CONTACT:
Peter Wellenberger, (603) 868-1095
Jane Vachon, (603) 271-3211
November 8, 2007

New Great Bay Management Plan Will Guide Reserve Strategy Through 2010

DURHAM, N.H. -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released the revised Management Plan for New Hampshire's Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.  The plan, which covers the time period 2006-2010, was developed collaboratively with members of the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership and others.  It contains "strategies that will ensure the Great Bay area is properly managed and protected for future generations," said Peter Wellenberger, who has served as Reserve Manager since 1990. The Reserve is managed through the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department with funding from NOAA.

Great Bay was designated as the United States' 18th official estuarine reserve in 1989.  Since then, the Reserve has grown from 6,353 acres to 10,236 acres.  The new boundary includes all of Great Bay and Little Bay, as well as the tidal portions of the Bellamy, Oyster, Lamprey, Squamscott, and Winnicut Rivers -- one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the state.  The Reserve's upland area has increased to 2,935 acres.  The plan also identifies 20,172 acres of upland for potential future conservation.  It provides a detailed description of Great Bay's natural and cultural history and identifies the current management issues facing the Reserve. 

"The recently approved management plan is an ambitious and practical document that hopes to build on past successes while prioritizing the critical issues facing the Estuary," said Wellenberger.  It establishes goals, objectives and action items for the Reserve over the next several years, as well as a framework for the design, implementation and evaluation of project activities.

The purpose of the Reserve is to promote the wise management of the Great Bay Estuary through linked programs of public education, stewardship, and research and monitoring.  The Reserve conducts numerous educational programs at the Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland.  Through a cooperative effort with the University of New Hampshire and Jackson Estuarine Lab, the Reserve is monitoring the water quality of Great Bay, often referred to as New Hampshire's hidden coast.  Land protection efforts are accomplished in conjunction with N.H. Fish and Game and The Nature Conservancy through the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership.

For more information about the management plan or any Reserve programs, click to visit http://greatbay.org or contact Peter Wellenberger at 603-868-1095 or pwellenberger@nhfgd.org.

For those with high-speed internet, the full Great Bay Management Plan (16 MB) is available on this website -- click here to download.

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