• Lush vegetation on the top of Spectacle Island's North drumlin dominates the foreground. Boston's skyline can be seen in the distance.  The park's logo with tag line minutes away, worlds apart empashises the stark contrast between the city and islands.

    Boston Harbor Islands

    National Recreation Area Massachusetts

Marine Plants / Algae

The once-plentiful eelgrass is the only type of seagrass now present in Boston Harbor; it is now confined to only four isolated areas, the largest of which is near the south coast of Bumpkin Island. Seagrass beds are critical wetlands components of shallow coastal ecosystems where they hold sediment, providing food and cover for a great variety of animals. Salt marshes, the most highly productive ecosystems in the world, are dominated by saltwater cordgrass and provide habitat for many marine organisms. More than 50 percent of the state's salt marshes have been filled. The largest remaining salt marshes on the islands are found on Thompson and Snake islands. Smaller brackish marshes have been identified on Calf, Grape, Lovells, and Peddocks. Mud flats, which generally occur on the periphery and at the expanding edges of

Did You Know?

Soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry

The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, depicted in the movie “Glory,” made a heroic return to Massachusetts via their discharge station at Gallops Island, part of Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. More...