Log in links for this page

Upper North Shore Region

The Upper North Shore includes the communities of Amesbury, Salisbury, Newburyport, Newbury, Rowley, Ipswich, Essex, Gloucester and Rockport.

The Upper North Shore region encompasses nine communities. The dominant natural feature of the region is the Great Marsh, the largest contiguous-acre salt marsh north of Long Island NY. Along the shoreline, commercial shellfishers take advantage of productive mud flats while bird watchers, beachgoers, and boaters enjoy recreational opportunities.

Regional Coordination

The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC), one of the Commonwealths 13 Regional Planning Agencies, is MassBays' Regional Service Provider for the Upper North Shore. MVPC provides planning and technical services to communities on a wide range of regional and local issues, including environmental quality and land use, through the work of their professional planners and engineers with expertise in transportation, community and economic development, housing, zoning, GIS mapping and analysis, natural resources protection, and growth management.

Regional Coordinator Peter Phippen has over 40 years of experience in working with federal, state, and local officials and NGOs on watershed and coastal planning and assessment activities. He convenes the nonprofit Eight Towns and the Great Marsh, which serves as the Local Governance Committee, to help identify priorities for the region, which currently include:

  • Assessing and responding to sea level rise impacts on marshes.
  • Mapping and removing invasive plants.
  • Protecting and restoring eelgrass habitat.

Additional Resources for



Peter Phippen
MassBays Upper North Shore Regional Coordinator
Merrimack Valley Planning Commission 
160 Main Street, Haverhill, MA 01830
(978) 374-0519