Who We Are

ACE Basin - Photo credit: NOAA

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative supports science for estuarine and coastal decision-makers. Managed by the University of Michigan Water Center, through a cooperative agreement with NOAA, the Science Collaborative coordinates regular funding opportunities and supports user-driven collaborative research, assessment, and transfer activities that address critical coastal management needs identified by the reserves.


The NERRS Science Collaborative promotes science to support coastal decision-making about management problems important to the reserves. Our primary objectives:

  1. Identify and address key stressors of management concern;
  2. Foster co-production of science to improve decision-making;
  3. Disseminate the knowledge, processes, and key lessons learned;
  4. Deliver credible, relevant, and accessible data and information;
  5. Iterate program priorities and processes over time; and
  6. Expand access to more of the scientific community.


The Science Collaborative is the primary mechanism that supports competitive, user-focused research in the Reserve System.

Emerging as the Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology (CICEET) in 1997, competitive research funding initially focused on the development of science and technology to support estuarine management within the Reserve System. NOAA established CICEET through a cooperative agreement with the University of New Hampshire (UNH). In 2010, NOAA restructured the program into the NERRS Science Collaborative, still housed at UNH, and increasingly focused on supporting research activities that engaged end users.

In 2014, NOAA awarded the University of Michigan the next iteration of the Science Collaborative through a five-year cooperative agreement.