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!
September/October Edition of Environmental News
NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup
Upcoming NHCAW Workshops:
Weds. Nov. 28th
Webinar: Communicating Climate Change to Journalists & Reporters
Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative
|Seagulls at sunrise by Chris Keeley|
Do you have an eye for capturing nature at her finest?
Do you know how to capture the Seacoast Lifestyle?
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.
Street Team Needed!
PREP needs some street team volunteers to help us out with promotion & staffing for our upcoming Clean Water Music Series Events!
Are you willing to hang posters in your community?
Could you represent PREP at the Clean Water Community Table at an event?
if you're interested in volunteering for PREP!
| 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 will be reconvening in the Fall.|
Visit the website for
Welcome to the November issue of Downstream, Your Estuaries Partnership News. Around the PREP offices we're all abuzz getting ready for our State of Our Estuaries Conference on Dec. 7th, registration opens next week, Nov. 7th! We almost forgot to notice that all the leaves are mostly off the trees (no thanks to Hurricane Sandy) and we're fast approaching ski and snowshoe season! November is like the calm before the storm of the holidays but it's also a fantastic time to get in some brisk hikes before the ground freezes or long bike rides before there's ice on the roads. November is a time to soak up the outside world as much as we can and to express our thanks for all the beauty that we're lucky enough to live in. PREP is very thankful to all of you who work tirelessly to protect and preserve the places we love and we want to wish you all a very happy month of giving thanks!
Take a minute and snap a photo of the places around here you love and share it with us on our Facebook page. And as always, 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.
Urban Watershed Restoration and Renewal in Berry Brook
Contributed by Sally Soule, NH Dept. of Environmental Services
This summer, the headwaters of tiny Berry Brook saw the light of day for the first time in over 100 years. For many years this urban stream in the heart of Dover, NH was neglected and forgotten. Historic land uses forced the stream underground into pipes. Stormwater runoff from paved surfaces caused flooding, property damage, and habitat loss. Water quality studies showed that the brook did not support fish and other aquatic life due to stormwater pollution.
Over concerns for the brook's health, the City of Dover developed the Berry Brook Watershed Management Plan (2008) to guide restoration efforts. Next, the City put together a team of partners including the UNH Stormwater Center (UNHSC), Cocheco River Watershed Coalition (CRWC), NH Fish and Game, American Rivers and NH DES to tackle the multi-year effort. Restoration goals include stream continuity and habitat improvements, treatment of stormwater runoff to remove pollutants, and reduction of stormwater volume discharged to the brook.
A New Channel: This aerial photo shows the new channel just after construction, before we let the brook go into it. Prior to construction, this area contained a large municipal structure. The structure was removed, the channel was built (red outline) and the brook was released from its underground home into the channel. It was the first time this reach of the brook had seen the light of day for over 100 years!!
The project started this year in the upper watershed where the brook had been piped beneath a large municipal structure over a century ago. UNHSC designed 1000' of stream channel to restore the brook to its original, above-ground location. When construction of
the streambed was finished, the brook was released into the new channel to flow over the land again. Floodplains were also reconstructed and volunteers planted over 400 trees to provide shade and habitat.
The UNHSC and Dover Department of Public Works are also installing stormwater management practices throughout the watershed to reduce stormwater runoff volume and pollutant loads to the brook. This summer, a gravel wetland was constructed in the upper watershed to treat stormwater runoff from eleven acres of paved surfaces. Additionally, the project team built raingardens, vegetated swales, tree box filters, and infiltration units to remove pollutants and reduce runoff volume. More treatment practices will be constructed in the lower watershed.
Outreach activities hosted by UNHSC, CRWC and the City this year included installation of rain barrels, watershed walks, school programs, and brook clean-ups. The UNH Stormwater Center is monitoring the brook's physical, chemical, and biological health to evaluate and track its response to restoration activities. "This is a very ambitious project," says Sally Soule, NH DES project partner. "The local commitment is strong, and the restoration work is innovative and comprehensive. I think the fish will return to Berry Brook once it's finished."
Horne St Elementary: This rain garden was installed at the Horne Street School in the Berry Brook watershed. It treats roof runoff. This installation was a nice partnership between the project team and the school.
For more information:
Funding for the Berry Brook project was provided in part by a Watershed Assistance Grant from the NH Department of Environmental Services with Clean Water Act Section 319 funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Additional funding was provided by the City of Dover, American Rivers, and the NH DES Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund.
