The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve

The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR) is one of 30 National Estuarine Research Reserves across the country whose goal is to establish, protect, and manage natural estuarine habitats for research, education, and coastal stewardship.

DNREC manages the Reserve under a regularly updated, five-year Reserve Management Plan.

The DNERR has two main components:

These sites include both brackish and freshwater estuaries, and represent the diverse estuarine ecosystems found throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

Learn more about research and monitoringeducationcoastal trainingstewardship efforts and volunteer opportunities at the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve.

The reserve grounds are open from dawn to dusk. 

Mission and History

Delaware’s reserve was established in 1993, and is a cooperative program between the State of Delaware and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The mission of the DNERR is to preserve and manage natural resources through coastal stewardship within the Reserve as a place for research, and for providing education and outreach programs that promote better understanding of Delaware’s estuarine and coastal areas, and to promote informed coastal decision-making.

Read more about the focus and goals of DNREC’s DNERR program in the 2022-2027 DNERR Management Plan.