An acre a day. That’s how quickly natural lands are being lost in New Hampshire’s coastal watershed due to development. To help protect these places for the future, the Great Bay Reserve teamed up with The Nature Conservancy–NH, University of New Hampshire’s Cooperative Extension, and other partners to translate the 2021 New Hampshire Coastal Watershed Conservation Plan into usable tools for local communities and conservation groups interested in protecting local lands.
This effort relied on the New Hampshire Salt Marsh Plan’s resilience scores, along with a suite of other metrics, to identify regionally important conservation opportunities. They identified salt marshes with a high resilience score, along with any undeveloped buffer areas, as “resilient marsh areas” that should be prioritized when identifying conservation focus areas. In many cases, these resilient marshes provide other services—such as preserving wildlife or storing flood waters—elevating their importance in conservation planning.
“There isn’t any time to lose—as the climate becomes hotter, drier, and stormier, the cost of protecting these lands will only increase,” says Cory Riley, manager of the Great Bay Reserve. “We must act now to protect them before they’re lost.”
Go to connect-protect.org to discover more about this project and visit the NH Salt Marsh Plan page to learn more or request technical assistance.