News : Great Bay Stewards Green Story: Protecting New Hampshire's Precious Coasts

May 8, 2014

Published in the Portsmouth Patch

By Theresa Conn

Over four decades ago, the Great Bay Stewards organization was formed by a group of environmentalists determined to prevent the development of an oil refinery along New Hampshire’s pristine coastline. Since their success, the Great Bay Stewards have grown and transformed into one of the Seacoast’s most steadfast and hard-working conservation organizations. The Great Bay Stewards also act as a ‘friends group’ to the Great Bay Discovery Center and the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GBNERR).

In the mid 1990s, the Stewards spearheaded an effort to convert the former Pease Air Force Base into a National Wildlife Refuge. They were also instrumental in the implementation of the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Reserve is one of just 28 in the nation, and offers immeasurable opportunities for environmental education and research.

Today, the Stewards coordinate volunteer efforts throughout the Seacoast. Some of their recent projects have included erosion control efforts, invasive species removal, and runoff prevention campaigns. They also staff the Great Bay Discovery Center, the educational hub of the Research Reserve. The Discovery Center offers visitors a chance to learn more about ecology and marine biology issues involving Great Bay. The Stewards host workshops, design Center displays, and lead educational nature walks through the beautiful acres surrounding Great Bay. The Stewards help manage over 6,000 acres of protected land. Only one acre is developed, which houses the Great Bay Discovery Center. The other 5,999 acres provide prime estuary habitat, recreation space, and undisturbed wetland area.

Read the full story on the Portsmouth Patch