The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Partnership (MassBays) was named an “estuary of national significance” in 1990, shortly after Congress established the National Estuary Program (NEP) under Section 320 of the Clean Water Act in 1987 (reauthorized in 2016). MassBays is one of 28 NEPs across the U.S., and one of two in Massachusetts. Our planning area extends from Salisbury on the New Hampshire border to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod, encompassing Ipswich Bay, Massachusetts Bay, and Cape Cod Bay.
MassBays envisions a network of healthy and resilient estuaries, sustainable ecosystems that support the life and communities dependent upon them.
The mission of the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Partnership is to empower 50 coastal communities to protect, restore, and enhance their coastal habitats. To fulfill this mission, MassBays engages local, state, and federal entities to advance the use of scientific information and provide technical support for better decisionmaking.