The Great Bay Estuary

The Great Bay Estuary is in trouble. Loss of water quality is causing unhealthy changes to the system. These alarming changes, if not addressed, will lead to the kind of devastating environmental impacts experienced in Boston Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay, places now engaged in massive and expensive restoration efforts.

The Seacoast population is in danger of harming the estuary we love to the point of collapse as we build along these waterfronts, pave additional areas, and dump our nutrient-laden wastes into the waters.

Strong tides drive the Great Bay Estuarine system that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in Portsmouth through many channels and tributaries up to Dover, Durham, Newmarket, Exeter, Greenland and Stratham.

Overall, Great Bay is an enormous resource for coastal New Hampshire. We rely on a healthy Great Bay to attract tourists, bring in sustainable jobs using our resources, and to provide a beautiful backdrop to our lives in the Seacoast. Teeming with life, the Bay is home to eelgrass beds, which are nursery grounds for flounder, crabs and lobsters, and other commercially important species.

Save Great Bay

Save Great Bay is a group of New Hampshire state legislators, nonprofit conservation groups, commercial and recreational fisheries interests and experts, estuarine researchers and concerned citizens who have joined together in a coordinated effort to address the decline of the Great Bay Estuary.

It is clear is that continuing to manage the estuary in a “business as usual manner” will lead to further degradation and eventual collapse of the estuarine system. This is an unacceptable scenario because Great Bay has incalculable value to humans and biota alike. As scientists and citizens of the seacoast region, we raise the alert: nutrient levels in our estuarine waters threaten the health of Great Bay Estuary now.


SaveGreatBay.org provides a virtual meeting place for all who are concerned about  the Great Bay Estuary and its watershed.  The purpose of this website is to: 1) inform the public about the need to save Great Bay, 2) provide a round-table for the agencies and organizations working the watershed, and 3) encourage the public to use and support the programs provided by the coalition members.


David Anderson, Project Coordinator for the New Hampshire Coastal Protection Partnership, currently serves as the website administrator and lead author for SaveGreatBay.org. David’s work on the site is funded in part by a generous $2,500 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation serves communities throughout New Hampshire, southeastern Maine and eastern Vermont. The Foundation manages a growing collection of charitable funds created by individuals, families and corporations. Outside the government, the Foundation is the largest grantmaker in the state, making more than 3000 grants to nonprofits and nearly 1600 student aid awards totaling approximately $30 million annually. The Foundation is nonpartisan, frequently playing the role of convener and catalyst on a broad spectrum of issues. Based in Concord, the Foundation roots itself in the communities through regional advisory boards. More information is available at www.nhcf.org or by calling 603-225-6641.


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