Nahant Marsh is a 265-acre treasure nestled in Southwest Davenport. It is part of a 513-acre wetland complex that is bordered by the Mississippi River, Interstate 280, and Highway 22.
Most people in the Quad Cities have passed the Nahant Marsh without realizing it. The marsh is part of a 513-acre wetland area next to the Mississippi River in southwest Davenport. If you’ve driven over the I-280 bridge, then you’ve seen this marsh! The marsh area encompasses different wetland community types including bottomland forest, open-water habitat, and a marsh–all surrounded by suburban, industrial, and agricultural land. Where did the “Nahant” name come from? No one knows for sure, but it could be that settlers to the area named it after a saltwater marsh town called Nahant, Massachusetts. Or it could be that the word means “land between the waters” in a Native American language. Find out more about one of the Quad Cities’ hidden treasures.
Not long ago, Nahant Marsh was in danger. Some of its wildlife and plant life were dying or deformed. Investigations showed that the marsh had high levels of lead. So a community came together to try to save the marsh and conserve its biotic community. This continuing effort is a real-life illustration of stakeholder participation, environmental cleanup actions, and rejuvenation. The Nahant Marsh Education Center was formed to educate the public about this local ecosystem. Find out more about the Nahant Marsh preservation efforts.