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Otter Creek is not just scenic; as a productive tidal marsh, it provides essential habitat for migratory birds, stabilizes the shoreline and protects the land against erosion, and filters pollutants from water that drains into Long Island Sound.
The Otter Creek tidal wetlands system plays a significant role in the ecology of the Mamaroneck area and accounts for at least five percent of Westchester County's productive tidal wetlands. It is an important resource for wildlife and features more than 100 species of plants, abundant marine and terrestrial life, and more than 100 species of birds. It was designated a Geologic Area of Particular Concern (GAPC) by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation.
With help from volunteers and staff, the Conservancy is removing invasive porcelain berry plants from the preserve and restoring native plant communities. Trail displays and the entrance kiosk educate visitors about the threats posed by invasive species, and suggest alternatives to planting non-native species in local gardens.
View the osprey platform recently constructed at Otter Creek by the summer interns from the Internship Program for City Youth.
A half-mile loop trail traverses the preserve. It will take you past the tidal marsh and creek for which this preserve is named, through deciduous forest, and along wet woodland depressions. Though the trail is short, the bird diversity can be extraordinary, so bring your binoculars and take time to examine the different habitats contained in this urban jewel.
Marsh vegetation is composed primarily of two related grasses: salt marsh cordgrass and salt meadow grass, a similar, smaller species. Giant reed, or Phragmites, forms a dense border around the marsh. The uplands contain mixed deciduous forest dotted with vernal pools. Silver and red maples, black oak, sassafrass, and willows are abundant.
Black crowned night herons, osprey, yellow warblers, great blue herons, white egrets and northern harriers are commonly seen at Otter Creek. A wide variety of waterfowl and other migratory birds make use of the rich marsh and estuary throughout the year.
This 27-acre preserve is located in Mamaroneck, Westchester County, New York. Download a preserve map to plan your visit to Otter Creek Preserve.