The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is a partnership program established between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAAand the state of Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) to promote informed management and sound stewardship of our coastal resources.  We’re also a member of a national network of 30 National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) representing distinct coastal ecosystems located on each of America’s coasts. (see map of the US Reserves)

The Reserve itself is currently located in the geographic center of Narragansett Bay with 4,453 acres of terrestrial and submerged land on Prudence, Patience, Hope and Dyer islands .The Reserve’s headquarters and visitor center are located on the south end of Prudence Island. 

Our Mission: To preserve, protect and restore coastal and estuarine ecosystems of Narragansett Bay through long-term research, education and training.

What we do
  • We actively conduct long-term research and monitoring within the Reserve and throughout the Bay watershed.
  • We support external research that relies on the long-term protection of Reserve habitats.
  • We actively manage Reserve lands and invasive species to preserve native communities and provide refuges for rare or threatened species.
  • We provide hands-on estuarine education and training opportunities for students and teachers.
  • We provide volunteer and outreach opportunities and provide guidance to those interested in becoming better coastal stewards.
  • We offer training opportunities and science-based information to natural resource managers and coastal decision-makers.