Wetlands Grant to Help Protect Newburyport’s Great Marsh

The Great Marsh
The Great Marsh

On June 22, 2015, officials from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (MassWildlife), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service),  the Essex County Greenbelt Association, the Town of Georgetown, The Trustees of Reservations, and state environmental agency partners were joined by local sportsmen, birders, and other conservation-minded people at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport to celebrate a $720,000 North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant award. The grant was awarded to MassWildlife to support habitat restoration and conservation projects that benefit wetland and upland habitats and over 160 bird species at several locations in the Great Marsh.

The Great Marsh consists of more than 20,000 acres of marsh, barrier beach, tidal river, estuary, mudflat, and upland islands from Gloucester to Salisbury. Following the announcement, the celebrants visited MassWildlife’s William Forward Wildlife Management Area in Newbury where they learned restoration projects planned for the salt marsh, and for the shrubland and grassland habitat on Kent’s Island. Habitat enhancement, restoration, and land protection projects in the towns of Essex, Ipswich, and Salisbury were also discussed.