New definition of Wetlands in Portsmouth Zoning Ordinance Adopted

December 31, 2009

The Portsmouth City Council adopted changes to the city’s Zoning Ordinance, which will go into effect this Friday.  The changes include changing the definition of wetlands to include smaller areas. According to an article that appeared in today’s   Seacoast online,  “changing from 21,780 square feet (a half acre) to 10,000 square feet —approximately the size of two basketball courts — will mean more property owners will be required to receive a conditional use permit to make changes to their property inside the wetland buffer. That process requires review of the Conservation Commission and ultimate approval of the Planning Board.”

Read the full article on Seacoast Online.

Sharon Meeker wins Evelyn Browne Conservation Award

December 22, 2009

Congratulations to Sharon Meeker of the Lamprey River Advisory Committee Board and the Lamprey River Watershed Association for winning the annual Evelyn Browne Conservation Award presented by the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The award is given  to a person who has made great contributions to the protection of the Great Bay watershed.

Find out more in the Seacoast online article.

In the News: Greenland Conservation Commission Presents Nitrogen Ban Proposal to Town

December 21, 2009

Greenland debates fertilizer ban for cleaner Great Bay, article in Seacoastonline published on December 19.

Reminder: Lamprey River Symposium Coming Soon

December 18, 2009

News from the Strafford Regional Planning Commisison E-Bulletin:

The Third Annual Lamprey River Symposium on Friday,  January 8, 2010 is just a few weeks away. The all day event will be held at UNH in the MUB room 334/336.  Anyone who would like to share their research on water quality, hydrology, water resource issues and management of the Lamprey River basin is welcome and encouraged to do so.  If you are a manager and have issues that you’d like to speak to the scientists about at this event, we would encourage that as well. 

If you would like to attend this annual event, please email Michelle Daley by Friday January 1 and your name will be added to the attendance list.  Registration is free, but there is a $8/day parking fee for folks who do not have a UNH parking permit. Light refreshments will be provided.

If you are interested in presenting at this symposium, please contact Michelle Daley with a preliminary presentation title by Monday Dec. 21. She will organize the schedule and get back to folks by January 1. We envision time for talks as well as breakout sessions in the agenda and will have a room for poster displays.   If you are interested in viewing the available presentations from last years event please visit Symposium 2009 Presentations.

Spruce Creek Grant Project Results Presented to Town Council

December 16, 2009

Read the full article in Seacoastonline.

Forrest Bell of FB Environmental presented the results of a grant project that involved water quality sampling in Spruce Creek in Kittery, Maine at a recent Town Council Meeting.  Recent testing revealed at least one bacteria hot spot in the creek.

Public Weighs in on Portsmouth Zoning

December 16, 2009

Read the full Seacoastonline article here.

Portsmouth is in the midst of proposed changes to current zoning ordinances. The public has been informing the process through a series of public hearings.

An item of particular interest to the readers of this blog is the city’s definitions of wetlands, specifically the “reduction of the city definition of a wetlands from approximately 21,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet.” This would result in regions being considered wetlands that were not previously defined as such.

Southeast Watershed Alliance First Meeting Tonight! 12/14/2009

December 14, 2009

6:30 pm; Monday, December 14, 2010
Brentwood Community Center; Brentwood, NH

“On December 14, the Southeast Watershed Alliance, established by RSA 485-E in the 2009 legislative session, will meet for the first time. As New Hampshire’s coastal water resources face increasing pressures associated with population growth and development, the SWA is intended to be a forum for solutions. All 42 coastal watershed communities are eligible to join the SWA.

The meeting will be held on Monday December 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Brentwood Community Center. All are welcome to attend this meeting in observation status. However, only member communities’ appointees will be able to participate. Key items that will be acted on during the meeting include the creation of a planning committee, identification of immediate actions, and selection of leadership.”

Read the full press release on the NH DES website.  Directions to the Community Center can be found at the end of the release.

Part of Newmarket gravel pit land belongs to Nature Conservancy

December 11, 2009

Access the Seacoast Online Article here.

“The Planning Board unanimously voted to accept a gravel pit reclamation plan submitted on behalf of The Nature Conservancy for property it owns along Wadleigh Falls Road during its Dec. 8 meeting.

Located at 358 Wadleigh Falls Road, the pit is part of a 115-acre parcel of land extending from Newmarket to Durham that belongs to the conservancy.

Special attention will be taken to create and enhance wildlife habitat for various turtle and bird species that have been found there as well”

Third Annual Lamprey River Symposium, 1/8/2010

December 11, 2009

9:00 am – 12:00 pm, January 8, 2010
Memorial Union Building (MUB), University of New Hampshire

The goal of the Annual Lamprey River Symposium is to facilitate discussion and collaboration between scientists working in the Lamprey River basin and to engage state & local officials, watershed organizations, and concerned citizens into the science and its implications for the entire watershed and on to Great Bay.

Contact Michelle Daley for details. To see previous years’ agendas as well as presentations from last year’s symposium, visit the UNH Lamprey River Symposium webpage.

Porous asphalt reduces pollution

December 11, 2009

This story concerns a community outside of the Great Bay Watershed, the town of Pelham, but the subject is very pertinent to issues currently affecting Great Bay.

As mentioned in the State of the Estuaries Report recently released by the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP), one of the greatest threats to the region’s estuaries is the input of nitrogen largely due to stormwater runoff associated with the increased number of impervious surfaces in the area. Pelham has recently teamed with contracter Stickville LLC and the UNH Stormwater Center to lay down porous asphalt on one of the town’s roads, a first for the state. This type of innovation may help us make great strides in combatting the stormwater issue.

Read the Eagle-Tribune article here.

You can also read the UNH press release here.