The Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GBNERR) is part of a national network of protected areas and promotes long-term research, education and stewardship throughout the Great Bay estuary. Created under the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Estuarine Research Reserve partnership program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the coastal states protects more than one million acres of the nation's most important coastal resources.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department manages the Great Bay Reserve, which was designated in 1989. The Reserve is also supported by the Great Bay Stewards, a non-profit friends group. Visitors are encouraged to explore the natural beauty of the Great Bay Estuary and discover New Hampshire's hidden coast.