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Southeastern Massachusetts
Pine Barrens Alliance

SEMPBA's mission: building alliances to better protect, enhance and celebrate the globally rare Southeastern Massachusetts Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens Ecoregion.

Thank you to all of the participants in the second Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Conservation Forum.

SEMPBA Volunteers are busy compiling the notes from the forum breakout sessions and working groups. If you registered for the forum, you will soon receive the Forum Report and follow-up information regarding building conservation partnerships on the issues most critical to the preservation of the ecoregion.

If you were unable to attend the forum but would like to receive information about the new Regional Conservation Partnership for the Southeastern Massachusetts Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens Ecoregion, drop a line to SEMPBA Volunteers.

View photos from the 2015 Forum
Album 1     Album 2       Album 3       Album 4

The Southeastern Massachusetts Fire Science and Land Management Field Trip has been rescheduled.

NAFSE Logo Forest Guild Logo

The Fire Science and Land Management Field Trip, originally scheduled for Thursday, February 5, has been rescheduled to Wednesday, March 11.

Re-register or register here

View the SEMPBA Field Trip March 11 Agenda

Contact Amanda Mahaffey at for Field Trip information. Go here to register or to re-register (if you registered for the Feb. 5 Field Trip, please confirm your attendance for the March 11 Field Trip).


What's it going to take to preserve the Southeastern Massachusetts Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens? It's going to take the cooperative action of us all!

What you are doing to help preserve the globally rare ecology of the southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens is incredibly important. But think how much more effective your efforts could be if every conservation stakeholder in the ecoregion decided to:

  • Share educational resources and outreach programs
  • Use consistent mapping technology and research and data collection techniques
  • Cooperate in identifying and planning the conservation of critical habitat and nature corridors across jurisdictional boundaries
  • Advocate for prescribed fire programs and streamlined regulations to restore forests and marshlands (wetlands benefit from fire too)
  • Seek a special designation in recognition of Massachusetts' Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens (like the New Jersey and New York pine barrens)
  • Regularly network with federal, state, municipal agencies, businesses, schools and not-for-profit entities.

If you are interested in learning more about a Regional Conservation Partnership for the Southeastern Massachusetts Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens Ecoregion contact

Town of Plymouth ParkWatchReport

Is ParkWatchReport right for your town?
Contact to learn more.

Town of Plymouth ParkWatchReport Card

The Town of Plymouth is developing a Park Watch program that will enable all of its citizens to easily and conveniently report problems in our parks, on beaches and throughout the community. The Town of Plymouth ParkWatchReport (PWR) is still in its infancy and we are seeking volunteers to help test and refine the program. To volunteer please register at and send a message to SEMPBA, letting us know you are willing to volunteer at

ParkWatchReport Overview

Sponsors are needed to help the Town offset the cost of PWR. If you are a business owner and would like your business listed on the Town of Plymouth ParkWatchReport, please contact or follow the instructions on the Sponsorship Flier.

Sponsorship Flier

Visit the new Ipink heartMoths webpage.

Ipink heartMoths is SEMPBA's support program for the rare moths of the southeastern Massachusetts Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens.

Pine Barrens Natural Communities Map

The Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens of Massachusetts extends along the shore from Duxbury to Provincetown, and includes Cape Cod, Nantucket Island, and Martha's Vineyard, with twenty-eight towns within the region.

Click here or on the map for a larger image.

Map created for SEMPBA by Paul Gregory, Management Forester, Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2013.

Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens MapClick here or on themap to view larger image.

The Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens is a disjunct ecoregion covering approximately 19,200 km2 (7,400 mi2) of the coastal plain of New Jersey, Long Island in New York, and Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and nearby islands in Massachusetts (fig. 1). The region has a wide variety of ecological systems, including cedar swamps, stunted pitch pine and oak forests, sphagnum bogs, coastal salt ponds, dune systems, and the nation's only maritime grasslands...While parts of the ecoregion represent some of the best-preserved natural habitat in the Eastern United States, other portions of the ecoregion are among the most highly developed lands in the country.

Map and text above: USGS Land Cover Trends Project: Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens, 2000.

Southeastern Massachusetts contains the second-largest Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens Ecoregion remaining in the world!* 

Pine barrens are plant communities that occur on dry, acidic soils dominated by grasses, forbs, low shrubs, and small to medium sized pines. Here in Massachusetts, the sandy soils occur as a result of the retreat of the last glacier, called the Laurentian ice sheet, about 18,000 years ago, which left behind glacial deposits 200 to 600 feet deep.

Once extending from Main to southern New Jersey, the coastal pine barrens now cover only about 10% of their former range and have become fragmented and isolated. Pine barrens in Massachusetts have lost approximately two–thirds of the signature pitch pine-scrub oak forests to development.

With only about 45,000 acres protected from development, we need to do a better job of reducing the factors that are degrading the landscape and threatening biodiversity. Fire suppression, off–road vehicles, invasive plants and pests, pesticides and herbicides, landscaping with non–native plants, are taking a toll on the indigenous plants and animals.

Despite the challenges, we believe that education, cooperative action and a lot of passion will preserve and restore the beauty and unique character of southeastern Massachusetts.

Join with SEMPBA and help save an entire ecoregion!

SEMPBA Community Conservation Center
The SEMPBA Community Conservation Center 204 Long Pond Road, Plymouth, MA 02360. Your group is welcome to meet in our office. For details, drop by, email or call 774-773-9982.

Download the Town of Plymouth map of the Eel River Preserve and Russell Mill Pond Conservation Area hiking trails and the location of the SEMPBA Community Conservation Center here.

View Latest SEMPBA Newsletter

SEMPBA Brochure Cover

Read the SEMPBA Brochure Online

SEMPBA Volunteers—we'll try anything to save the pine barrens
SEMPBA Volunteers—doing all we can to save the pine barrens!

Join the effort to save the Greater Pine Barrens of Southeastern Massachusetts. Here's how!