News Archive

UNHSC to host the New England Tribal Nonpoint Source Workshop in Durham NH

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Penobscot Indian Nation through an grant provided by EPA will host a New England Tribal Nonpoint Source Pollution Workshop at the University of New Hampshire Monday 4/29/13 through Thursday May 2, 2013. The workshop will take place in the Piscataqua Room at Holloway Commons.  For more information contact James Houle.  To see the draft agenda click here.

UNHSC publishes a comparitive study on maintenance of stormwater control measures in the ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering

Monday, February 18, 2013

Please visit the link to this publication here: A Comparison of Maintenance Cost, Labor Demands, and System Performance for LID and Conventional Stormwater

Introducing the GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE Project in NHʼs Coastal Watershed

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Green Infrastructure Project offers several levels of participation outlined on the attached Project Interest and Participation Form and listed below.

  1. Complete the Form to nominate a representative from your municipality, organization or group to participate as a member of the project Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will serve in a collaborative leadership role with the Project Team to: a) help guide and advise the application of stormwater science and conduct outreach; and b) act as a key link between collaborative project activities, communities and stakeholders.  SAVE THE DATE: THE 1ST ADVISORY BOARD MEETING IS SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 31, 2013 from 4:00-7:00pm (including a light dinner, location to be announced).
  2. Complete the Form to let us know what type(s) of implementation project your municipality may be interested in applying for. [Note:  Municipalities indicating interest in Project Implementation will receive follow-up materials and a separate Project Application form.]
  3. Complete the Form to let us know what type of topics in our workshop/training series are of interest to your municipality.

To participate in the project, please complete the attached form either in hard copy or electronically (typing directly into the document) and return it via email or mail to Jamie Houle or Julie LaBranche. Contact and mailing information is provided on the form. NOTE:  Project Interest and Participation Forms will be accepted at any time during the project, with implementation projects selected on a rolling basis as applications are submitted.

Please contact us if you have questions or need assistance completing the attached Form. The Green Infrastructure Team looks forward to hearing from you!


    James Houle – Project Coordinator - (UNH Stormwater Center)

    Julie LaBranche - Collaborative Science Lead - (Rockingham Planning Commission)

The Green Infrastructure Project is funded by a grant from the National Science Collaborative and lead by the UNH Stormwater Center, Southeast Watershed Alliance, Rockingham and Strafford Regional Planning Commissions, Antioch University, Great Bay NERRS and Geosyntec. The project goals are to provide tools to build more resilient infrastructure and encourage implementation of green infrastructure practices and methods.

Green Infrastructure Grant to Help NH Communities Manage Stormwater

Monday, December 03, 2012

DURHAM, N.H. – A pair of grants to the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center will help communities in the Great Bay watershed better manage stormwater– runoff from rainfall that is not absorbed into the ground – with innovative “green” infrastructure.


With $600,000 from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative grant, a partnership between UNH and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Stormwater Center will give New Hampshire’s 42 coastal watershed communities much-needed support in reducing stormwater runoff and its related costs of pollution and flooding.  A second grant from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) will provide additional funding, bringing the Green Infrastructure project a total of $700,000 to combat the rising tide of stormwater within the region.


A collaboration of regional partners will provide a toolkit from which watershed communities can pick remedies that will address their local priorities. The Green Infrastructure project team includes the Southeast Watershed Alliance, the Rockingham Planning Commission, Antioch University, the Great Bay Estuarine Research Reserve, Geosyntec and the UNH Stormwater Center, with the guidance of an advisory board from local communities. The collaborative project team encourages all communities within the entire drainage area for New Hampshire’s coastal waters, from its headwater communities, as far upstream as Candia, Wakefield, and New Durham, to its coastal towns in Seabrook and Hampton, to participate in the project.


“As communities become more dense, stormwater needs more sophisticated management,” says James Houle, program manager for the UNH Stormwater Center, adding that tools to deal with stormwater have also improved. “With these grants, we can help communities manage stormwater in ways that have multiple benefits, which could include reduced flooding resulting in a decrease in damage to infrastructure and property, and supporting communities to meet regulatory requirements.”


The grants will help communities implement strategies for reducing pollution in the watershed and for controlling other negative effects of stormwater which will result in improved water quality. Alison Watts, project coordinator for the Southeast Watershed Alliance and assistant research professor at UNH, notes that examples of green infrastructure might be a rain garden that absorbs stormwater into vegetation or soil, installing porous pavement, or a town ordinance that mandates better buffers between streams and development. “It’s not just about building things, it’s about the managing water as a resource,” she says. “A lot of smaller towns aren’t aware of all the tools they can use to manage stormwater.”


