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Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance

Building Alliances to better protect, enhance and celebrate the Southeastern Massachusetts Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens Ecoregion

Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens Map

Southeastern Massachusetts contains the second-largest Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens Ecoregion remaining in the world. The largest Pine Barrens is in New Jersey (approximately 326,000 acres).  Massachusetts' pine barrens cover about 100,000 acres with about 45,000 acres protected from development. A fire–dependent ecosystem, the pine barrens is characterized by deep, sandy soil and the pitch pine–scrub oak forest that gives the region an open Savannah appearance that is quite different from the hardwood forests of Massachusetts.  European Colonials thought of the area as "barren" for agricultural purposes, but Native Americans knew the value of the landscape and are thought to have had a hand in creating the habitat by frequent clearing of the land using fire.

Pine Barrens Natural Communities Map

The Massachusetts Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens extends along the shore from Duxbury to Provincetown, and includes Cape Cod, Nantucket Island, and Martha's Vineyard, with twenty-eight communities lying within the region. While the signature natural community of the is pitch pine–scrub oak forest, the region consists of twenty terrestrial communities as defined by the Massachusetts Natural History and Endangered Species Program. Each has its own related plants and animals. Find out more about the Pine Barrens Natural Communities here.

Massachusetts has lost approximately two–thirds of the original Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens habitat; due in large part to residential development and fire suppression. Other factors, such as the use of off–road vehicles on fragile soils, invasive plants and pests, the substitution of non–native plants in place of native plants in our landscapes and the use of herbicides and pesticides are taking a toll on the indigenous plants and animals. Despite the challenges, we believe that cooperative action can reverse the trend of degradation. Plan on attending the next Regional Conservation Forum designed to build collaborative initiatives.


SEMPBA Brochure Cover

Read the new SEMPBA Flyer Online

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