In 1988, educators at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Florida began a series of bimonthly training workshops to assist coastal managers and other decision makers participating in planning and regulation of Florida's shores. Eventually these training workshops were expanded to provide similar services throughout the state.
Encouraged by the program's early success, 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 around the nation.
The National Estuarine Research Reserves have gained valuable experience in developing and conducting technical training, and have initiated networks and dialogue with hundreds of decision makers within their respective communities.