Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative
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!
Street Team Needed!
PREP needs some street team volunteers to help us out with promotion & staffing for our upcoming events!
Could you represent PREP at the Clean Water Community Table at an event?
if you're interested in volunteering for PREP!
|Welcome to Your Estuaries Partnership News!|
October is upon us. The farm stands are full of pumpkins, the colors in the trees take on glorious hues of oranges and reds and the late afternoon light on our salt marshes casts a golden glow. Fall is a time of transition for our environment and it's fantastic time to get out and enjoy it, in all its different phases.
This Saturday we join with our other 28 National Estuary Programs across the country and our friends at Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve to celebrate the 25th Annual National Estuaries Day! We're asking all our friends and readers to join us in Toasting our Coast! On Saturday, raise a glass, a water bottle, an oyster to the wonderful coast and estuary we call home. Those who post their toast photo on our Facebook wall or via email will be entered to win a wonderful gift basket from our friends at Smuttynose Brewing Company. Take a moment to join with thousands of others across the nation and honor the places we love - raise a toast to our coast! #ToastTheCoast
From all of us at PREP, thank you for reading and most importantly for caring,
Community Impact Program Manager
The Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP)
Celebrate the 25th Annual National Estuaries Day - Toast the Coast!
This Saturday we celebrate the 25th Annual National Estuaries Day. The purpose of National Estuaries Day, first observed in 1988, is to promote the importance of coastal environments where rivers meet the sea. Nationwide, approximately 110 million people, or more than half of all Americans, live near an estuary and enjoy the many benefits estuaries provide. More than 25% of New Hampshire's population call the Great Bay and Hampton-Seabrook Estuaries home, more than 375,000 people.
|Great Bay Estuary from the sky |
Image from gundalow.org
Estuaries provide many benefits to those of us who live, work and play here including jobs in industries like agriculture, commercial fishing, power generation, tourism, shipping, and even brewing and winemaking. According to the nonprofit Restore America's Estuaries, coastal counties provide more than half the nation's gross domestic product and support more than 69 million jobs, or about 40% of U.S. employment.
But estuaries also provide much more than jobs and wages. They provide habitat for fish, shellfish, shorebirds, waterfowl, and other
|Birding on Great Bay's Shores|
Photo from nature.org
wildlife. The Great Bay Estuary is particularly important as a wintering area for waterfowl. Aerial surveys done by NH Fish & Game Department indicate that approximately 5,000 birds winter in NH's coastal waters. Of these, 75% gather on Great Bay. The estuary provides much needed food to build energy for the birds' long migratory flights. The eelgrass bed habitat is an essential place for juvenile fish and shellfish, including many commercially important species such as lobsters. The salt marshes and wetlands used by these species also provide coastal residents with protection from hurricanes, nor'easters, and other storms.
It's important we not only understand the value of estuaries but that we work together to protect these natural treasures for future generations. PREP and our many, many partners work tirelessly on protecting, restoring and managing these fantastic and highly valued ecosystems. Our Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan lays out 82 different action plans and our State of Our Estuaries Report provides valuable science and monitoring of the current state of our waters and lands. There's lots you can do to help in this important work - check out these simple tips.
So, how do we celebrate these areas of such rich diversity and life? Well, with a toast of course! PREP along with support from our friends at Smuttynose Brewing Company invites all those who live, work and play in the Seacoast to take a moment and Toast the Coast and Estuary on Saturday. Capture your moment in a photograph and post it up on PREP's Facebook wall for a chance to win a prize gift basket full of Smuttynose gear and beer. The winner be selected at random from all those submitted online at Facebook.com/PREPCommunity using hashtag #ToastTheCoast.
Use Instagram or Twitter? Use #ToastTheCoast and tag @PREPCommunity
We are so lucky to have not one, but two estuaries in our Seacoast region and on this National Estuaries Day we invite you to celebrate, enjoy and join in helping to protect these infinitely fascinating places. Cheers to Estuaries!
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.
Prepare. Protect. Portsmouth.
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment & Adaptation Plan
By: City of Portsmouth & Partners
The City of Portsmouth was one of five communities selected for a pilot program with $30,000 in funding from the Gulf of Maine Council, through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This grant funded a research study, The "Coastal Resilience Initiative" prepared for the City by a team of researchers from the University of New Hampshire and the Rockingham Planning Commission. This detailed, 50-page report provides the starting point for understanding the impacts of climate change and offers a number of possible adaptation measures that the City can take over time to protect private property and public infrastructure. The City also has built an interactive website for citizens to explore the maps, data and the full the report.
