Visiting New Hampshire's Biodiversity


Great Bay Discovery Center: Salt Marsh System



Description:
The Great Bay Discovery Center serves as the conservation-education headquarters for the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. A universally accessible trail and boardwalk allow visitors to explore a variety of habitats including upland hardwood forests, freshwater wetlands, salt marsh, and mudflats. Visitors can also stand on the deck of a 19th century gundalow replica or wander through the native gardens surrounding the center. Birders find Sandy Point an excellent location to watch for Great Bay's wintering eagle population, migratory warblers, waterfowl, and locally nesting pairs of osprey.

Several large and intact estuarine ecological systems can be seen at the Great Bay Discovery Center, including
salt marsh system, sparsely vegetated intertidal system, and Appalachian oak - pine forest system.

Inside the Discovery Center, visitors are treated to interpretive exhibits about the Great Bay estuary and the amazing creatures that call it home. Children can get their hands wet in an estuarine touch tank as they learn about lobsters, horseshoe crabs, mud snails, and more! Interactive displays about salt marsh farming, salmon migration, plankton, tides and research on the bay, allow children and adults alike to learn about the estuary. 

Site Guide and Map 

Images (hold mouse over image for caption)

Herons on Great Bay (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Family on the boardwalk at Sandy Point (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Boardwalk at Sandy Point (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Signpost at Great Bay Discovery Center (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Birdwatching at Sandy Point (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

The first part of the Sandy Point Trail passes through some rich maritime forest (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Plenty of open sky at the edge of Great Bay (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Salt marsh system at Sandy Point (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Cattails at the upper edge of the salt marsh (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Boardwalk through forested swamp (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Salt marsh system at Sandy Point (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Red maple leaves starting to turn in early autumn (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Early autumn at Sandy Point (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Note the furrowed bark of several black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) trees (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Black gum bark up close (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Forest to marsh to bay at Sandy Point (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

Great Bay Discovery Center salt marsh brochure 
Site Guide 

link:   http://www.greatbay.org/about/facilities.htm


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