Overview

Three primary focus areas for on-the-ground stewardship efforts on Reserve properties are coastal grasslands, atlantic coastal pine barrens, and salt marsh complexes.  As these habitats are relatively uncommon in the state they support a greater number of species that are rare, threatened or declining in numbers.
Coastal grassland vary in type from warm season dominated (e.g. switchgrass, little blue stem) to ‘old field’ or meadow with mixed shrub species and/or herbaceous species as components (e.g. high-bush blueberry, milkweed). Nationally and regionally, grassland species populations are in decline as the result of habitat loss, primary due to changes in land use practices and succession.
Atlantic coastal pine barrens are locally and regionally rare habitat consisting of a mosaic of grassland, shrubland, pitch pine forest, and oak-pine forest. This habitat supports a variety of rare species (e.g. yellow-breasted chat and various tiger beetles, moths, and butterflies).
Salt marsh consists of several clearly delineated vegetation communities that develop according to elevation and salinity gradients, providing a unique habitat for specialized wildlife.  Breeding birds found exclusively in these habitats include clapper rail, willet, and seaside sparrow.

Stewardship refers to the responsible management of upland and coastal resources using the best available science to maintain and restore healthy, productive, and resilient ecosystems.

In addition to on-site land management efforts, the stewardship program also works with partners at the state, regional and national level to promote better stewardship of coastal habitats.

Quick Links