VIDEO: Volunteer Monitoring of American eels
By: NH Sea Grant
|Monitoring American eels in N.H. rivers|
Monitoring Program Update
As part of PREP's ongoing commitment to monitoring the health of our estuaries PREP planned and implemented a comprehensive monitoring program for eelgrass in Summer and Fall of 2013. The program has three components: Collection of high quality aerial
Coastal Scientist Phil Trowbridge uses an underwater camera to capture images of eelgrass beds
imagery, photointerpretation of the imagery to map eelgrass beds, and groundtruthing to verify the accuracy of the eelgrass maps. Qualified contractors were hired for the first two components through a Request for Proposals process. The aerial imagery was collected under ideal conditions on August 24, 2013. PREP staff completed the groundtruthing component independently with contractor support from Jackson Laboratory researchers at UNH and Normandeau Associates. The imagery processing and photointerpretation work will continue during the fall and spring, with a final report by June 30, 2014.
|Eelgrass groundtruth Sampling Map showing the groundtruth sites and which methods of groundtruthing were used in the Great Bay Estuary|
PREP's Clean Water Champion
Kirsten Howard - New NOAA Coastal Management Fellow
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 get to say "welcome" to a new champion working for clean water in our watershed - Kirsten Howard. Kirsten was nominated to the fellowship program by Michigan Sea Grant and was matched with the New Hampshire Coastal Program, which is housed at the N.H. Department of Environmental Services. Over the course of two years, she will work with the Coastal Program, PREP, The Nature Conservancy, and an advisory committee of experts to prioritize management goals for the Great Bay and Hampton-Seabrook estuaries, coordinate relevant spatial datasets, and conduct an economic valuation of the services provided by Great Bay. Kirsten graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master of Science in Natural Resources and Environment where she focused on environmental policy and planning. She has experience analyzing federal ocean and coastal policy, modeling the economic value of ecosystem services, and designing stakeholder engagement efforts. Before joining us, she spent the summer on a road trip around the U.S. collecting stories about people and places adapting to climate change (check out the stories her blog at www.adaptationstories.com). Welcome Kirsten!
|Kirsten with her catch, a coho salmon, in Ucluelet, British Columbia|
PREP: How long have you been a champion for clean water?
I grew up in a town that depends heavily on the commercial and recreational salmon fishing industries, so from a young age, I've learned about the importance of keeping our waterways clean and healthy. I really started digging into the policy issues surrounding coastal waterways after college. In the past five years, I've learned so much about how to think about the benefits that people get from, not just water, but clean water. It's a universal issue, and I'm really excited to begin working on it on the New Hampshire Seacoast.
PREP: How'd you get started in protecting clean water?
Kirsten: After being involved with national ocean policy issues at the federal level for a couple years, I decided I wanted to go back to graduate school and learn more about how decisions are made at the local level where the impacts can be seen and felt. I was really interested in learning how to better understand the benefits that people get from watersheds. For my master's project, my team and I looked at how water clarity influences property values around Michigan's inland lakes. That frame of mind really stuck with me: if we can quantify the benefits that people get from water clarity, that information could help influence land use and watershed management decisions in the longer-term.
PREP: What's your favorite thing to do with or on water?
Kirsten: Well, I really like to drink water--I'd say that's number one for me since it's pretty important for my livelihood. I also enjoy salmon-fishing with my family in the Pacific Northwest. There are few things more exciting than fighting a Coho or Chinook salmon for half an hour. Now that I'm on the Seacoast, I'm really excited to try my hand at paddle-boarding and sea kayaking.
PREP:What's been your proudest moment as a clean water champion?
Kirsten: This past summer I took a road trip around the United States to collect stories about how communities are dealing with or planning for the impacts of climate change. My colleague Allie Goldstein and I heard so many great clean water stories on our travels. Spending time with people who are coming up with the innovative solutions that we need to maintain our sources of clean water as the climate changes, was incredible. Being able to share some of their stories with others through our blog, including one about stormwater challenges in Keene, New Hampshire, made me very proud.
PREP: What's one simple thing you would tell somebody to do to protect the places around the Seacoast they love?
