Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Rowley Continues to Grow!
Thanks to a local family committed to conservation, Mass Audubon was able to purchase an important 2.5 acre parcel of land at the entrance to the Sanctuary. Ranking as a highest priority for protection in the Sanctuary, the land presented a challenge because it was originally transferred to several descendants of the original owner, some located out of state. In order to make the land transfer to Mass Audubon possible, the Swenson family agreed to file an action in Salem Probate Court to consolidate the various family interests.
Although not large in size, this parcel along with other protected land, plays an important role in preserving the salt marsh habitat of the Great Marsh, an area of over 14,000 acres which is one of the most important salt marsh habitats in the Northeastern United States and the largest contiguous salt marsh north of Long Island. In addition to providing habitat for various salt marsh species, the land also provides opportunities for salt marsh migration in an age of climate change.
Like much of the Sanctuary, the land is identified by the state as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), BioMap and Living Waters Core Habitat, Rare Species Priority Habitat, a Mass Audubon mapped Important Bird Area (IBA), and was identified as a priority for protection in the Statewide Land Conservation Plan.