Conference Registration Opens November 7th
Stay tuned to the PREP website for updates, registration information and agendas for the conference as well as numerous related events occuring around the watershed in support of the 2013 State of Our Estuaries Report!
Our Watershed Watch feature is dedicated to sharing our partners' and others 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.
Smart Growth for Coastal & Waterfront Communities
By: NOAA, USEPA & others
On Wednesday, September 9, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the International City/County Management Association, and Rhode Island Sea Grant, released "Smart Growth for Coastal and Waterfront Communities." Developed in consultation with the national Smart Growth Network, the inter-agency guide builds on the network's ten smart growth principles to create coastal and waterfront-specific strategies for development. The guide includes an overview of the unique development challenges and opportunities along the water and provides specific approaches to development that include a description of the issues, tools and techniques, and case studies. "Smart Growth for Coastal and Waterfront Communities" is intended for planners, local government officials, developers, residents, and other stakeholders.
How to Upgrade and Maintain Our Nation's Wastewater & Drinking Water Infrastructure
By: The Center for American Progress
Of all the elements of our public infrastructure, our water systems are the most essential for the daily lives of Americans. The average American family of four uses roughly 400 gallons of water a day for drinking, washing, cooking, cleaning, and more.
Businesses and industry throughout our nation also depend on clean water to keep their doors open and to manufacture thousands of goods we use or export every day. But due to factors like aging infrastructure and increased threats from a changing climate, our water systems are beginning to fail. This report details the current state of our water infrastructure problems, explains the authority structure for these systems, and argues why projected funding levels are insufficient. It also presents commonsense reforms to help address the systems' failures.
Click here to download the Full Report
Decline in Salt Marshes in US Caused by Increased Nutrient Levels
A study recently published in the journal Nature has given us direct evidence of how humans are causing the degradation and loss of coastal salt marsh. Experiments and observation at salt marsh habitat in the Plum Island Estuary, just south of us in Newburyport, MA, over the past nine years have resulted in some elegant explanations for how increased nutrient levels from human activities and development patterns are causing decline of this critical habitat.
to go to the full article and watch a video from the study authors.A new Conservation Plan for Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge
By: US Fish & Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the 1,103 acre wildlife refuge located in an out-of-the-way corner of Newington, NH. The plan lays out the strategy for continued protection and restoration of critical habitat within the refuge, habitat for endangered species like the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly. Click here to get the full plan and learn how you can get involved.
New App Lets Users Check Health of Waterways Anywhere in the U.S.
By: US EPA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently launched a new app and website to help people find information on the condition of thousands of lakes, rivers and streams across the United States from their smart phone, tablet or desktop computer. Available at http://www.epa.gov/mywaterway
, the How's My Waterway app and website uses GPS technology or a user-entered zip code or city name to provide information about the quality of local water bodies.
How It Works
* SEARCH: Go to http://www.epa.gov/mywaterway
and allow GPS-technology to identify the nearest streams, rivers or lakes or enter a zip code or city name.
* RESULTS: Instantly receive a list of waterways within five miles of the search location. Each waterway is identified as unpolluted, polluted or un-assessed. A map option offers the user a view of the search area with the results color-coded by assessment status.
* DISCOVER: Once a specific lake, river or stream is selected, the How's My Waterway app and website provides information on the type of pollution reported for that waterway and what has been done by EPA and the states to reduce it. Additional reports and technical information is available for many waterways. Read simple descriptions of each type of water pollutant, including pollutant type, likely sources and potential health risks.
* MORE: Related links page connects users to popular water information on beaches, drinking water and fish and wildlife habitat based on a user's search criteria.
PREP's Clean Water Champion
Linda Schier - Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance
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 make our way up north to the headwaters of our watershed to catch up with Linda Schier, Executive Director of the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance
(AWWA). Linda has been working tirelessly in a grassroots, neighbor-to-neighbor way to protect and preserve the 10 lakes and ponds of the Acton, Maine and Wakefield, NH region. Linda and AWWA's efforts have been supported by NH Department of Environmental Services' 319 Watershed Assistance Program and the willingness of many landowners and countless volunteers.
|Linda exploring on the water, that smile says it all!|
PREP: How long have you been a champion for clean water?
Linda: I am one of the founders of the Acton Wakefield Watersheds
Alliance which formed in 2006 to protect and restore the water quality of the lakes, ponds, rivers and streams of Wakefield, New Hampshire and the border region of Acton, Maine. I have also been
a director of the Great East Lake Improvement Association since 1999 and a UNH Marine Docent since 2001.
