Building a Stronger Coast
Yellowlegs at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge - Matt Poole/USFWS

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Location: Newburyport, MA


Resilience Outline Resilience Projects Recovery Icon Recovery Projects

Resil Shield

Project: Protecting Property & Helping Coastal Wildlife - Enhancing Salt Marsh and Estuarine Function and Resiliency for Key Habitats on Impacted Wildlife Refuges

Location: Rhode Island to Southern Maine

Project Type: Resilience

Funding awarded: $4,150,000

Project Summary

This project will enhance natural coastal defenses to buffer effects of a changing climate for eight local communities, economies and wildlife that depend on healthy salt marsh ecosystems. These areas include more than 400 acres in key coastal areas of Rhode Island, 50 acres in coastal Massachusetts, 20 acres in New Hampshire and 50 acres in coastal Maine.

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Resil Shield

Project: A Stronger Coast - Three USFWS Northeast Region National Wildlife Refuge Projects to Increase Coastal Resilience and Preparedness

Location: Regional

Project Type: Resilience

Funding awarded: $2,060,000

Project Summary

The three projects included in this study are intended to identify vulnerabilities and strengths of over 70 miles of shoreline at coastal refuges, assess the integrity of over 30,000 acres of coastal marsh that protect adjacent shorelines and help preserve the species they support.

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Resil Shield

Project: Restoring Resiliency to the Great Marsh

Location: Parker River National Wildlife Refuge - Newburyport, MA

Project Type: Resilience

Funding awarded: $340,000

Project Summary

This project increases the natural defenses of a 27,000 acre tidal marsh system by improving tidal channel hydrology, reducing marsh subsidence or surface collapse, retention of freshwater and controlling large outbreaks of invasive species through traditional and innovative measures. The issue of tidal circulation posed by Plum Island Turnpike will be addressed through modeling to inform appropriate actions to improve tidal function.

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Recovery hammer

Project: Provide Backup Power - Generator and Electrical Improvements

Locations: Newburyport, MA; Newington, NH

Project Type: Recovery

Funding awarded: $686,591

Project Summary

This project will provide backup power to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts and the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge in New Hampshire.

Conservation / Restoration Goals

  • Supply reliable ancillary power sources to FWS buildings

Project Benefits

  • Ensures reliable backup power to facilities during emergency outages

Additional Details

This project is one of many regionally planned electrical upgrades to facilities at National Wildlife Refuges and other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stations. Hurricane Sandy and previous storms have knocked out power to headquarters, visitor centers, maintenance buildings, staff housing and supporting structures including garages and visitor restrooms. Outages have damaged sensitive electronic equipment, disabled heating and cooling and resulted in burst frozen water pipes. Equipping buildings with backup generators will enable them to weather outages more effectively and serve as resources for their communities for communications and emergency coordination efforts. In addition, stations equipped with photovoltaic solar panels will see their dependency on off-site power grids reduced or eliminated. Solar power systems will also reduce facilities' carbon footprints and save taxpayer dollars through reduced utility bills.

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Parker River Resilience Project Map


Parker River Recovery Project Map


Hurricane Sandy Photos

Last updated: December 12, 2014