Estuaries and their surrounding wetlands are bodies of water usually found where rivers meet the sea. Estuaries are home to unique plant and animal communities that have adapted to brackish water—a mixture of fresh water draining from the land and salty seawater. Estuaries are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. Many animals rely on estuaries for food, places to breed, and migration stopovers.
Estuaries are delicate ecosystems. Congress created the National Estuarine Research Reserve System to protect more than one million acres of estuarine land and water. These estuarine reserves provide essential habitat for wildlife, offer educational opportunities for students, and serve as living laboratories for scientists.
Ocean Today is an interactive exhibit that plays short videos on ocean related themes. Visitors can select from 200+ videos on topics ranging from deep-‐sea exploration, marine species, and restoration projects to hurricanes, oceans and human health, and climate science and research. These videos are a free resource and are available on our website at oceantoday.noaa.gov.
The Ocean Today kiosk was originally developed for the Sant Ocean Hall -- a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Ocean Today kiosks are now located at 37 aquaria, science centers, museums, and visitor centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the U.K. To learn more about the program or to get a kiosk at your facility, visit our website.