New Hampshire Estuaries Project Receives $20,000 for Estuaries Stewardship
July 23, 2008
The New Hampshire Estuaries Project at UNH was awarded a $20,000 grant from
the Barbara K. & Cyrus B. Sweet III Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable
Foundation – Piscataqua Region to complete a Piscataqua Region environmental
planning assessment that will improve stewardship of vital estuary resources
in New Hampshire and southern Maine. The project will be implemented in partnership
with four regional planning commissions in the two states.
This unique multi-state assessment involves a comprehensive analysis of regulatory
and non-regulatory conservation strategies in the 52 communities within the
Hampton/Seabrook and Great Bay watersheds. Once current conservation strategies
are identified, gaps in environmental protection in the region will become
clearer, and a coordinated plan of action can be devised to improve environmental
stewardship at a watershed scale.
New Hampshire Estuaries Project director Jennifer Hunter stresses the importance
of addressing environmental issues across an entire watershed to achieve local
goals. “Every community in the region wants their part of the watershed
to be clean and healthy. The problem is that the health of our estuaries is
linked to land use practices occurring far upstream in many New Hampshire and
Maine communities. Typically, communities make land use and conservation decisions
based on very local conditions without knowing how their efforts contribute
to the environmental health of the estuary. This project will help coordinate
the hard work happening at the local level to best achieve environmental goals
for the estuary so that all communities benefit.”
A similar assessment was performed in the mid-1990s as a first step in developing
the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for New Hampshire’s
estuaries. The updated assessment will provide key information that will be
used in revising the program’s Management Plan in 2010.
The NHEP is a collaborative program involving governmental agencies, universities,
nonprofit organizations, businesses and the public to protect, enhance and
monitor the environmental quality of the region’s coastal bays and rivers.
The NHEP is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, through an agreement with the University of New Hampshire. Learn more