Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve - an official New Hampshire Government website
Smaller text size Reset text size Larger text size


The Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GBNERR) is part of a national network of protected areas and promotes long-term research, education and stewardship throughout the Great Bay estuary. Created under the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Estuarine Research Reserve partnership program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (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. The Reserve is also supported by the Great Bay Stewards, a non-profit friends group. Visitors are encouraged to explore the natural beauty of the Great Bay Estuary and discover New Hampshire's hidden coast.


Check out the progress of our Boardwalk Fundraising Campaign! We have a sign showing

progress of our boardwalk fundraising campaign

our progress outside the front entrance of the Discovery Center. We have raised approximately $450,000 of our $465,000 goal! We will update this picture periodically and you can check out the sign on your next visit. To learn more, including how to donate, please visit our boardwalk page, thank you!







NOAA logoFish and Game logoGreat Bay Esturine Marine Reserve logo
The Discovery Center's education program begins mid April, and we open to the public on May 2nd! If you would like to join our amazing group of volunteers and donate some of your time, learn more by visiting our volunteer page.
Seasonal Hours
The Discovery Center opens to the public on Saturday May 2nd at 10am! We will be open Wednesdays-Sundays, May-Sept, and weekends only in October. Our hours are 10am-4pm. The grounds are open year round, dawn to dusk.
If you would like to support the reserve, please give us a call at 603-778-0015 and ask for Kelle Loughlin. You can also donate to our boardwalk campaign to rebuild our 22 year old boardwalk trail. To learn more visit our boardwalk page.
Passport to Great Bay
Provides directions, information for navigating the landscape, exploration time, trail difficulty, as well as coordinates for the geocache program. The Passort to Great Bay materials are available only online, so print them before you go exploring!