The Great Bay Estuary is home to several types of birds. Some are common backyard birds while others are wading birds like the the seasonal Great Blue Heron. If you’re lucky, you might even see some larger predatory birds including the Bald Eagle or Osprey. Each year, several pair of osprey return to Great Bay to lay their eggs and start the next generation.
Keeping the mind and body happy is an essential part of leading a long and healthy life. There are many ways to stay active physically, but keeping your mind in shape is just as important.
Our staff are lucky to spend their professional lives trying to deepen our understanding of Great Bay. Our interest in the estuary includes investigating how people relate to Great Bay now, and how they have throughout history. Our cultural history and natural history are interdependent, and whether we are reflecting on Native American summer camps on our shores, colonial trading aboard the Gundalow, the industrial mills our rivers powered, or the current debates about the impacts of development. It is always a thrill to link specific historic activities and trends to the lands that we now steward and to be given an opportunity to interpret both the natural resource and the history of Great Bay. Last week, GBNERR hosted a Lunch and Learn that illuminated the history of a specific Wildlife Management Area within GBNERR, Glenn Cove.
There are several species of flora and fauna living within Great Bay. One of which includes an interesting looking plant called Glasswort (Salicornia europaea). Glasswort is a succulent herb also known as ‘Pickle weed’ or ‘Marsh samphire’. It can be found around beaches and in saltmarshes like Great Bay.
Great Bay is a place where the ocean and rivers, land and water, and people and nature meet. It lies at the confluence of tidally driven salt water from the Gulf of Maine and fresh water from the Salmon Falls, Cocheco, Bellamy, Oyster, Lamprey, Squamscott, and Winnicut rivers. Before reaching the bay, seawater travels 15 miles inland—a geographic configuration makes Great Bay one of the nation’s most recessed estuaries. It is often referred to as New Hampshire’s “hidden coast.” Because it has such a large tidal exchange and seasonal variation, the salinity in Great Bay can fluctuate quite a bit.