Kirsten: Participate. Volunteer for a local non-profit or attend a Conservation Commission meeting. Learn about the challenging decisions that your town officials have to make to ensure your communities are resilient. The impacts of getting informed may seem intangible, but there are ripple effects. You pass that knowledge onto your friends or kids. They share it with others.
|Kirsten checking out bison at Yellowstone on her summer road trip|
Northeast Regional Ocean Council Municipal Coastal Resilience Grants
The Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) is pleased to announce a small grants program and continuation of its municipal coastal resilience initiative. NROC seeks proposals from coastal communities in New England to improve resilience to coastal storms and effects of sea level rise. Specifically, NROC seeks to fund activities that meet the requirements of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Community Rating System (CRS) to improve participation in this flood insurance rate reduction program and prevent coastal storm damages. Eligible activities enhance a community's public information, mapping, regulatory, flood damage reduction, and flood preparedness efforts.
Pilot projects will be selected from the five New England states: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The selected communities will be awarded up to $20,000 each over 10 months and serve as models for other coastal communities looking to address coastal storm impacts and participate in CRS or maintain or enhance their rating.
Green Infrastructure for NH Coastal Watershed Communities: Community Implementation Funding
Phase II of the Green Infrastructure for NH Coastal Watershed Communities Project is now taking applications from communities.
The Green Infrastructure project aims to help coastal watershed communities begin to adopt and understand the multiple benefits of new approaches to managing stormwater and water
resources. Existing stormwater management systems designed to control runoff and protect life and property are not always able to handle the large storm events that New Hampshire has experienced over the last several years.
|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 October. If you have, or know of an event that you would like us to feature in an upcoming issue of Downstream, please contact us
NATIONAL ESTUARIES DAY - Toast the Coast!
Mt. Agamenticus Forest, McIntire Highland Preserve, meet at York Land Trust's parking lot, 484 US Route 1, York, ME
Deep in the heart of the Mt. Agamenticus forest at the York Land Trust
's McIntire Highland Preserve are some of the region's oldest trees. Hike the preserve with YLT arborist and Stewardship Director Joe Anderson to discover the forest changes that these trees have endured over time.
Kenyon Hill Preserve Hike with Great Works Regional Land Trust
Ogunquit Road, just south of Bennett Lot Road, South Berwick
Dramatic ledges are a highlight of this beautiful and diverse 113-acre property. The loop hike of easy/moderate difficulty will also feature wetlands which feed the Ogunquit River. A wonderful time to see the fall colors!
Easy Autumn Escapade at Mount Agamenticus
Mount Agamenticus, York, Maine
Take advantage of peak foliage season and learn more about trees. This easy walk is great for beginners who want to learn how to ID trees.
Registrations are required and there's a $5 suggested donation.
Granite State Future Regional Master Plan Update Public Conversation
Seabrook Town Library
The Rockingham Planning Commission
is developing a Regional
Master Plan for southeastern NH and they need your input! Share your thoughts on Land Use, Natural Resources, Energy & Climate Change and Cultural & Historic Resources that will be used to provide a vision and set of goals to direct our region's future. HAVE YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!
All are welcome. To register & for more info CLICK HERE
or call the RPC at (603) 778-0885.
Coastal Research Volunteers' Training: Benthic macroinvertebrate sampling
NH Sea Grant Offices, 122 Mast Rd., Lee, NH
The NH Sea Grant's Coastal Research Volunteers
are working with Sagamore-Hampton Golf Course to help them achieve Audubon certification as a green golf sanctuary. Part of the certification is evaluating the health of the brook that runs through the course. The best way to measure brook health is to look at what type of benthic macroinvetebrates (bugs) are living there. Come and get trained on how to measure brook health and get involved in this ongoing research project.
Granite State Future Regional Master Plan Update Public Conversation
Brentwood Community Center, Route 125, Brentwood, NH
The Rockingham Planning Commission
is developing a Regional Master Plan for southeastern NH and they need your input! Share your thoughts on Land Use, Natural Resources, Energy & Climate Change and Cultural & Historic Resources that will be used to provide a vision and set of goals to direct our region's future. HAVE YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!
All are welcome. To register & for more info CLICK HERE
or call the RPC at (603) 778-0885.
Sunday, October 13th
Fun with Fungi!
Bauneg Beg Mountain Conservation Area, North Berwick, Maine
Join the Great Works Regional Land Trust and search for tasty &poisonous mushrooms with Chef Evan Mallett of Black Trumpet Bistro.
