Discovering Buzzards Bay begins at our centers in New Bedford and Woods Hole. At these free, interactive learning centers, you can explore life in Buzzards Bay and learn about how we work to solve the Bay’s most pressing environmental problems. Our centers open the door to exciting experiences that help you understand and appreciate our local waterways.
Buzzards Bay Center
The Buzzards Bay Center in historic downtown New Bedford is more than just the Coalition’s headquarters. It is a learning center, a community resource, and a model for environmentally responsible design. In addition to our staff offices, the Buzzards Bay Center is home to the Richard C. Wheeler Bay Learning Center and the Croll Conference Room, a community meeting space.
Onset Bay Center
The Coalition’s developing Onset Bay Center will offer high-quality on-the-water programming for thousands of people every year. Through a variety of outdoor activities such as sailing, paddling, shellfishing, and shoreline ecology, the center will help community members of all ages build a personal connection with Buzzards Bay.
Marion Science and Field Operations Center
Our newest permanent facility, the Marion Science and Field Operations Center serves as the centerpiece for the Coalition’s extensive environmental science and land stewardship work, including the David Emerson Riggs Laboratory (home of the Baywatchers program). Located at the corner of Spring Street and Route 6, this facility will support the Coalition’s diverse field operations – from water quality to land stewardship to outdoor exploration – all from Marion’s “front door.”
Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station
Built in 1888 to protect sailors along this dangerous stretch of Buzzards Bay’s coastline, the Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station was restored and reopened as a visitor center in 2009 by the Westport Fishermen’s Association. Today, the Lifesaving Station is managed the Buzzards Bay Coalition, following the Coalition’s merger with the Westport Fishermen’s Association. This center tells the story of the Bay’s treacherous entrance, and the history of oil spills and accidents that have driven recent successes in environmental protection. The Lifesaving Station is open to the public seasonally from June through September, and hosts select programs throughout the fall and winter.
Come explore fields, forests, and wetlands at the Coalition’s river reserves along the Acushnet River, the Mattapoisett River, Nasketucket Bay, and the Weweantic River. Whether you want to hike, paddle, fish, or simply enjoy nature, these conservation areas are available for you to discover and appreciate the beauty of the Buzzards Bay region.
Acushnet River Reserve
The Acushnet River Reserve is home to The Sawmill, LaPalme Farm, and Hamlin Crossing, totaling approximately 80 acres. At these three properties, you can walk, paddle, and explore wildlife along the river.
Mattapoisett River Reserve
The 500-plus acre Mattapoisett River Reserve is home to The Bogs, Tripps Mill, Tinkhamtown Woodlands, and New Boston Trail. The reserve is a gateway to more than four miles of public trails through forest, freshwater swamp, and retired cranberry bogs.
Nasketucket Bay State Reservation
At Nasketucket Bay State Reservation, we created a new trail called Shaw Farm Trail. Stretching nearly a mile past farms and through the forest, Shaw Farm Trail links the state reservation with the popular bike paths through Fairhaven and Mattapoisett.
Weweantic River Reserve
The Weweantic River is home to the 34-acre Horseshoe Mill, where you can go fishing, paddling, and hiking. The Coalition is working to restore the Weweantic River at Horseshoe Mill to improve fish passage and create better access for local residents.