Coast & Ecology

Protecting our fragile ecosystems, from seashore to woodland

From salt marshes to barrier beaches, from floodplain forests to pitch pine barrens, Massachusetts possesses an array of rich, biodiverse environments. The natural communities and critical species that call these environments home have enormous conservation value and broader significance—for the Commonwealth, for New England, and beyond. At the same time, ecosystems are under pressure from encroaching development, invasive species, rising seas, and other mounting threats.

With roughly 27,000 acres under management, The Trustees is devoted to protecting these ecologically significant environments across our portfolio, ensuring their health and integrity for future generations. Our approach to ecology draws on professional standards and best practices from throughout our field. Our strategies, ranging from intensive management and deliberate interventions to simply letting nature take its course, are tailored to the specific needs of each place.

Our teams rigorously monitor natural changes taking place across our ecosystems as well as the effects of our efforts, employing the latest science and rigorous data collection to guide our efforts. Researchers and academics use our properties as living laboratories for ongoing investigation. We also engage citizen scientists to help gather data and conduct site surveys, giving our volunteers an opportunity to enhance their own knowledge while advancing our ecological work.

We’re proud that we have helped ecosystems thrive. With the advance of climate change, we intend to be a leader in coastal ecology by developing projects that address the unique threats to our shores and help make our places more robust and resilient. Farther inland, we’re implementing natural climate solutions strategies that help our forests and farms store carbon and mitigate the effects of climate change. We aim for our ecological work to establish a blueprint for other conservation-minded organizations, helping create a path forward through the challenges facing our environment.

Wanted: Citizen Scientists!

Assist in data collection for projects ranging from measuring beach elevation profiles to grassland bird counts to plant population monitoring, all to help to preserve our special places.

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