Estuary Education Goes Virtual

The Takeaway: NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System provides online tours, activity books, and more to teachers and students.

NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System keeps estuary education front and center through virtual tours, critter spotlights, and exploration challenges that engage students and provide teachers with classroom material. A few offerings are highlighted below.

  • The ACE Basin Research Reserve in South Carolina offers an online activity book for learning about the estuary, and weekly webinars called the “Bringing the Outside In” series, every Thursday at 3:00 p.m., Eastern Time
  • The Chesapeake Bay Research Reserve-Virginia’s Facebook page hosts lesson plans for middle and high schoolers, plus a kid-friendly virtual story time each Thursday at 10:00 a.m., Eastern Time
  • The Elkhorn Slough Research Reserve in California posts daily virtual walkabouts with companion worksheets, sea otter monitoring through a webcam, and science craft challenges
  • The Guana Tolomato Matanzas Research Reserve on Florida’s Atlantic Coast features self-guided virtual reality tours
  • The Hudson River Research Reserve in New York offers “Virtual River” to satisfy students’ curiosity about the spring migration of American eels, Atlantic sturgeon research, dam removal, and other topics
  • The Jacques Cousteau Research Reserve in New Jersey posts daily learning aids on Facebook that explore estuarine and marine topics
  • The Rookery Bay Research Reserve on Florida’s Gulf Coast hosts virtual education and family activities, such as word searches, videos, quizzes, and worksheets

Virtual estuary education at all 30 research reserves allows students to “tour” these living laboratories in 22 states and Puerto Rico. Visit the full list of estuary education virtual resources. (2020)

More Information: Estuary Education

Partners: The ACE Basin, Chesapeake Bay-Virgina, Elkhorn Slough, Hudson River, Guana Tolomato Matanzas, Jacques Cousteau, and Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserves