Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve
Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve Logo

Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

Reserve Information



Lead Agency

Wells Reserve Management Authority
(Visit Site)


2,250 acres


Laudholm Farm Road off of U.S. Route 1 in Wells, Maine

Additional Information

Habitat at this reserve support a broad variety of plants and animals, including rare species such as least terns, piping plovers, and slender blue flag iris.

Biogeographic Region


Tidal Range

3.4 meters

About This Reserve

This reserve protects fields, forests, freshwater wetlands, salt marsh, and sandy beach on the densely populated southern coast of Maine. Reserve facilities are situated at historic Laudholm farm, settled in 1642 and occupied by only four families over the ensuing 350 years. The Laudholm Trust, with about 2,500 members, develops programs that increase public awareness of, and support for, Wells Reserve research, education, and resource management.

The Wells Reserve is one of 30 areas in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The reserve is managed on a daily basis by the Wells Reserve Management Authority for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship. NOAA's Office for Coastal Management provides funding, national guidance, and technical assistance.

Reserve Location and Boundaries