In 1973, a group of neighbors worked together to protect this unique estuary by stopping the development of a proposed oil refinery on Great Bay. Ten years later they, with a group of committed citizens, scientists and community leaders, formed the Great Bay trust to better organize their efforts to preserve the Great Bay.
The Great Bay Stewards was formed in 1995, when a group of volunteers banded together to support the Research Reserve and the Great Bay Discovery Center. The Stewards and the Great Bay Trust merged in 1997, continuing as the Great Bay Stewards.
Active on many issues, the Trust and the Stewards worked to:
- Establish a National Estuarine Research Reserve as a place for education, research, and resource protection. The Reserve includes the Great Bay Estuary (4,500 acres of tidal waters and wetlands) and about 12,000 additional acres of multi-use land.
- Convert former Pease Air Force Base land to a National Wildlife Refuge.
- Develop the Great Bay Discovery Center for Great Bay education programs.
The Stewards play an integral role in a variety of programs associated with the Reserve. Through fundraising events, private donations, and educational programs, funds are made available to protect Great Bay for future generations.
To fulfill its mission, the Stewards;
- Work with area organizations to raise awareness of critical issues and promote estuarine conservation.
- Support the Great Bay Discovery Center through seasonal education programs for school children.
- Promote awareness of the Great Bay through recreational and cultural events.
- Inform members of current research relevant to the Great Bay.