Island Research

The Boston Harbor Islands Partnership facilitates natural, cultural, and social science studies and scholarly research. These studies support the park mission by providing a cumulative and constantly refined understanding of park resources, along with an understanding of park visitors, the non-visiting public, and human interactions with park resources. This approach provides a scholarly or scientific basis for planning, development, and management decisions.

The data and information acquired through studies conducted in the park are made available broadly-to park managers, the preservation and scientific communities, and the public-except when information must be withheld to protect sensitive park resources, or where legal restrictions apply.

Research Priorities
The Boston Harbor Islands Partnership is currently developing research priorities for the islands. In general, priorities for detailed studies focus on the protection of resources in areas of greatest visitor concentration, on the hub islands, or where baseline data identify sensitive resources. If you have a proposal, please contact us at 617-223-8669.

Research Permits
Independent studies are not required to address specifically identified Partnership management issues or information needs. All studies, including data and specimen collection, do require a research permit. Permission for independent research that would physically disturb cultural resources, or provide for the collection of objects or specimens in the park, is granted only when there is compelling evidence that the proposed research is essential to significant research concerns and can be reasonably achieved only by using park resources.

The National Park Service acts as the clearinghouse for research permit applications. After receiving a complete application, the NPS forwards the information to the appropriate owner(s) and remains the coordinator for research applications. The decision to issue permission for research is made by the owner.

An individual may obtain NPS application materials for Boston Harbor Islands at


Last updated: December 6, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

15 State Street
9th Floor

Boston, MA 02109


(617) 223-8666

Contact Us