Greenland, New Hampshire 03840
Also, see Great Bay
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From A Birder’s Guide to New Hampshire
About Great Bay
Great Bay is a tidal estuary located in Strafford and Rockingham counties in eastern New Hampshire, United States. The bay occupies over 6,000 acres, not including its several tidal river tributaries. Its outlet is at Hilton Point in Dover, New Hampshire, where waters from the bay flow into the Piscataqua River, thence proceeding southeast to the Atlantic Ocean near Portsmouth. The northern end of the bay, near its outlet, is referred to as Little Bay.
Located within the Gulf of Maine watershed, the Great Bay Estuary is a drowned river valley composed of high-energy tidal waters, deep channels and fringing mudflats. The entire estuary extends inland from the mouth of the Piscataqua River between Kittery, Maine, and New Castle, New Hampshire through Little Bay into Great Bay proper at Furber Strait, a distance of 12 miles (19 km). The Great Bay Estuary is a tidally-dominated system and is the drainage confluence of three major rivers, the Lamprey, Squamscott, and Winnicut. Four additional rivers flow into the system between Furber Strait and the open coast: the Cocheco, Salmon Falls, Bellamy, and Oyster rivers.
The Piscataqua River is an ocean-dominated system extending from the Gulf of Maine at Portsmouth Harbor and forming the border of New Hampshire and Maine to the fork of its tributaries, the Salmon Falls and Cocheco rivers. These rivers, several small creeks and their tributaries and ocean water from the Gulf of Maine create the Great Bay estuarine hydrosystem. The tidal range is dramatic within Great Bay. Average depth of the embayment is 8.9 ft with channels extending to 58 ft. The water surface of Great Bay covers 8.9 square miles at high tide and 4.2 square miles at low tide, leaving greater than 50% of the bay exposed at low tide.
The Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve occupies several portions of the bay’s shoreline and protects numerous land and water areas around the estuary, including salt marshes, rocky shores, bluffs, woodlands, open fields, and riverine systems and tidal waters.