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Coastal Training Program

Every day, people make decisions that affect the natural, cultural and aesthetic resources of their coasts. Sound coastal stewardship requires that people regularly making decisions about estuaries and coastal wetlands have the best available science at their fingertips. The South Slough Reserve strives to keep decision-makers informed of the latest science about estuaries and coastal wetlands through the Coastal Training Program.

The program provides public information and technical assistance training and for decision-makers through workshops, field trips, classes and other outreach. The program also facilitates discussion and collaboration among decision-makers and opportunities to work with partners to better understand the role of human activity in the coastal environment.

Who are coastal decision makers?

  • Land and water resource managers  
  • Community planners 
  • Wetland restoration specialists 
  • Watershed council workers and volunteers 
  • Community members

Current offerings

​From Field to Table – Stories In Mapping

The Symposium By the Sea is an annual day of training and professional exchange on the Oregon Coast. This symposium will present stories of how information is being collected and mapped in the field using a wide array of tools, including smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices. We will also explore how to create effective maps and how maps can be used to weave data from different sources into compelling stories.

Call For Presentations​

We invite people from all fields—planning, engineering, GIS, environmental science, journalism, marketing, to name a few—to share their experiences using mobile devices to collect and present different types of data. We seek presentations that explore some of the tablet and smartphone apps and tools available online for collecting data or designing custom forms to make the data more useful; that examine the advantages and limitations of using smartphones or tablets to collect data for a geographic information system. The symposium will be less a course in cartography and more an exploration of storytelling. We seek presentations that approach mapmaking as storytelling, highlight best map-making and story-telling practices, or impart skills and techniques that can help to make visually stunning presentations.

Presenters will be invited to join the audience in a closing panel discussion to consider how various organizations are using smartphones, tablets, and visualization tools and technologies to improve maps and mapping.

* Early registration ends 11 p.m. Sept. 15, 2017. Registration after Sept. 15 is $35.

Continuing education credit from the American Institute of Certified Planners.


Encouraged by a successful training program developed in 1988 at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Florida, in 1993 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration adopted the Florida model as a blueprint for a new Coastal Training Program for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Coastal management training workshops began at 11 National Estuarine Research Reserves, including South Slough NERR. Each reserve identified specific, unmet needs for training related to the estuaries in its region, identified affected audiences and began developing training strategies.

Coastal training programs are now running at 23 of 27 National Estuarine Research Reserves throughout the nation.


A guiding principal of the South Slough Reserve is to seek the advice and partnership of others to incorporate their ideas in Reserve projects. Partnerships play an important role in the CTP. Partners have included:

Class photo



John Bragg
Coastal Training Program Coordinator
Phone: 541-888-5558 Ext. 129

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