U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

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Coastal marshes at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Credit: Kelly Fike/USFWS

What value does a marsh have for public safety, tourism and recreation? A coalition of coastal towns is finding out by incorporating nature-based solutions in their community planning efforts.

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What does it mean to work in visitor services? It means sharing my knowledge and love of nature with our visitors, many of whom are visiting the refuge for the first time. It means helping a 14-year-old girl see a pileated woodpecker. It means building a nature trail accessible to people of all abilities.

Connecticut River looknig north from the Samuel Morley Bridge, Orford, NH

It started two years ago as an experiment in combining big data with a big conservation vision for the 11,250 square-mile Connecticut River watershed. Today the experiment has evolved into Connect the Connecticut, a collaborative effort among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative and more than 30 partner agencies and organizations to conserve a network of lands and waters that sustain wildlife and people for generations to come.