Great Bay Stewards: From the Beginning

A timeline of our achievements over the years, from the 1930s to present.

Timeline of the Stewards

1939
January

Proposal to dredge

Proposal to dredge or dam the Bay between Adams Point and Newington Shore to allow for more shoreline property.
1973
November

Olympic Oil Company Makes Announcement

Spokesman for the Olympic Oil Company announces its intention to build in Durham the largest oil refinery ever started from scratch anywhere in the world.
1974
March

Durham residents vote

Ninety percent of Durham residents vote at Town Meeting against the refinery.
1983
January

Great Bay Trust

Great Bay Trust formed to help preserve Great Bay.
1989
October

GBNERR Established

GBNERR Established
Designation of Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
1992
January

Boardwalk construction

Boardwalk construction at the Great Bay Discovery Center, Greenland, NH.
1994
January

Great Bay Matters

Great Bay Matters
First Great Bay Matters issue.
1995
March

Group Formed

Meeting held at Sandy Point to discuss forming a support group, following concern that the state was not providing financial support for the Reserve.
June

Meetings with consultants

Meetings with consultants, including representatives from Wells Reserve, at the Center to decide on creating a support group for the Reserve.
September

First annual meeting

First annual meeting; Fred Langley (Greenland, NH) become chair.
1996
May

Trusts and Stewards meet

Joint meeting of the Great Bay Trust and the Great Bay Stewards. “Much animated discussion closed the meeting.”
June

Grand opening of the Sandy Point Discovery Center

Grand opening of the Sandy Point Discovery Center. First Evelyn Browne award give out. (Dr. William Penhale receives the first award by unanimous vote.)
1997
May

Merge approved

Great Bay Trustees and Great Bay Stewards vote to merge “By joining with the Stewards we can continue, with renewed energy and commitment, our efforts in protecting and preserving our valuable natural resources,” wrote Richard Langan, president of the GBESCT.
1998
January

Trustees join Vice President Al Gore

Trustees join Vice President Al Gore on the banks of the Oyster River to announce a $1.6 million restoration and protection plan toward protecting estuaries and reopening clam and oyster beds.
January

Reserve purchases historic railway station

Reserve purchases historic railway station
The Reserve purchases the historic 1854 railway station adjacent to the Discovery Center (the “Depot House”) with the help of Marple & James real estate.
June

Great Bay Rough Water Swim launched

Great Bay Rough Water Swim launched with seven swimmers.
1999
January

Great Bay Matters changes hands

Great Bay Matters changes hands
Great Bay Matters editorship is handed from Stewards Trustee Bill Penhale over to Reserve Education Coordinator Kelle Laughlin.
October

Great Bay 5K is launched

Great Bay 5K is launched
Great Bay 5K is launched as part of the 10-year anniversary celebration of the Reserve (the “Great Bay Fest”).
2002
January

The Gundalow Company

The Gundalow Company is formed; the Stewards begin developing projects with them.
September

Wigwam constructed

Wigwam constructed
The wigwam is constructed.
2005
January

Art of Great Bay launched

Art of Great Bay launched
First Art of Great Bay show and sale.
2006
June

Barn Dedication

Barn Dedication
Dedication of the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center (“the Barn”).
2007
January

Graduate Students Complete Research

Stewards fund 10 graduate student research projects.
2009
January

40,000th student

40,000th student
40,000th student attends the school program.
January

20th anniversary of the Reserve

20th anniversary of the Reserve.
2011
January

Special Collections

Great Bay Special Collections opens.
2014
January

Pavilion constructed

Pavilion constructed
Blue Heron Education Pavilion constructed.
May

Soak Up The Rain

Soak Up the Rain project begins, resulting in many stormwater management installations.
2016
June

New boardwalk

New boardwalk
Ribbon cutting for opening of new boardwalk.
2017
January

Wellenberger Woods dedication

Dedication for the Wellenberger Woods Natural Play Area.
November

Staffing updates

Allison Knab becomes the Great Bay Stewards Executive Director; Development Coordinator Lauren Saltman joins the staff.
2018
January

Accessibility improved

Accessibility to waterfront improved.
September

Great Bay For The Ages

Great Bay For The Ages
Great Bay for the Ages, a legacy program, is launched.
September

Estuary Explorers Launched

Estuary Explorers Launched
Estuary Explorers fund for field trips launched, bringing underprivileged students to the Great Bay Discovery Center free of charge.
2019
January

30th Anniversary

30th Anniversary
30th anniversary of GBNERR; Time capsule unearthed with the help of Greenland students and buried again in front of the Great Bay Discovery Center.
November

Generous donation received

Stewards receive a nearly $1 million anonymous donation to support Reserve staff and buildings.
2020
October

A new challenge

A new challenge
Great Bay 55K Challenge added to the Great Bay 5K | Race for a Healthy Estuary.
December

Grab & Go a hit

Free Grab & Go educational kits put out weekly during the pandemic, with support from the Stewards.
2021
January

Stewards 25th Year

Stewards 25th Year
Stewards celebrate the 25th anniversary of their nonprofit designation.
June

Tide Turners Program Launched

Tide Turners Program Launched
Tide Turners program is launched.