Stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.
The stewardship program at the NIWB NERR integrates aspects of research, monitoring, education, coastal training, and resource management to provide long-term protection for the natural resources within the reserve and within the watershed community. Watershed development, invasive species, habitat alteration, resource use, climate change and sea level rise are priority issues that pose significant threats to reserve resources. The measures necessary to meet these stewardship challenges range in complexity and feasibility from short-term, immediate action projects, to long-term monitoring programs and projects to slowly integrate new concepts and practices into estuarine conservation.
Past stewardship projects have focused on invasive species monitoring and control, habitat restoration, and habitat mapping. Current and future issues that will be addressed include distribution and status monitoring of species of concern, education opportunities for community members to learn about and become involved in resource management, and the development of conservation projects that address timely resource management issues.