About Us

About  |  Mission  |  Vision  |  Values  |  Visions V

Constitution & By-Laws  |  Code of Ethics  |  Event Code of Conduct

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 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 students, researchers, resource managers, policy makers, and educators representing academic and research institutions, government, industry and consulting, and non-governmental organizations.  

The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation is a private, not-for-profit, and 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 1,350 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 Bulletin. 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 envisions a future where solutions to global challenges facing coastal and estuarine systems are grounded by innovative, inclusive, and collaborative scientific research.

CERF Values

  • Collaboration: We recognize that our work is innovative and impactful when we convene and collaborate with a diverse group of individuals and listen to, respect, and synthesize different points of view and ways of knowing.
  • Ethics: We adhere to the highest ethical standards as they are fundamental to scientific integrity, professionalism, and trust in the Federation.
  • Impact: We promote research and management that is relevant and responsive to the needs of communities reliant on coastal and estuarine systems.
  • Equity and Inclusion: We actively leverage our field’s global diversity to create and maintain inclusive and equitable working and learning environments and to recognize and incorporate social and environmental justice issues in our work.

VISIONS V: What lies ahead for CERF?

Download Visions V. The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) is excited to announce the release of Visions V, our new 2023–2026 strategic plan. The plan is the culmination of months of work gathering input from CERF leaders, members, and the coastal and estuarine research and management community at large. Your input was invaluable in helping the Federation hone in on three key goals for the next four years:

  1. Advocate for estuaries and coasts
  2. Enhance member value
  3. Promote and support equity and justice

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