Great Bay Stewards
Nearly 40 years after a group of local residents teamed up to stop the development of an oil refinery on their beloved water front, The non-profit Great Bay Stewards has grown to become one of the region’s most steadfast and hard-working environmental and conservation organizations, as well as the ‘friends group’ to the Great Bay Discovery Center and the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GBNERR). Today the organization concentrates its efforts in Durham, Exeter, Greenland, Madbury, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, Portsmouth and Stratham, all of which border Great Bay, or one of the rivers that feed it.
Officially established in 1995 after the merger of Great Bay Stewards and Great Bay Trust, the volunteer-based organization has since helped GBNERR convert the former Pease Air Force Base into a National Wildlife Refuge, while also helping run the National Estuarine research Reserve (one of just 28 in the nation). Whether they’re working to prevent shoreline erosion, invasive plant growth, or increased nitrogen levels from human-caused water runoff, GBS is committed to protecting Great Bay for plants, animals, and people alike.
Today the Great Bay Discover Center serves as an educational cornerstone for the organization’s core mission. Each year, thousands of children visit the Discovery Center to learn about natural and cultural history – from mud snails, to horseshoe crabs, to ancient Native American Tribes, to the role gundalow boats played in the region’s economic development. Additionally, GBS utilizes unique fundraising events, private donations, and dynamic educational programs to raise awareness and help continue to support the Great Bay’s continued protection.
The organization also touts a strong commitment to research, supporting projects that focus on issues relating to sedimentation, excess nitrogen loads, habitat loss, and many, many more. Taken together, the organization’s unique educational and advocacy programs – involving people of all ages, professions, and walks of life – are helping to assure that one of the Seacoast’s most cherished natural treasures continues to survive and thrive for generations to come.
What makes us green?
- Helped GBNERR convert the former Pease Air Force Base into a National Wildlife Refuge
- Tackle issues relating to shoreline erosion, invasive plant growth, or increased nitrogen levels from human-caused water runoff
- Helps educate public on importance of preserving the Great Bay's ecological integrity
- Commitment to research helps support projects that focus on issues relating to sedimentation, excess nitrogen loads and habitat loss