PREP: How'd you get started in protecting clean water?
Linda: As long as I can remember water has been my passion. My childhood was spent on my grandmother's river, in the vernal pools in my woods, and at the beach on Long Island Sound and Martha's Vineyard. When we bought our camp on Great East Lake in 1995 it finally occurred to me that clean water was a gift and not a given. I joined the UNH Marine Docent program in 2000 to learn how to share my desire to protect our clean waters with the public. I had a wonderful time with the Docent program but realized I wanted to dig a bit deeper so I went back to school and earned a Masters of Environmental Education. At the same time I was elected president of the Great East Lake Improvement Association and realized that there were some great parallels. I decided to refocus my efforts on the lakes and joined forces with a great group of lake people to form AWWA. Our initial effort was to create a Youth Conservation Corps to work with lakefront homeowners to control their stormwater runoff and we've now expanded our efforts into working with towns, road associations, lake associations and local and regional groups on pollution control projects, teaching watershed education in the schools and working with town boards to build the connections between land use, water quality and economic stability.
PREP: What's your favorite thing to do with or on water?
Linda: Everything! Swimming, tidepooling with kids, paddling, sailing, snorkeling.... I started swimming before I could walk and I've been drawn to the water ever since. I love to bask in the clear waters of Great East Lake, ride the tide in the Gulf of Maine, kayak in quiet marshes and share a child's glee on a first meeting with a fairy shrimp or anemone. As Loren Eisley said "If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water."
PREP:What's been your proudest moment as a clean water champion?
Linda: My proudest moments each year are when our Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) kids give a tour of their projects at the end of the summer and their pride is infectious. They get the connections between our activities on land and the quality of our water and they are eager to explain and showcase their cool installations. Since 2006 our YCC crew has installed 476 erosion control measures on 123 properties on the 10 lakes and ponds in the AWWA region. These will prevent over 240 tons of sediment from eroding into our waters each year! Our kids do a lot of hauling rock, digging holes, planting native vegetation and spreading erosion control mulch. Tough work but they do it with enthusiasm and purpose. We are so fortunate to be able offer meaningful jobs to our young folk.
PREP: What's one simple thing you would tell somebody to do to protect the places around the Seacoast they love?
Linda: Preserving clean water is everyone's job. Each of us makes choices everyday about how we are going to affect the water by managing our landscapes, disposing of our trash, and running water for household and personal use. Being mindful of the connections between our actions and clean water is essential.
Moose Mt. Regional Greenways
130 Acres Conserved in Milton
Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG) has announced that 130 acres in Milton, NH are newly protected by a conservation easement, thanks to the efforts of MMRG, its partners, and the Milton landowners.
Another parcel in Milton that was protected by the efforts of MMRG
The land was protected through the federal Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), a program of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which provided funds to purchase the easement and to do future wetlands restoration work on the property. MMRG met with the landowners over a number of years, introduced them to the WRP program, and helped them enroll in the program. The project ranked highly for NRCS funding due to the quality of its wetland resources and restoration potential, and was funded.
The easement, completed this summer and owned by NRCS, guarantees that the land will never be developed. The landowners continue to own and use their 130-acre property as they wish.
This project helps protect water quality within the Salmon Falls watershed, a region whose waters are deemed by the U.S. Forest Service to be at very high risk for degradation due to conversion from forest land to other uses. The 130 acres are in natural forest and vegetative cover, which provide natural water filtration and flood control and help cleanse the waters draining into the Salmon Falls River. It is critical to preserve the clean water of the Salmon Falls because it is used as a drinking water source by numerous homes and municipalities in both New Hampshire and Maine.
For more information on Moose Mountains Regional Greenways, click here . To learn more about conservation options for your property, contact Keith Fletcher at (603) 817-8260 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2013 NH 319 Program Grant Applications Available
The 2013 Watershed Assistance Grants RFP is now available on the DES website at: 2013 Watershed Assistance Grants RFP. These grants are for implementation of watershed-based plans to restore nonpoint source-impaired waters or to protect high quality waters. Projects address specific water quality problems with a quantifiable approach to BMP implementation. The RFP incorporates changes to the national 319 program guidelines, which generally strengthen watershed-based plan requirements and emphasize measurable results.
The information packet explains the grant requirements, but please feel free to contact Sally, Steve, Eric or Jeff at any time to discuss project ideas.
