Welcome to Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance (SEMPBA)!

The Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance (SEMPBA) advocates for the protection, preservation and enlargement of the 40 natural communities that comprise our globally-rare ecoregion, the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens. An all-volunteer non-profit SEMPBA develops educational materials, produces forums, monitors habitat and species and provides speakers to reach its educational goals, working out of our regional conservation center located within Plymouth’s Center Hill Preserve.

SEMPBA has a successful track record of winning local, state and federal grants, but distributes the vast majority of those funds to experts and established conservation entities who share their priorities and focus. SEMPBA’s Conservation Center, which we share with the Indigenous Resource Collaborative, is open to the public and is often the site of conservation workshops, educational trail walks, and ongoing citizen science projects.



Seasonal Forestry Internship Opportunity with SEMPBA and DCR 

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) in partnership with the Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance (SEMPBA) seeks a motivated, self-reliant individual with a strong interest in forest ecology and management.  This paid ($20/hour) field-based position will allow the intern to gain experience working on in-demand forestry subjects and conservation and includes job shadowing opportunities with mentors within the fields of consulting forestry, service forestry, forest health and environmental advocacy.

The successful applicant will have the chance to help craft management recommendations for a small preserve in a globally rare ecosystem, build their professional resume, and network with natural resource professionals. This is a full-time, temporary position beginning in early-June and ending in mid-August 2024.

Working with stakeholders, develop a forest management outline for a small preserve:

  • Learn how to conduct Forest and Biological Inventories and apply them in the field.
  • Read and interpret maps and utilize GIS mapping software as needed.
  • Identify various tree and shrub species, catalog invasive species
  • Collect, manage, and analyze forest and biodiversity data
  • Interact with and support SEMPBA, its partners, and visitors to conservation center.
  • Understand roles of service forester, consultant forester and conservation advocacy.
  • Operate independently in office, remote and field settings in a safe, professional manner
  • Participate in a final presentation with stakeholders.

Application deadline is May 3rd by 5pm EST. Apply Here.


SEMPBA is everywhere—doing everything we can to save the Coastal Pine Barrens!

Regional Collaboration


SEMPBA is proud to serve as coordinators for the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens Partnership, one of 55 Regional Conservation Partnerships  (RCPs) in the Northeastern United States. We believe that forming partnerships is the only way we can save the 40 natural communities that comprise this globally rare coastal pine barrens ecoregion.

Link to the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens Partnership website.



Anna posing with some of our pitch pine seedlings to publicize the "Adopt a Pitch Pine" event

SEMPBA volunteers are involved in research projects ranging from saltwater intrusion into Plymouth's ground water, initiatives to engage citizens in regional climate change mitigation and preparation, and a variety of citizen science projects at The Center at the beautiful the Center Hill Preserve. Volunteers participate in the Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries Spawning Horseshoe Crab survey each spring. We beleive in fun with a purpose and encourage you to join us!

Find out how you can become involved. Click here.

Education and outreach in a beautiful setting!


SEMPBA offers trainings and workshops to advance conservation within the Coastal Pine Barrens Ecoregion. Our Climate and Nature Center (above), located at the beautiful Center Hill Preserve, boasts at least eight natural communities— from beach to forest and in between—making it a wonderful nature education site. We invite schools, conservation groups, nature lovers and visitors of all types to enjoy the preserve. When you do, stop by SEMPBA's Climate and Nature Center to learn more about our unique ecoregion. What you discover may inspire you—the way it has inspired SEMPBA volunteers—to do all you can to save our Coastal Pine Barrens!

More about The Center at the Center Hill Preserve here.

The SEMPBA Community Conservation Center is located at the beautiful Center Hill Preserve
158 Center Hill Road in Plymouth, MA


What's new?


The Horseshoe Crab: Against All Odds

Plymouth Center for the Arts

11 North Street, Plymouth, MA

Exhibition Dates:   June 12, 2024 – July 7, 2024

Entry Deadline: April 15, 2024

An art exhibition exploring horseshoe crabs

More information at www.horseshoecrabs.info

Online Submission Form

Download the 'Call for Artists"


horseshoe crab 1st day 2023

The annual Horseshoe Crab Surveys start May 5th, and you’re invited!

Every spring, Atlantic horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) return to the beaches of the U.S. East Coast to mate and, in the case of females, lay tens of thousands of eggs.

The Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance (SEMPBA) will once again participate in the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MDMF) Spawning Horseshoe Crab Survey on Plymouth’s Long Beach. The information we compile will then be used by the MDMF, along with data from other sites around the Commonwealth, to help determine horseshoe crab fishing and management regulations.

Unfortunately, horseshoe crabs, and several varieties of shorebird that depend on their eggs to sustain them on their long migratory routes, are in decline.

The decline in horseshoe crabs began early last century due to loss of habitat and overharvesting. Then, beginning in the 1970's, biomedical labs began capturing and bleeding horseshoe crabs to extract Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL), a critical component in the testing of vaccines and medical implants. Today, two biomedical labs operate on Cape Cod and the bait industry remains strong.

Recently the MDMF proposed a ban on the harvesting of horseshoe crabs during their spring spawning season based, in part, on these spawning survey data. These changes in management are encouraging; however, our work is not done.  Your participation is more important than ever as future spawning surveys will provide necessary data to assess the impact of these changes on the number of spawning horseshoe crabs.

Sign-up now on SignUpGenius to take part in this important survey that gets you outside on the beach while contributing data that may help to increase future horseshoe crab populations in Massachusetts.



Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness

Subterranean Resilience: Predicting, Assessing and Mitigating Saltwater Intrusion is a first-of-its-kind evaluation of the community’s susceptibility to saltwater intrusion, undertaken by researchers from the UMass-Amherst School of Earth and Sustainability, and a dozen local non-profit environmental and civic organizations who undertook a parallel program to raise awareness of climate resiliency issues regarding water quality. The grant also allowed for the creation of two legacy elements: the establishment of a community water testing station, and the creation of ‘One Water,’ an ongoing digital chronicle of local water-related projects and programs (https://onewater.livingobservatory.org).

Visit the MVP Page

Download the Final Report

FINAL REPORT: Saltwater Intrusion Vulnerability Assessment in Plymouth, MA - Compounding Effects of Sea Level Rise on Water Quality and Aquifer Sustainability

By the University of Massachusetts Amherst Hydrogeology Group Alexander Kirshen, Carly Lombardo, David Boutt, Daniel Corkran, Brendan Moran, & Rachel KingOctober 2023

Compiled by Irina Kadis and Denise Stowell. Photographs courtesy of Salicicola.org and Alexey Zinovjev & Irina Kadis

Click here to access the plant guide.

This native plant guide was funded in part by a Landscape Scale Restoration grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.