In Massachusetts, the North Shore's Great Marsh is the largest continuous stretch of Salt Marsh in New England, extending from Cape Ann to New Hampshire. The Great Marsh includes over 20,000 acres of marsh, barrier beach, tidal river, estuary, mudflat, and upland islands extending across the Massachusetts North Shore from Gloucester to Salisbury. In recognition of these extraordinary resources, a portion of this area was designated by the state in 1979 as the Parker River/Essex Bay Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The Great Marsh is an internationally recognized Important Bird Area (IBA) as it contributes to the preservation of many breeding and migratory birds. This unique complex of natural systems add ecological, economic, recreational, and cultural value to our daily lives both on the coast and inland where land is connected by river and stream networks.
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