The Narragansett Bay Research Reserve is located in the heart of Narragansett Bay on four islands: Prudence, Patience, Hope and Dyer; it protects and manages approximately 4,400 acres of land and water. Habitats within the Reserve include salt marsh, eelgrass beds, rocky intertidal zone, pine barren, deciduous forest and coastal meadow.
The majority of the Reserve's work, including its headquarters, are based on Prudence Island, the largest of the four islands. The Reserve manages approximately 63% of Prudence Island as well as surrounding waters.
For a greater understanding of the ecological importance and diversity found within the Reserve, click here to view our Ecological Site Profile.
The Reserve is located in the Narragansett Bay Watershed which is comprised of 1,657 square miles. Sixty-one percent of the watershed is in Massachusetts and thirty-nine percent is in Rhode Island.
The Narragansett Bay Research Reserve is one of 28 Reserves in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), a parternship program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the coastal states. Currently, the NERRS protects over 1.3 million acres of estuarine waters and adjacent upland habitats.
A map showing the locations of all 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves.
Reserve Mission Statement:
"To preserve, protect and restore coastal and estuarine ecosystems of Narragansett Bay through long-term research, education and training."
A coastal meadow and pine barrens habitat in the southern portion of the Reserve are important for biodiversity.
Our Reserve was designated in 1980 through a partnership between NOAA and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM). Over the years we have also become close partners with the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.