The National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s Representation of the Nation’s Biogeographic Regions
The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a network of protected places that serve as reference sites for research, education and stewardship. Reserves represent different biogeographic regions of the United States.
A biogeographic region is a geographic area with similar dominate plants, animals and prevailing climate. There are 11 major biogeographic regions around the coast, with 29 sub regions. The reserve system currently represents 18 of those sub regions. The reserve system is designed to include sites representing all 29 biogeographic subregions, with additional sites representing different types of estuaries. In the near term, priority for federal designation of new National Estuarine Research Reserves will be given to coastal states that are in unrepresented biogeographic regions.