Phragmites Removal

During the final week of September the Great Marsh Revitalization Task Force (GMRTF) implemented its 2012 invasive Phragmites australis management plan in the northern section of the Great Marsh.

In this approximately 1000 acre section of the marsh, north of Pine Island, the open, high marsh stands of aggressive Phragmites were treated. Over 60 acres of this highly invasive plant, nearly all the stands in this section of the open marsh,  were undertaken. Spot treatments in previous years has resulted in significant return of native species.
Additional Phragmites related actions by the GMRTF in field season 2012 included a complete mapping of the entire Great Marsh for open marsh Phragmites stands; Annisquam River marshes in Gloucester to Blackwater Creek marsh in Salisbury. Also, through our University of New Hampshire partners, a salinity mapping pilot to help target most-vulnerable Phragmites stands for future control was initiated.

  • Great Marsh Symposium 2017 +

    Great Marsh Resiliency: Putting the Plan into Action! will be held on Thurs, November 9, 2017 in Essex, MA Read More
  • Great Marsh Symposium 2016 +

    2016 Great Marsh Coaltiion Sea Level Rise Symposium The Great Marsh Symposium: Implications for Quality of Life in Our Communities will be held on Thurs, November 17, 2016 in Essex, MA Read More
  • Public Art Installation +

    Public Art Installation on Display The public is invited to view and experience a new, thought-provoking art installation highlighting the impact of climate change in the Great Marsh ecosystem at the Allyn Cox Reservation in Essex, headquarters of Greenbelt, Essex County’s Land Trust. Ms. Susan Quateman, of Wenham, working out of the Ten Pound Studio, Gloucester, produced the interpretative exhibit in collaboration with designer and photographer Leslie Bartlett of Manchester. The project is sponsored by the Great Marsh Coalition (GMC), and is funded in part by an Essex National Heritage Partnership Grant. Ms. Quateman was inspired to create the installation as a result of attending the 2014 Great Marsh Symposium organized by the GMC, which focused on climate change and presented case studies in local adaptation. The artist, who is an environmental planner was drawn to weave together her passion to protect vulnerable landscapes by painting on silk to illustrate Read More
  • Phragmites Removal +

    During the final week of September the Great Marsh Revitalization Task Force (GMRTF) implemented its 2012 invasive Phragmites australis management plan in the northern section of the Great Marsh. Read More
  • Scientists: Fertilizers are killing salt marshes +

    October 22, 2012 By Mac Cerullo Staff Writer Gloucester Daily Times For years, scientists have observed a slow decay of salt marshes all along the Atlantic coast without understanding why. Now a newly released study conducted in the local Great Marsh is shedding light on the cause of salt marsh decay and the impact it could have on the environment. Read More
  • Great Marsh Land Protected for New Sanctuary +

    Mass Audubon closed a crucial gap within 8,000 acres of contiguous protected land in the Great Marsh when it purchased 75 acres of vulnerable habitat in Rowley last week. Protecting this mix of salt marsh and upland islands means Mass Audubon can proceed with plans for its newest wildlife sanctuary, Rough Meadows, which began with the vision and generous bequest of the late Professor Alfred J. Chandler in 2007. Thanks to Mass Audubon’s partnership with committed allies and generous supporters, Professor Chandler’s North Shore dream is now a reality. The regional land trust for the North Shore, the Essex County Greenbelt Association (“Greenbelt”), worked in partnership with Mass Audubon to achieve this outcome.  The purchase was funded by a grant from the Open Space Conservancy, Inc., an affiliate of the Open Space Institute;  a contribution from the town of Rowley’s Community Preservation funds; a grant from the Federal North American Read More
  • Reeds threaten the Great Marsh +

    Geoff Walker has watched the phragmites Australis grow for years, but a new study has proven what he already knew. Typically, the invasive species that is also called the “common reed’’ starts on the marsh border and spreads, sometimes to the point where it crowds other plant species out. In recent years, that pattern had changed. “About four of five years ago we looked out and saw tremendous amounts of emerging small stands of phragmites [spread around the marsh], which is atypical,’’ said Walker, a Newbury selectman whose home abuts the Great Marsh. “That is what that study brings to light, and that certain parts of our marsh are reaching a tipping point. Once that tipping point is reached, we could lose broad swaths of our productive, high marsh.’’ The study, released on Jan. 31, has confirmed anecdotal observations, and offered both bad and good news regarding the future of Read More
  • Great Marsh gets share of grant money to protect coastal water quality +

    Newburyport Current Posted May 27, 2011 @ 09:07 PM Newburyport — Ipswich is among several communities to share in $200,000 in federal grants, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. announced earlier this month. The Massachusetts Bays Program Research and Planning Grants will be used to fund projects aimed at identifying causes of coastal habitat degradation, developing plans to address coastal water quality pollution issues, and/or building local capacity to protect coastal resources. “The range of projects funded by this program is representative of the challenges facing our coastal and estuarine resources,” said Secretary Sullivan. “I applaud the commitment of coastal communities and local organizations for their efforts in the ongoing stewardship and preservation of the natural resources within Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays.” The awards, offered for the first time, will be awarded to the following municipalities, nonprofits and academic institutions: The town of Ipswich, to develop a Read More
  • Marsh study reveals peril for Texas Gulf coast +

    By Asher Price AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF Published: 7:06 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011 IPSWICH, Mass. — Gray upon gray, slosh upon slosh, acre after acre of marsh. Early on a wet dog of a Saturday morning, I had wriggled my way into a pair of extra-large waterproof waders and set out with a team of journalists and scientists onto a portion of the foggy bog north of Boston known as the Great Marsh . Salt marsh was the more technical term: We were between land and sea, in a cracked, muddy landscape, riven with tidal waters. Centuries before, New Englanders had harvested the grasses as hay. Now this marsh, 20,000 acres stretching roughly from Gloucester to Salisbury, is largely a preserve, visited only by intrepid birders, the occasional dog walker and scientists. Beginning in 2004 , researchers with the Marine Biological Laboratory have conducted experiments on the effects of fertilizer on the salt marsh system here. They have essentially Read More
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