November 21, 2022

Featured photo of Lot 5 Observation Deck - Beach Dunes

Lot 5 Observation Deck - Beach Dunes

Parker River and Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Active since 2022
Massachusetts, US

About this site

The beach in front of you is an important habitat for multiple species of shorebirds. They will raise their young here, or stop to fuel up before their long migration to South America or the Arctic. The sandy shoreline, however, is constantly changing with both the winds and the waves. This dynamic nature of the beach makes infrastructure, such as this observation platform, more vulnerable, but it is a crucial characteristic for beach-dune systems to remain resilient to climate change.  

Dunes also act as a protective transition zone between the ocean and inland habitats, such as woody shrubland and maritime forest. As sea level rises, the dunes will become even more important in maintaining these diverse areas for wildlife, however they are also likely to be eroded at a faster rate. 

About Parker River and Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is located on Plum Island, a barrier island along the coast of northern Massachusetts. The mix of habitats—including salt marsh, salt pannes, maritime shrubland, and beach dunes—makes the location especially important for migratory birds. One of the main focuses of the Refuge is to restore habitats and ecosystems to be more resilient to climate change, particularly for salt marshes in the Great Marsh.

Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge is oak hickory forest with many forested wetland and tidal estuary tucked inland just west of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Here, fresh riverine waters meet salty oceanic waters allowing a wide variety of plant and animal life to flourish. The Refuge is another important stopping ground for migrating birds to feed, shelter, and in some cases breed.


Coordinates: 42.732856, -70.786001

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