Key to both projects, Watts says, is the commitment to involve communities in all decisions; such engagement ensures that stormwater solutions will become a normal part of day to day practices and the planning process in communities. This will solve many current stormwater problems and help prevent future ones.

UNHSC announces the release of its 2012 biennial report

Friday, October 19, 2012

We are happy to announce the release of our 2012 biennial report!  This is the last general report on our research summarizing 8 years of stormwater BMP research funded by CICEET.  We thank you all for your patience and support over the years and sincerely hope that this information will be useful.

Download the UNHSC 2012 Biennial Report

EPA's Webinar on Stormwater, Coal-Tar Sealcoat, and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Monday, June 04, 2012

EPA's Webinar on Stormwater, Coal-Tar Sealcoat, and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

June 14, 2012 01:00pm - 03:45pm Eastern ---EPA’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Webinar Series will highlight efforts to reduce pollutants in stormwater through controlling these pollutants at their sources. The first in EPA’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Webinar Series will cover the topic of Stormwater, Coal-Tar Sealcoat, and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). The webinar will present information on the prevalence of PAHs from coal-tar-based sealcoat in the environment, and on the environmental and human health impacts. The webinar will also cover actions taken to address PAHs by a state and a city.

Workshop flyer link    click here
Workshop agenda and registration information .

Portsmouth's State Street Receives Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award for 2010

Sunday, October 30, 2011

State Street Tree Filter

Portsmouth's State Street Project Receives ASCE NH Award – The transformation of Portsmouth's State Street has received recognition as the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award for 2010 by the New Hampshire Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The project was led by CMA Engineers of Portsmouth, NH, partnering with the UNHSC for the LID design. The State Street Redesign included a combined sewer separation, the use of a numerous tree filters, a large subsurface chamber system in series with an underground sand filter and other forms of advanced stormwater management.

Berry Brook Restoration Project-Urban Watershed Renewal

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Water quality and stream restoration improvements will be targeted in the Berry Brook Watershed from 2011-2013. Berry Brook, a tributary to the Cocheco River, is a 0.9 mile long stream in a 164 acre watershed in downtown Dover.  The brook is impaired for aquatic habitat and primary contact recreation.  Through a series of three grants and matching funding from the City of Dover, this project will implement some of the major recommendations from the 2008 Watershed Management Plan for Berry Brook.

Berry Brook Project Website Link

NH Stormwater Commission Report Summary

Saturday, May 14, 2011

SW Commission thumbnail

This document summarizes the major points from the Stormwater Study Commission November 2010 Final Report. The New Hampshire legislature established the Stormwater Commission in 2008 to identify issues and find solutions to reduce impacts from stormwater runoff. This Summary Brief is a non-technical overview intended for the legislature and other public officials. The report includes 5 major recommendations for action.

Summary Overview

Stormwater is recognized as one of the leading causes of water pollution in the United States. In New Hampshire, stormwater contributes to over 80% of the surface water quality impairments according to water quality data compiled by NH DES.  Impervious surfaces (e.g., roads, rooftops, parking lots, lawns in the shoreland zone) and other land use development cause most stormwater runoff.  Moreover, increasing imperviousness from development contributes to increased frequency and magnitude of flooding. Recent flooding in NH, exacerbated by imperviousness, has resulted in a tragic loss of life and millions of dollars of damage to our road and highway systems, private residences, and business properties. New regulations and action is needed on a State level in preference to and advance of new Federal regulations

WA Set to Ban Coal-Tar Sealcoat

Monday, March 28, 2011

Washington State is poised to become the first state to ban coal-tar sealant used on pavements and parking lots.

A state measure—overwhelmingly approved last month by the House and now under consideration in the WA Senate—would ban the toxic asphalt sealant derived from coal tar, a waste product of steelmaking.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, more commonly known as PAHs, occur in oil, coal, and tar-based products, and are also produced as byproducts of fuel burning. The EPA considers these products to be carcinogenic and heavily regulate activities known to be sources of PAHs such as coking operations and coal gasification processes.

For decades, home and business owners have been seal coating their driveways and parking lots. Research conducted by the USGS, the UNHSC and others indicates that sealcoat activities, especially with coal tar based sealant products, may contribute significant amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons entering waterways from stormwater runoff.