The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (South Slough NERR) is a 5,000 acre natural area located in the Coos estuary on the south coast of Oregon. The Reserve was designated in 1974 as the first unit of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), a network of estuarine habitats protected and managed for the purposes of long-term research, education, and coastal stewardship. Established by Congress in 1972 as part of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), the NERRS is administered as a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the coastal states. In particular, South Slough NERR is affiliated with both NOAA and the Oregon Department of State Lands. The Reserve’s immediate governing body is the South Slough NERR Management Commission whose members are appointed by the Governor of Oregon.
South Slough NERR encompasses a mixture of open water channels, tidal and freshwater wetlands, riparian areas, and forested uplands. The Reserve supports and coordinates research, education, and stewardship programs which serve to enhance a scientific and public understanding of estuaries and contribute to improved estuarine management. Over the past 37 years, South Slough NERR has grown in the depth and scope of its programs and developed facilities to meet the needs of visitors and staff.