Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Wildlife Management Area - Great Bay Farms
Town: Newington and Greenland
Acquisition History: This property was acquired with funds provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership (GBRPP). They were conveyed to New Hampshire Fish and Game by The Nature Conservancy in the mid-2000s.
Visit the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership website to find out more about this partnership and its conservation efforts.
Description: The Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GBNERR) is part of a national network of protected areas throughout the Great Bay estuary. Created under the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Estuarine Research Reserve partnership program between 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. To find out more about the program, visit the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve website.
The Great Bay Farms focus area protects over 4,000 feet of frontage on Great Bay, providing access for anglers. Much of the property is currently under agricultural lease, in hay and grain crops.
Common Wildlife: Active agriculture here provides habitat for grassland birds, such as bobolink, and grain for deer, turkey, and migrating waterfowl.
The Great Bay estuary is also part of the North Atlantic flyway and 20 species of waterfowl, 27 species of shorebirds, and 13 species of wading birds use the bay as a wintering area or migratory stopover. Winter waterfowl counts at Great Bay average 5,000 birds annually, with black ducks being the most prominent species. Over eighty percent of all waterfowl that winter in New Hampshire's coastal areas are found in Great Bay. Home to several endangered and threatened bird species, the Bay supports a large winter population of bald eagles.
Special Notes: The majority of the field acreage on these properties is under agricultural lease; please respect the farmer’s crops. A former owner also retains life estate of the portion of the WMA with a house and other buildings. There is no hunting on this portion and other public access is at the landowner’s discretion. Please refer to the provided maps for the location of the life estate and please be respectful of their home and other property. For maps of all conserved lands with public access and a list of allowed recreational uses in the Great Bay Farms area, visit the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership website.
Directions: From I-95, take Exit 3 towards Portsmouth/Greenland. Take a left onto NH-33 W/Greenland Rd and turn right at the 1st cross street onto Portsmouth Ave. Take a right onto Emery Lane, which turns into Newington Rd at the town line. The WMA starts ¼ mile up on the left. The life estate is at 165 Newington Road with public access at the discretion of the landowner. Other access is road side.
DeLorme N.H. Atlas and Gazetteer coordinates: Page 30, J3
A User-Pay, User-Benefit Program
This Wildlife Management Area was funded in part by the Federal Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Your purchases of hunting equipment and ammunition make a difference to New Hampshire's wildlife resources and our way of life. Learn more.