NEERS today


NEERS is a non-profit organization with a wide ranging membership from scientific institutions, federal agencies, state agencies, municipal agencies, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. The purpose of the society is to bring together persons actively engaged in estuarine and coastal research and management for informal discussion and exchange of ideas.

NEERS meets twice a year in the spring and fall. Meetings usually commence with a special session or symposium to focus upon issues of a topical or regional nature. This is followed by 1 1/2 days of regular meetings.

NEERS acknowledges that todays students are tomorrows estuarine scientists and managers and so supports students, both undergraduate and graduate in a variety of ways. The informal nature of meetings provides a unique opportunity for students to present their research and gain valuable experience in refining their skills at organizing data, developing succinct presentations and public speaking. Oral presentations are judged and the best undergraduate and graduate presentations receive an award. In addition, the Society created an award for the best undergraduate and graduate poster. Travel awards are provided to students to support their travel to and participation in NEERS and CERF meetings.

bird watchers at Race Point, NEERS field trip NEERS meeting poster session NEERS meeting poster session NEERSighted Band in action

How it all started...


At the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Chicago in the winter of 1948-49, Nelson Marshall and Willard A. Van Engel of the Virginia Fisheries Laboratory, and L. Eugene Cronin of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, noted over breakfast "that there was no effective means of communication among (their) associates in the coastal area of the Chesapeake region and the Carolinas, that interdisciplinary exchange would be good for all of the scientists of the region and that improvement in exchange was highly desirable." A committee consisting of Van Engel, Cronin, and L. A. Walford of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was established to investigate ways to address these concerns. On April 23-24, 1949, twenty-two scientists from the Chesapeake/Carolina area met at the University of North Carolina laboratory in Morehead City, North Carolina, to form a new association which was called the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society (AERS). The purpose of AERS is the promotion of "the informal discussion and exchange of ideas upon estuarine and related research problems centering in the Chesapeake-Carolina area."

Evolution of the Society


Over the next two decades the number of marine programs along the Atlantic coast increased dramatically. By the Fall of 1969, it was apparent that regional societies were warranted to accommodate marine scientists outside the mid-Atlantic region, and AERS "voted to allow organization of regional sections of the society." Johnes K. Moore of Salem State College invited 26 marine colleagues to meet with the intention of creating a New England section of AERS. Twenty-three invitees replied and 20 attended an organizational meeting held in the Faculty Lounge at Salem State College at 10:00 AM on December 13, 1969 which led to the creation of the New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS). The inaugural meeting was held at the then recently completed University of New Hampshire New England Conference Center in Durham, New Hampshire, in the Spring of 1970.

In 1971, AERS and NEERS agreed to form a broader organization, the Estuarine Research Federation (since renamed the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation), to encourage estuarine and coastal research in the United States and other countries. The inaugural meeting was held at the Holiday Inn, Plainview, Long Island, New York. Adelphi University hosted the meeting. The first program was four pages and there were a mere 30 presentations! Chosen as the first President of ERF was L. Eugene Cronin, who had been the first President of AERS 22 years earlier. In July, 1971, the members of NEERS voted 73-1 to approve ERF's Constitution. ERF meetings are held in the Fall of odd-numbered years. Today, there are 7 affiliate societies, listed to the right.

In 1978, the Federation assumed responsibility for a regional journal titled Chesapeake Science which had been initiated in 1960 by Romeo J. Mansueti and published by the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. The journal was later renamed Estuaries and enlarged and improved in a new format. In 2006, the journal was renamed Estuaries and Coasts to better represent its content. NEERS member Scott Nixon served as an Co-Editor in Chief from 1988 through 2005.

Our Friends

Coastal & Estuarine
Research Federation


Atlantic Estuarine
Research Society


Southeastern Estuarine
Research Society


Gulf Estuarine
Research Society


Pacific Estuarine
Research Society


California Estuarine
Research Society


Atlantic Canada Coastal
Estuarine Science Society