About Joppa Flats

Looking out towards the ocean at Joppa Flats Wildlife Sanctuary
Joppa Flats Wildlife Sanctuary

Overlooking the Merrimack River and near the entrance to Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, the Joppa Flats Education Center offers unique educational opportunities for people of all ages.

Here, you can explore the region’s wildlife-rich habitats (salt marshes, mudflats, rivers, bays, and coastal waters) through guided tours, marine touch tanks, art exhibits, drop-in programs, and interpretive displays.


1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950
Get directions or contact us >


Tuesday–Friday, 8:30 am-4:00 pm • Closed Monday (except holidays)
Weekend hours vary; call 978-462-9998 for latest info

  • Restrooms are located in the Nature Center.
  • Face coverings are required indoors for all visitors.


Members: Free
Nonmembers: $2 suggested donation
EBT Participants: Free for up to 4 people when you show your EBT card
ConnectorCare Card to Culture Participants: Free for up to 4 people when you show your ConnectorCare card 
Active-Duty Military: Free for up to 5 people with a valid military ID card



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Sanctuary Highlights

  • Excellent year-round wildlife viewing opportunities from the sanctuary grounds and in-door observation areas as well as magnificent views of the lower Merrimack River and Plum Island estuary.
  • Birding programs for participants of all abilities; more than 300 species of birds recorded locally each year.
  • Annual events, including the Superbowl of Birding and Merrimack River Eagle Festival.
  • Marine touch tank and interpretation by Joppa Flats staff and volunteers during the summer.
  • Green features including two recharging stations for electric vehicles, photovoltaic panels, and a rainwater catchment system for toilet flushing.