There was an issue validating your request. Please try again later.

The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Hearting Estuaries 2023

Posted by | February 9, 2022 | Filed under: Culture

River, sea. Sea, river.

Whether yours is the Mousam, the Webhannet, the Ogunquit, the York, the Piscataqua, or any number of other rivers wandering across the Gulf of Maine's coastal plain, it eventually meets a tidal wetland we like to call an estuary. Estuaries are ecological marvels and economic enablers. These brackish waters are being celebrated this weekend through the #iheartestuaries social media campaign—and you're free to join in.


…is a great way to demonstrate local support for estuaries—and the federal programs that benefit them.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone! Visitors, volunteers, staff, friends, partners… all it takes is a social media account and a desire to speak out for estuaries.

What Do I Do?

Most folks post on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and that's where you will find us, too. Retweet/share our posts or make up a few of your own. It's a good idea to mention your members of Congress so they know how you're feeling about estuaries, and don't forget to use the hashtag! Many supporters of the reserve system will be active from February 10 to 14.

Why Now?

Through I♥, we raise a collective, often light-hearted voice in support of estuaries at an important time in the federal appropriations cycle. The Wells Reserve receives most of its funding through the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (thanks to local matching funds provided by Laudholm Trust), so we pay particular attention to its portion of the Department of Commerce budget.

Whose Idea is This?

The I♥ campaign is coordinated by the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, Restore America’s Estuaries, and the Association of National Estuary Programs, three partnership organizations with their hearts in the right place: tidal wetlands.

What is an Estuary?

We often say estuaries are where rivers meet the sea. Around here, estuary is often synonymous with salt marsh, but estuaries are also known as sloughs or bays, and sometimes feature mangroves rather than saltmarsh grasses.

Our education program has put together loads of information on this topic (file size warning: 53 MB PDF!), so you can dig in as deeply as you like.

And you can ask us anything. You know where to find us.

Check This Out

Want to know where Maine's salt marshes are found? The Maine Natural Areas Program has a nifty map viewer that displays the state's current tidal marshes.

Screenshot from the Maine Natural Areas Program salt marsh map viewer showing Wells to Cape Elizabeth. Click to visit the viewer.
Screenshot from the Maine Natural Areas Program salt marsh map viewer showing Wells to Cape Elizabeth.

← View all Blog Posts