Research at the Reserve has shown that land use change, particularly residential development, in the Waquoit Bay watershed has resulted in drastic impacts to estuarine resources. A key component of the Reserve’s efforts to protect the quality of the land and water ecosystems within the Reserve is working with willing sellers to preserve undeveloped land in and around the Waquoit Bay watershed (see map below). Land acquisition by the Reserve provides increased opportunities for research and education activities. Such protection of undeveloped land also provides many tangential benefits to coastal communities in the form of aesthetic values, recreational access, protection of drinking water resources, and mitigation of nitrogen. Land acquisition activities are implemented in conjunction with the Reserve’s participation in the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge Conservation Partnership.
In addition, with recent emphasis on Climate Change, the Reserve is taking a new look at its landholdings for their carbon sequestration potential. Analysis by a greenhouse gas intern in summer 2012 demonstrated that Reserve lands conserved in their natural state absorb over 8200 tons of carbon per year from the atmosphere. If you or your family are interested in protecting land that you own please contact Reserve Stewardship Coordinator or consider working with a land conservation agency or group to explore the many options that are available.