The Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (MANERR) is the 27th research reserve in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, and only one in the Western Gulf of Mexico Biogeographic Region. The MANERR is located 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, Texas in the Aransas Bay complex. The University of Texas Marine Science Institute is the lead State Agency for the Reserve in Texas.
The Mission-Aransas Reserve is a large contiguous complex of wetland, terrestrial, and marine environments. Named for the two major rivers that flow into the area, the reserve contains public and private lands and waters. The land is primarily coastal prairie with unique oak motte habitats. The wetlands include riparian habitat, fresh and salt water marshes. Within the water areas, the bays are large, open, and include extensive tidal flats, seagrass meadows, mangroves, and oyster reefs. These unique and diverse estuarine habitats in the western Gulf of Mexico support a host of endangered and threatened species including the endangered whooping crane.
The MANERR was designated on May 3, 2006 and a designation ceremony was held May 6, 2006.
The research unit of the University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute emphasizes both basic and applied research aimed at understanding the biological, chemical and physical processes governing the coastal zone ecosystem.
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