For projects in the coastal watershed, contact Sally Soule at 559-0032; in the Merrimack, Steve Landry at 271-2969. For general questions contact Jeff Marcoux at 271-8862, or Eric Williams at 271-2358.
|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 November. If you have, or know of an event that you would like us to feature in an upcoming issue of Downstream, please contact us!
Thursday, Nov. 1st
8:00am - 12:30pm
Building Smart Road-Stream Crossings
Improperly designed road-stream crossings have become a serious concern in the State of Maine. With predicted increases in the frequency of severe storm events, undersized culverts are at greater risk of failure, leading to higher costs for replacement and repairs. Join town representatives, municipal officials, and stakeholders in discussing these challenges and how our communities can address them.
more info at: http://www.wellsreserve.org/visit/calendar/598-building_smart_road-stream_crossings
* Town employees will be eligible to receive 3 AICP CM planning credits for attendance.
* A fee of $15 is required for attendance and may be paid in advance or at the door. Please address checks to the Wells Reserve.
Please RSVP to Clancy Brown at email@example.com or 207-646-1555 ext. 101.
Sat., Nov. 3rd
9:00am - 12:00pm
Levenson Room, Portsmouth Public Library, Parrott Ave., Portsmouth
Interested in learning about what you can do to support a health water supply in the Piscataqua Region? Come to a meeting hosted by the Piscataqua Sustainability Initiative to see what you can do to support a healthy water supply. PREP's friend Peter Wellenberger, Great Bay-Piscataqua Waterkeeper, will be at the meeting giving an overview of what is happening in the Great Bay. And PREP's other fantastic friend, Candace Dolan from the Hodgson Brook Restoration Project, will talk about rain gardens and how they relate to a healthier water supply.
Friday, Nov. 9th
8:00am - 4:00pm 2012 New Hampshire Water Symposium
Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm St., Manchester, NH
Hosted by the Business Industry Association (BIA) in partnership with NH DES the 2012 New Hampshire Water Symposium is ideal for consultants, municipal officials, lawyers and environmental compliance officers.It will focus on the key development challenges facing New Hampshire and the region and look at what stakeholders can expect the regulatory environment to look like in the future. The conference offers a unique opportunity to bring federal, state and local officials together with business leaders to examine the key issues around development, water quality and the state's aging infrastructure.
Registration is $95 per person for BIA, Capitol Connect and NH Municipal Association members or $130 per person for non members.
Addressing Nitrogen Issues in Great Bay:
A three part series toward a better understanding.
This series will help residents of the Piscataqua region learn more about the health of our estuary and the current challenges that need to be addressed in order to protect it for future generations.
Nov. 1st - Part 1: Great Bay-the resource & health
Nov. 8th - Part 2: Non-Point Nitrogen Sources
Nov. 15th - Part 3: Point Sources of Nitrogen
Each part will take place at the Madbury Town Hall (13 Town Hall Rd., Madbury, NH)
7:00 to 8:30pm
Light refreshments will be available
Wednesday, Nov. 14th
Seacoast Science Café series #4 (only one more after this!)
Presented by the University of New Hampshire and NH
In the Jimmy LaPanza lounge at the Portsmouth Brewery
Forest Ecosystems and the Winds of Change: The History and Future of Forests as a Cog in the Earth System
Presented by: Scott Ollinger
In this edition of the Seacoast Science Café series you can learn from UNH professor and researcher Scott Ollinger all about New Hampshire's Forests, the resources they provide us, and how they're changing. Come join in the conversation; the more diverse perspectives we have, the more interesting the discussion will be!
Gov. John Langdon House, 143 Pleasant St., Portsmouth
The Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation invites one and all to a Volunteering Information Session learn about Volunteer Beach Cleanups; Various times and locations in November and beyond.
Mon. November 19th
5:30pm - 7:30pm
The COG, 1 Washington St., Dover, NH
Seacoast Local is hosting a fundraiser for the (H)EAT program.
The (H)EAT program has raised over $100,000 on the Seacoast to supply food and fuel assistance for those in need over the past 4 years. This fundraiser is also being thrown to increase awareness for the "Shift Your Shopping" campaign. The Shift Your Shopping is led by Seacoast Local and other Buy Local organizations in New England, and attempts to have citizens buy local goods. This campaign has grown to over 150 participating organizations nationwide in just three years. To RSVP for this event please email firstname.lastname@example.org.