Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Snowy Egret standing on grassy island surrounded by water
Snowy Egret @ Clare Carvel

Salt Marsh Science Project Salinity Results & Data

As part of Mass Audubon’s Salt Marsh Science Project, scientists and students have been measuring the salinity (salt content) of water at different depths to learn whether Phragmites distribution within the salt marsh is controlled by ground water (water deep below the ground surface that is the source of well and spring water) or interstitial salinity (water just below the ground surface from the tide).


With the help participating students, we have been collecting data on salinity as it relates to salt marshes in coastal Massachusetts since 1996. Please note that not all sites are monitored each year—the date range indicates the start date and the most recent year data was collected.

LocationYears MonitoredParticipating Schools & GroupsRestricted? Restored?
Boston, MA Thompson Island


Outward BoundRocks impede tidal flow. Removed August 2007.
Byfield, MA,

2008, 2015

Governor's AcademyRestricted Sites in 2008, Reference in 2015
Danvers, MA, Behind Mass General North Shore, (Formerly Osram Sylvania)


Danvers: Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical High School, Holten Richmond Middle SchoolTidal restriction and berm.
Not restored.
Dorchester, Milton MA, Neponset Marsh


UMass Boston

Filled marsh.

Fill removal completed April 2005.

East Boston, MA, Belle Isle Marsh


East Boston: Excel Academy Charter SchoolNo
Essex, MA, Conomo Point Road,


Essex: Essex Elementary and Middle SchoolTidal Restriction restored November 2000
Gloucester, MA, Eastern Point


Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School,  Natick Home Schoolers, St. Mel's School in GloucesterTidal Restriction restored November 2003
Gloucester, MA, Mill Pond


Gloucester: O'Maley Innovation Middle SchoolTidal Restriction - 
Site flooded when board placed on tide gates spring 2003, killing marsh plants. 
Tide gates opened beginning spring 2004.
Gloucester, MA, Wingersheek Beach


Gloucester: Maritime Heritage Essex AgricultureBerm
Ipswich, MA, Argilla Road

1997-2002, 2005

Ipswich: Mass Audubon and NMFS ScientistsTidal Restriction 
Restored Fall 1998
Ipswich, MA, Cedar Point


Ipswich: The Proctor School (Topsfield)Tidal Restriction 
Phase 1 restored 
Spring 2000
Ipswich, MA, Littleneck Road


Ipswich: Ipswich High School (site 2)Tidal Restriction; 
culvert collapsed 
in spring 2000, 
ponding killed marsh 
plants. New culvert 
put in Spring 2001.
Ipswich, MA, Town Farm Road


Ipswich: Ipswich High School (site 1)Tidal Restriction 
restored spring 2005
Newburyport, MA, Joppa Flats


Newburyport: Rupert A. Nock Middle School, River Valley Charter SchoolFill removal restoration 
and Panne creation 
1999. Small tidal 
restriction not restored.
Revere, MA


Revere: Revere High School 
Rockport, MA, Saratoga Creek & Seaview Street


Rockport: Rockport Middle SchoolStorm drain sediments removed, panne 
creation Sp. 1999. 
Seaview St. tidal 
restriction restored 
fall 2003.
Rowley, MA, Batchelder's Landing


Rowley: Pine Grove SchoolUnrestricted site 
(reference site)
Rowley, MA, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge: North Pool


River Valley Charter School,  Newbury Elementary School, Rupert A. Nock Middle School, Northern Essex Community College, Gulf of Maine InstituteYes, may be 
restored in the future
Salem, MA, Forest River


Salem: Collins Middle SchoolRestricted. Some Phragmites removed January 2003.
Salisbury, MA, Old County Road2001 onlySalisbury: Salisbury Elementary SchoolRestricted
Salisbury, MA Railroad bed/Bike path  off Mudnock Road1998-2015Salisbury: Salisbury Memorial Elementary SchoolTidal Restriction Transects are downstream of restriction. Downstream transects flooded by closed tide gate, killing downstream plants in spring 2004 Site washed out in spring 2005.
Wellfleet, MA, Herring River


Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter SchoolRestricted
Wellfleet, MA, Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary


Wellfleet: Mass AudubonUnrestricted

Analysis Resources

Changes in Salt Marsh Vegetation, Phragmites Australis, and Nekton in Response to Increased Tidal Flushing in a New England Salt Marsh

Get Involved

If you'd like to collect data in your community contact us.