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Core Principles
Native eelgrass, Zostera marina
Native eelgrass, Zostera marina
The operation of South Slough NERR is based upon a set of Core Principles. These Core Principles include the federal regulations, state policies, strategic planning goals, and the mission, guiding principles, vision, and goals adopted by the South Slough NERR Management Commission to direct the programs and operations of the Reserve over the next five years.

Statutory Basis
South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve is managed through a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL). As one of 27 units in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), operations of the Reserve are guided by the NERRS program goals and state law and policy. Federal Regulations: NERRS Program Goals Federal regulations provide five specific goals for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System:
  1. Ensure a stable environment for research through long-term protection of National Estuarine Research Reserve resources
  2. Address coastal management issues identified as significant through coordinated estuarine research within the System
  3. Enhance public awareness and understanding of estuarine areas and provide suitable opportunities for public education and interpretation
  4. Promote federal, state, public and private use of one or more Reserves within the System when such entities conduct estuarine research
  5. Conduct and coordinate estuarine research within the System, gathering and making available information necessary for improved understanding and management of estuarine areas

South Slough NERR Mission
The mission statement defines why South Slough NERR exists. All Reserve programs and operations should support accomplishment of the mission of South Slough NERR. The mission of the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve is:
To improve the understanding and stewardship of Pacific Northwest estuaries and coastal watersheds.

Guiding Principles
The South Slough NERR Management Commission recognizes that the action plans laid out in this document exist in relation to one another and in the context of external conditions. The
Commission has adopted the following principles to guide the overall approach to the work of South Slough NERR. These principles relate to and reinforce the Reserve’s mission and are descriptive of the values to which program effectiveness can be attributed.
Principle 1
Strengthen the understanding of estuaries in the Pacific Northwest through increased knowledge about South Slough and the Coos estuary.
The Coos estuary and the communities within its watershed should be the primary focus of the Reserve’s research and education activities. By focusing programs on South Slough and the Coos watersheds, the Reserve develops information and expertise that can be used to better understand estuaries and coastal watershed issues throughout the region.
Principle 2
Solicit and incorporate the advice and partnership of others.
South Slough NERR is committed to creating an atmosphere of cooperation and shared vision regarding the work of the Reserve. In the planning stages of a project, the Reserve will request and consider input from diverse sources to ensure the quality of the project and improve the likelihood for success.
Principle 3
Prioritize stewardship of the South Slough estuary.
An intact and functioning estuarine ecosystem is necessary for the long-term research and educational activities of the Reserve. All activities managed or endorsed by the Reserve will be compatible with the mission of the NERR system and with the South Slough NERR Stewardship Program.
Principle 4
Develop projects to advance multiple Reserve goals.
The mission of the Reserve is best served by projects that are designed to address multiple Reserve goals. Staff will keep the Manager and each other advised of proposed initiatives in order to identify possible conflicts and so implementation strategies can be formulated that meet the needs of all programs.
Principle 5
Focus Reserve activities on key audiences and environmental themes.
Programs at South Slough NERR address common issues in different ways. Programmatic efforts will be coordinated around target audiences and relevant coastal issues in order to most effectively serve the Reserve’s constituency.