About Us

About  |  Mission  |  Values  |  Visions IV
Constitution & By-Laws  |  Code of Ethics


About the Federation

The similarity and diversity of estuaries is also characteristic of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation, a multidisciplinary organization of individuals who study and manage the structure and functions of estuaries and the effects of human activities on these fragile environments.

The Federation's members are dedicated to advancing human understanding and appreciation of the Earth's estuaries and coasts, to the wise use and management of these environments and to making the results of their research and management actions available to their colleagues and to the public. Members of the Federation include academic researchers, public sector managers, teachers, consultants, students and others who are interested in estuaries.

The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation is a private, nonprofit non-partisan organization. The Federation was created in 1971, when the members of two older, regionally-based estuarine research societies (AERS and NEERS) decided that a national organization was needed to address estuarine and coastal issues more broadly. The regionally based Affiliate Societies now number seven and encompass all of the coastal regions that border the United States, Canada and Mexico.


The Mission of The Federation 

The Federation advances understanding and wise stewardship of estuarine and coastal ecosystems worldwide. Its mission is to:

  • Promote research in estuarine and coastal ecosystems
  • Support education of scientists, decision-makers and the public
  • Facilitate communication among these groups

Membership in the Federation is open to all who support these goals. The Federation currently has approximately 1,650 members, and approximately 1,000 more who are members of the Affiliate Societies.

The Federation addresses the purposes listed above by convening conferences in odd-numbered years, through the more frequent meetings of its Affiliate Societies in their regions and through regular publication of the scholarly journal Estuaries and Coasts and the Newsletter. In addition, the Federation serves as a source of advice on estuarine and coastal matters by responding to requests for information from legislative and management organizations.


CERF Values

CERF has carefully chosen seven values to guide the priorities, communications and standards of its strategic plans and activities. CERF highly values and pursues:

Knowledge/Research - the quest for knowledge that will advance our understanding of coasts and estuaries based on research of the highest caliber.

Collaboration - the power of scientific collaboration to accelerate and advance our knowledge, methods and models in science.

Integrity/Ethics - integrity beyond reproach and highest ethical standards as fundamental to both science and the Federation’s activities.

Relevance/Impact – relevance and impact of member’s work and activities of the Federation as integral to providing for the future of the planet.

Education - the education of its members, the whole scientific community, students at all levels in their educational pursuits, the general public, decision-makers and the media.

Synthesis/Integration – the synthesis of the best available science and the integration of this understanding into the broader knowledge of the world around us.

Outreach – engagement with the broader scientific community to foster deeper scientific understanding and communication of scientific knowledge to the general public, the media, public officials, and other decision-makers.


VISIONS IV: What lies ahead for CERF?

Download Visions IV. Visions IV is the Federation's fourth strategic plan. At the beginning of CERF President Robert Twilley’s administration, the Governing Board began strategic planning for Visions IV, to cover the period 2017–2022. The plan was developed by eight Governing Board committees: Affiliate Societies, Career Development and Education, Communications, Conference Strategy, International, Membership, Policy, and Publications. The Governing Board also sought extensive grassroots input from members and Affiliate Societies. The Visions IV strategic plan was ratified by the Governing Board in September 2017 and presented to the Federation at the 24th Biennial Conference in Providence, Rhode Island.


 "COASTAL & ESTUARINE RESEARCH FEDERATION is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a service mark of Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation."