|The Great Bay Dialogue has changed its name to the Great Bay Initiative to better reflect the action & effort taking place. There are many new resources on the website & new action team meetings are scheduled. |
Visit the website for
|Liz Taylor's view from Old Ferry Landing, Portsmouth |
Do you have an eye for capturing nature at her finest?
Do you chase sunsets & sunrises all over the Seacoast?
Do you love to show off to your friends & family your keen photographic eye?
Submit a photo on PREP's Facebook wall & we may choose it to be featured in an upcoming issue of Downstream.
Think Blue Exeter!
Exeter has gone to the DUCKS! Exeter has launched a new educational outreach program about the harmful effects of stormwater pollution. Keep an eye & an ear to local TV & radio for the ducks & THINK BLUE EXETER!
|Attention College Students & Faculty!
Campus RainWorks Challenge
The EPA Office of Water is providing an opportunity to make your campus community greener, win cash prizes, and earn funding for continuing green infrastructure research.
The Campus RainWorks Challenge is a competition in which college students design green infrastructure projects to be installed on their campus that manage stormwater and benefit the both the environment, and the community.
Get a group of your colleagues together with a faculty advisor to take advantage of this awesome learning opportunity.
Follow this link for competition documents and more information.
Welcome to the June issue of Downstream, Your Estuaries Partnership News. With the arrival of spring weather means it's also the start of the field research season. Scientists and researchers pull on their muck boots, slap on their sunscreen and venture into the marshes, rivers, fields and waters of the Seacoast when the environment is fully grown and wildlife is out and about. They go out to answer a plethora of varied research questions and to monitor the state of the environment after winter.
In this issue of Downstream we're taking a peek into what some researchers have going on this year. The valuable research our scientific community conducts provides us with the critical knowledge about natural functions and resources that we need to make decisions on how we protect and manage it.
So if you are out exploring our watershed and you see someone knee deep in a marsh with an orange vest give them a wave and say "thanks!". Till next month, thank you for reading and caring.
Community Impact Program Manager
The Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP)
If you have any recommendations on how we can improve our newsletter, or have any news you would like to share, please e-mail us and we'd be happy to incorporate your ideas into a future issue.
Knee Deep among the Fish
Just like most New England residents, life for migrating fish is at its peak during the warmer months and this is an especially critical period of field work for biologists like Kevin Sullivan from the Marine Fisheries Division at New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.
Mr. Sullivan and a team of researchers study fish that migrate every spring from the Atlantic Ocean, through the Great Bay estuary, and up the Seacoast's rivers (called anadromous fish) in order to spawn.
Our rivers once abounded with spring runs of river herring, Atlantic salmon, shad, and sturgeon providing an important part of the food web of the river systems and estuary. However, this critical part of our natural and cultural heritage has been harmed by dam and culvert blockages and water quality problems in certain areas. Scientists throughout the region study and monitor anadromous fish with as much detail as possible in order to generate accurate population estimates and track trends over time.
Annually, Kevin and his team monitor fish that pass through the fish ladders on the "head of tide" dams on the Taylor, Lamprey, Cocheco, Oyster, Exeter and Winnicut rivers. Today, river herring are the only fish that migrate up these rivers in any significant numbers but they do occasionally see shad (less than 4 counted this year so far) and very rarely they see Atlantic salmon . These scientists use fish traps and count how many and what types of fish are in the trap and they use swim-through counting tubes. In addition, they gather random groupings of the fish and measure length, species, age and sex through a variety of sampling and measuring techniques. The approximately 4800 dams in NH are a distinct piece of regional cultural heritage, but most of them restrict the passage of fish and the older dams often represent a hazard to communities and property.
Mike Dionne and Becky Heuss prepare to tag a net full of herring below the fish ladder in Exeter, NH
Photo by: Kevin Sullivan
|This chart is from the 2009 State of the Estuaries Report. New data is being compiled for the 2013 Report releasing in Dec.|
Mr. Sullivan's most recent project is attempting to measure the efficiency of fish ladders that are built within the dams to see if a fish ladder is as good as a natural river and which designs allow for more or less passage for River Herring. On the Cocheco, Oyster, Lamprey and Exeter rivers, fish are captured, tagged then released below the dams and then re-captured above after navigating the fish ladders. In addition, tagging fish will also allow them to track how many fish make it back after spending the winter in the ocean. A preliminary study last year tagged 11 River Herring before they migrated back to the ocean; so far 2 of those 11 fish have returned this year and Sullivan thinks this year's increased and earlier tagging effort will result in greater insight on future returns.
|The newly opened fish ladder at the Wiswall Dam in Durham opens up the upper reaches of the Lamprey River to river herring for first time in 200 years. Volunteer counters estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 river herring had already passed the dam as of May 7th. |
Photo credit: Union Leader
Mr. Sullivan and all the other fish counters across the watershed have been extra busy this season because early estimates are showing a record year for returns of river herring.
Ever wondered what the world looks like to a river herring making their way up a fish ladder? Check out this video NH Fish & Game captured this April on the Lamprey River.
Looks pretty crowded!
|River Herring's Eye View |
Seacoast musicians unite to promote clean water
The PREP Clean Water Music Series is here! Seacoast musicians will be performing throughout the summer at various venues to provide great entertainment and help PREP engage the community about the importance of protecting the places around the watershed that we all love.
Performances by Martin England and Back on the Train will start us off at the first concert on Thursday, June 14th beginning at 7pm at The Press Room in Portsmouth, NH. PREP will be at each event with information about how Seacoast citizens can personally protect their sources of clean water and reduce impacts to the environment.
For a full list of the concert dates, to upload pictures of the places you love and to learn more about what you can do to help prevent pollution to our waters visit the Clean Water Music website. (www.CleanWaterMusic.com)
| Watershed Watch
Our Watershed Watch feature is dedicated to sharing our partners' latest research and reports. If you have, or know of a report you would like us to feature in an upcoming issue of Downstream, please contact us and we will be happy to include it.
Initial Report-Out from NH Listens Statewide Conversation on Water
By: NH Listens
On Tuesday, May 8th over 160 residents throughout New Hampshire joined in a statewide conversation on the future of water in NH at five locations. The event, organized by NH Listens was an effort to gain citizen input and recommendations for the Governor's Commission on Water Sustainability. The participants followed a study guide and discussed a wide range of issues from water availability to fiscal implications for water infrastructure upgrades. NH Listens will produce a full report for the Governor's Commission that will contain specific recommendations but the initial report-out identifies key issues and recommendations raised across the participants throughout the state.
Read the initial report-out here.
To learn more about the ongoing efforts of the Governor's Commission click here.
Jobs & Dollars: Big Returns from Coastal Habitat Restoration By: Restore America's Estuaries Is it possible to describe the value of a saltmarsh or an oyster reef in dollar amounts and jobs? The non-profit organization Restore America's Estuaries recently published a report that does just that. The Jobs and Dollars report uses plain English in 7 concise pages to clearly illustrate the direct connection between healthy estuaries and healthy local and regional economies.
To view the full report, please
By: NH Dept. of Environmental Services
Will drought conditions impact drinking water and recreation this summer? The NH Department of Environmental Services monitors drought conditions throughout the state and publishes a report on their website. Important information about drought conditions in your region can be found in the report. In addition to the report, the website also has information about conserving water in your daily life. Clean drinking water is a precious resource we all share, and when the lakes and reservoirs start to get low, every effort to conserve water is important! To visit the Drought Management Program's website
2012 National Coastal Condition Report
By: US EPA
The National Coastal Condition Reports describe the ecological and environmental conditions in U.S. coastal waters. They summarize the condition of ecological resources in the coastal waters of the United States and highlight several exemplary federal, state, tribal, and local programs that assess coastal ecological and water quality conditions. The National Coastal Condition Report series rate the overall condition of U.S. coastal waters as fair, varying from region to region.
The 2012 Report can be viewed here.
PREP's Clean Water Champion
Staff Profile: Derek Sowers, Conservation Program Manager
PREP's Clean Water Champion is a monthly feature that profiles
people and partners working to make a difference around our watershed. This month, we decided it was time to highlight one of our own, PREP's Conservation Program Manager, Derek Sowers. Derek's worked on both coasts of the US in conservation and restoration efforts with a specific interest in fish passage work. Derek's an avid kayaker, surfer and hiker and is an essential resource for the projects he's involved with for PREP including the NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup and the Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative.
PREP: How long have you been a champion for clean water?
Derek: Let's say 17 years. I graduated from UNH in 1995 with a degree in Environmental Science and immediately served two years in AmeriCorps on stewardship projects for the NH State Park system and leading stream restoration projects in the state of Washington. I stayed in the Northwest for a master's degree in Marine Resource Management and have worked for National Estuary Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves since then.
PREP: How'd you get started in protecting clean water?
Derek: I grew up on 28 acres in southwest NH and spent much of time exploring the woods, wetlands and streams near my home. My parents instilled a sense of respect for nature early on, so translating exploration and conservation into a career was really the only path I wanted to follow.
PREP: What's your favorite thing to do with or on water?
Derek: Drink it. After the basic necessity has been fulfilled, I like to surf, kayak and dive in it.
PREP: What's been your proudest moment as a clean water champion?
Derek: I can't think of a single achievement that wasn't an effort of many dedicated people. I once helped to develop a restoration strategy and permanently protect a 350 acre wetland complex in the Tillamook Bay in Oregon. This project protected key bird habitat, restored essential salmon habitat, and lessened flooding impacts on the local community - a huge win all around.
What's one simple thing you would tell somebody to do to protect the places around the Seacoast they love? Derek:
Use your votes and dollars to support permanent land conservation by your town and the land trusts active in your community.
PREP is now accepting applications for 2012 Piscataqua Region Land Protection Transaction Grants.
PREP is offering matching grants of up to $4,000 per project to assist with transaction costs for permanent land protection projects (conservation easements, full fee acquisitions, donations) within the Piscataqua Region coastal watershed area (coastal New Hampshire and part of Southern Maine).
Grants can be awarded to either qualified nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) conservation organizations or units of government. Currently, a total of $20,000 is available for the 2012 grant round, with a limit of one application per eligible organization. Proposals are due by 5 PM June 1, 2012
Interested parties should complete a Request for Proposals document with the required application from (Microsoft Word format) which can be downloaded here www.PREP.unh.edu/grants.htm.
|The Clean Water Community Calendar|
As the Community for Clean Water, one of PREP's goals is to keep you informed on the latest outings, conferences, workshops and FUN happening around our watershed so that you, your family, friends & neighbors can get involved!
Below is our run-down for June. If you have, or know of an event that you would like us to feature in an upcoming issue of Downstream, please contact us!
Lamprey River Flood Zone Conference
Time: 8:00am - 1pm
Where: Raymond Baptist Church Function Hall, Raymond, NH
The Lamprey River Watershed Association is hosting this event to present issues around flooding in the Lamprey River watershed. Presentations will center on new 100-year floodplain maps and focus on future changes in land use and precipitation, and how communities can address flooding hazards.
Register by calling Dawn Genes at (603) 659-9363 or email. June 2nd Traip Academy Plant Sale & Free Yardscaping Workshop
Time: 9am - 11am
Where: Traip Academy Greenhouse, Kittery, ME
Join the Kittery DPW and students from Traip Academy for a plant sale and FREE Yardscaping Workshop. Learn more about simple, natural practices for maintaining a healthy yard.
Silent Spring's 50th Anniversary Celebration
Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Where: Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, 321 Port Rd. (Rt. 9E), Wells, ME
The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's revolutionary novel Silent Spring with a day full of free, fun, family-friendly activities such as DIY bird feeders & nature inspired t-shirts, a tidal critters touch tank, a Wildlife Olympics, a Raptors & Reptiles live show from the York Center for Wildlife, guided walks & presentations, face painting, performances & there will be food for purchase from Borealis Breads.
For more information & directions view the Event Flyer.
Film Screening "A View of the Watershed"
Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Where: West Meadow Pub at The Meadowmere Resort,
74 Main St. (Route 1) Ogunquit, ME
In celebration of World Oceans Day, Great Works Land Trust will be screening this original video by Todd Hoffman and presenting about the importance of the Great Works watershed to Ogunquit. Cash bar will have simple bar menu and hors d'ouevres will be provided by Village Food Market.
Admission is free, but RSVP is required. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
First concert of PREP's Clean Water Music Series!
Where: The Press Room, Daniel Street, Portsmouth NH
Enjoy a double-header lineup from popular Seacoast local musicians Martin England & Back on the Train while learning what you can do to protect the places we love all around the Seacoast.
For more information & future concert dates, click here
Extreme Weather in Newfields Community Workshop
Hosted by: New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup
Time: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Where: Newfields Town Hall, 65 Main St., Newfields, NH
The workshop will include a brief presentation of a local climate assessment by Dr. Cameron Wake from UNH. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions & then work in small facilitated groups to determine weather-related impacts of concern, identify vulnerabilities in infrastructure, natural resources & the Newfields population & recommend actions to protect these assets.
AWWA's NH Shoreland Owners' Workshop
Time: 9:00am - 12:30pm
Where: Wakefield Opera House, 2 High St., Sanbornville, NH
Join the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance (AWWA) & the Wakefield Conservation Commission & learn from the experts about best practices & regulations for NH shorefront activities. Find out what you can do to keep our lakes clean & enjoy your property. Free refreshments & door prizes.
NHCAW's Coastal Adaptation to Sea Level Rise Tool (COAST) Project Presentation
Time: 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Where: Hampton Falls Town Hall, 1 Drinkwater Rd., Hampton Falls
The New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup (NHCAW) has been working with the towns of Hampton, Hampton Falls & Seabrook over the past few months to utilize the COAST technology to help the 3 towns understand flooding risks & associated economic impacts. All our invited to the meeting to discuss the modeling results & to help identify next steps. Free refreshments & a light dinner will be provided.
Thursdays in June on the Gundalow Piscataqua
Join the Gundalow Company aboard the new vessel the Piscataqua this season for live music & special presentations during their Thursday sunset sails. Thursdays, June through September, will feature either live, local music or a speaker on environmental issues or cultural and maritime heritage.
The Thursday evening sails in June run 6:00pm - 8:00pm and include:
June 7th - Geno Marconi, Director of NH Ports & Harbors
June 14th - Joyce Andersen & Kent Allyn, Veteran Seacoast musicians
June 21st - Peter Wellenberger, Great Bay-Piscataqua Waterkeeper
June 28th - Susie Burke & David Surette & daughters, folk musicians
Click here for tickets & info.