of #EstuariesWeek and a potential reach of more than 6 million.
Can we top it this year?
National Estuaries Week is all about celebrating the benefits of our coasts and estuaries in a way that matters to you. Perhaps your organization wants to provide clean and safe recreation space for local families; maybe you're a part of a school group and would like to organize a clean-up; or you could even be a fisherman looking to attract new business. Whatever your passion, NEW can help you celebrate and promote your estuary like never before.
National Estuaries Week, which first began as National Estuaries Day, was founded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1988 as part of Coastweeks. While Coastweeks was a broad celebration of our nation’s coasts, National Estuaries Day was created to specifically focus on estuaries, with a mission to encourage citizens to explore and appreciate their local estuaries. For many years in the 1990s, NOAA and EPA hosted National Estuaries Day events both locally and nationally. But when federal support declined, the event disappeared for some time with no national effort to hold it together.
Around 2007, Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) saw the opportunity to revive National Estuaries Day. RAE partnered with organizations like the Association of National Estuary Programs (ANEP), the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association (NERRA), and NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management (NOAA OCM), to grow National Estuaries Day, soon overtaking its original reach. It became clear that one day was not enough time to host celebratory events, and many organizations expressed disappointment over not be able to participate. National Estuaries Day became National Estuaries Week in 2013 to provide more opportunities for activities and celebration. Celebrated every third week in September, National Estuaries Week continues to be a unique opportunity to come together and raise awareness for our estuaries and coasts.