Wednesday, October 16th
Portsmouth Science Cafe: New England Food Vision
Doors at 5:00pm; Presentations at 6:00pm
Portsmouth Brewery's Lapanza Lounge, Market St., Portsmouth
Come enjoy a pint and bite while engaging in interesting dialogue about contemporary research and science. Tom Kelly is the founding director of UNH's Sustainability Institute and Joanne Burke is the Thomas W Haas Professor in Sustainable Food Systems. The pair will discuss the future of local food in New England and what it might look like to live a 50-mile lifestyle. Come armed with your questions, thoughts and ideas.
Free & Open to all!
Friday, October 18th
Halloween in Nature at Mount Agamenticus
Top of Mount Agamenticus, York, ME
Meet at the top of Mount A to watch the full moon rise & then visit the Learning Lodge to meet some creatures of night! Grab your flashlight & join on a moonlit hike where you'll find what bumps, howls, hoots and screeches in the night! Prize given to the best nature-inspired Halloween costume!
Reservations are required and there's a $7 donation.
Tuesday, October 22nd
Prepare. Protect. Portsmouth. Walking Tour of Flood Risk Areas
Join the City of Portsmouth and the NH Coastal Adaptation Working Group for a walking tour of three sites in historic downtown Portsmouth and hear how they are vulnerable to flooding. Find out how you can help the city address the impacts through the Master Plan process. Learn more about Portsmouth's newly launched Coastal Resilience Initiative - Prepare.Protect.Portsmouth
For more info call Peter Britz at (603) 610-7216.
Monday, October 28th
Durham's Climate Adaptation Community Converastion
Durham Public Library, 49 Madbury Road, Durham, NH
The Town of Durham along with the Strafford Regional Planning Commission and the NH Coastal Program invite you to join in an important community conversation about climate change, sea level rise and local preparedness for severe weather events. All community volunteer boards, committees, staff, business owners and residents are encouraged to attend to hear more about the town's preparedness and to learn more about the Town's recently developed Climate Adaptation Chapter
FREE & OPEN TO ALL! PLEASE REGISTER BY OCTOBER 14th
Tuesday, October 29th
Roll up Your Sleeves & Pant Legs! Sea Level Rise Project Next Steps Meeting in Hampton, Hampton Falls & Seabrook
Hampton Falls Town Hall, 1 Drinkwater Rd., Hampton Falls, NH
Join the NH Coastal Adaptation Worksgroup (NHCAW) in a conversation about planning for the effects of the future flooding in Hampton, Hampton Falls & Seabrook. Following up on work done by NHCAW with town official and residents from 2011-2012 this workshop is meant to build upon and move onto next steps arising from the Coastal Adaptation to Sea-Level Rise Tool (COAST) project. All town boards, commissions, business owners and residents are strongly encouraged to attend!
FREE & OPEN TO ALL! PLEASE RSVP BY OCTOBER 13th
Save the Dates & Upcoming Conferences
RARGOM Annual Science Meeting
Holiday Inn at the Portsmouth, NH Traffic Circle
The 2013 Regional Association for the Research on the Gulf Of Maine (RARGOM) Annual Science Meeting will look back at 2012, a remarkable year in the Gulf of Maine. According to NOAA, 2012 was the warmest year ever in the Gulf and over a broad swath of the North Atlantic, and the high temperatures impacted the physical conditions, biological processes, animal distributions, and fisheries in the region. This meeting will attempt to synthesize the causes and consequences of the 2012 "ocean heat wave" and consider what lessons we can take from 2012 about how the Gulf of Maine will change in the coming century.
NH Assoc. of Natural Resource Scientists' Coastal Wetlands Conference
Seacoast Science Center, 570 Ocean Blvd. (Rte. 1A) Rye, NH
The second New Hampshire Association of Natural Resource Scientists' Coastal Wetlands Conference includes a wide variety of research topics regarding New England coastal wetlands. The conference aims to provide a venue for the presentation and discussion of recent coastal wetlands research results from our region.
CLICK HERE for more info
November 21st - 22nd
Maine Stormwater Conference - REGISTRATION OPEN
South Portland, Maine
The conference will showcase effective planning, design, maintenance, and funding approaches to address water quality needs, as well as a discussion of the current legal climate related to stormwater.
to view the conference agenda, speakers & to register
STATE OF OUR ESTUARIES ROLL OUT EVENTS:
If your club, organization, neighborhood or group would like to host a State of Our Estuaries Roll Out Event in 2013, please e-mail us and we'll be in touch to organize a date!