During a summer unlike any in recent history, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSRWA) continued engaging youth in outdoor science discovery. For nearly 5 years, the NSRWA has brought youth out into the wild and dynamic ecosystems of the estuary through a program called Estuary Explorers. Through this program, youth visit, explore, discover, and experience the North or South Rivers. There is nothing quite like experiencing the rivers first hand and learning science on location. Outdoor exploration, water sampling, discovery and identification of native and invasive species, and coastal ecology are all included as part of the hands-on science this program offers.

Thanks to support from Battelle, the Michele E. Dufault Foundation, and the Cordelia Family Foundation, the NSRWA has been able to offer this exciting program to diverse groups of children ages 10 to 17 from communities across the South Shore. For many participants, this is their first time on the river and a first exploring and discovering the nature and science of this remarkable and unique environment. As one of the Scout Troop leaders said “If you are not on the water, you can’t have an appreciation for it.”

During the 2020 season, a record number of 223 youth participated in this program with small group outings to allow for social distancing and other safety guidelines. Partnerships included Marshfield, Cohasset, and Hanover Scouts Troops, Ferry Hill Day Camp, and X-Cel Conservation Corp.

If you have a group that may be interested in participating in Estuary Explorers, please email NSRWA’s Environmental Educator Brian Taylor at