About Us

Established in 1992, Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located along the eastern shore of New Hampshire's Great Bay in the town of Newington. The refuge protects a significant area along the seacoast for migratory birds and other wildlife. It is one of the longest stretches of undeveloped shoreline along the bay, and consists of mud flats, salt and freshwater marshes, swamps, ponds, streams, woodlands and fields. These diverse habitats support many plants and animals native to the area, including New Hampshire's greatest concentration of wintering bald eagles, and several state-listed rare and endangered species.

The rich and varied habitats of the refuge provide wildlife and visitors alike with a place to rest and recharge. Several recreational opportunities are available for visitors to watch wildlife, hike, bike, and hunt on the refuge.

Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge is managed by Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. For more information, please contact Parker River at (978) 465-5753.  The general email address for Great Bay NWR is parkerriver@fws.gov

Our Mission

The purposes for Great Bay Refuge are derived from public law (Public Law 102-154, Section 319(d) Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 1992):

  • To encourage the natural diversity of plant, fish, and wildlife species within the refuge, and to provide for their conservation and management.
  • To protect species federally listed as endangered or threatened or identified as candidates pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
  • To preserve and enhance the water quality of aquatic habitat within the refuge. To fulfill the international treaty obligations of the U.S relating to fish and wildlife.

Our History

Here are some of the important benchmarks in the history (and pre-history) of Great Bay NWR:

  • Pease Air Force Base closure  (1991)
  • Establishment of the refuge  (1992)
  • Comprehensive Conservation Plan finalized (2012)

Other Facilities in this Complex