Tyco Electronic Subsea Communications Goes Green

December 20, 2010

The design for Tyco Electronic Subsea Communications new manufacturing center in Newington incorporates stormwater management best practices that will help to protect the Great Bay Estuary, according to recent Seacoast Online editorial. Rob Roseen of the University of New Hampshire’s Stormwater Center reviewed Opechee Construction’s site plan for the facility and found it would exceed EPA requirements by removing “80 percent of solids, 53 percent of phosphorous and 66 percent of nitrogen for the facility’s impervious areas.”

“The total nitrogen load to the Great Bay Estuary increased by 42% in the past five years, largely due to greater stormwater runoff and nonpoint source pollution loads during recent high rainfall years,” according to the Piscataqua Region 2010 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. As part of the solution to this critical threat to the ecological health of the Great Bay Estuary, the plan calls for the increased use of stormwater management techniques to remove nitrogen. Tyco Electronic Subsea Communications is heeding that call, while at the same time creating news jobs for the seacoast region.

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UNH Pays Tribute to Judd Gregg – Video

December 15, 2010

New Castle, NH – Senator Judd Gregg bid adieu to Washington this week, returning home for a ceremony marking his many contributions to the University of New Hampshire over the years. At the ceremony, UNH President Mark Huddleston unveiled a new name for the university’s coastal research facilities in New Castle: the Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex. In his dedication speech, Huddleston talked about Gregg’s legacy of securing key funding for coastal conservation and research in the Granite State. “…the Senator has worked with UNH to improve water quality, reduce stormwater pollution, and protect critical open spaces,” he said.

“In fact, Senator Gregg has secured nearly $60 million to conserve lands around the Great Bay alone.”

Gregg helped to secure the funding used to build and later renovate the facility that now bears his name.

To learn more about Gregg’s contributions to Great Bay research and conservation, check out UNH Research Projects Benefit New Hampshire from UNH Video on Vimeo.

 

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Gulf of Maine Plan Could Create Thousands of Jobs

December 10, 2010

Projects aimed at ensuring the future ecological health and economic productivity of the Gulf of Maine could create thousands of new jobs, according to a new plan released by the Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration and Conservation Initiative. The U.S. Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration and Conservation Plan also serves as a reminder of economic benefits that the Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire already derive from the Gulf’s natural resources. “The Gulf of Maine is one of most productive ecosystems in the world, supporting commercial and recreational fisheries with a combined annual value to the US economy in excess of $1 billion and providing upwards of 26,000 jobs,” it notes.

The plan is the result of a collaborative effort by state, federal, and non-government organizations to quantify the needed investment in five broad issue areas: fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, invasive species, climate change, and long-range planning, science, and communications. It estimates that an initial investment of $3 billion dollars over five years is needed to get the job done. During that time, the natural resources of the Gulf of Maine will support economic activities generating more than $5 billion for the U.S. economy. It’s an investment that’s worth making.

 

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Hodgson Brook Restoration Project: A model for stormwater action

December 8, 2010

Portsmouth, NH – Back in 2003, an estimated 32 percent of the Hodgson Brook watershed was already covered by impervious surfaces. That meant trouble for the brook and South Mill Pond, the surface water it feeds. When even just 10 percent of a watershed becomes covered by driveways, roads, parking lots, and buildings, water quality can suffer. Experts at the Center for Water Protection predict that severe degradation can occur when 25 percent of watershed becomes covered in these types of surfaces.

The proliferation of impervious surfaces in a watershed can impair the land’s natural ability to absorb stormwater, resulting in an increase in run-off pollution. Stormwater run-off is known to contribute to elevated pollution, nutrient, and bacterial levels in Hodson Brook. Luckily, a growing number of local residents are hard at work implementing hands on solutions to run-off pollution.

A few weeks ago, I joined was among the several dozen people who packed into the Gundalow Company’s office in downtown Portsmouth for an evening lecture by Hodgson Brook Restoration Protect Director Candace Dolan. Under Dolan’s leadership, the group has been successful in getting citizens involved in efforts to improve water quality in the brook’s watershed. Local volunteers have worked to install a tree box filter and rain garden in adjacent neighborhoods. They also installed a bioretention system at the Port City Inn. All three act as all natural stormwater treatment systems.

Run-off pollution is also contributing to the overall decline of the Great Bay Estuary. The hard work of the Hodgson Brook Watershed Project provides a model for action that can be emulated by citizens throughout New Hampshire’s coastal watershed. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!

A bioretention system installed at the Port City Inn by local volunteers

This fall, the Hodgson Brook Restoration Project teamed up with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and experts from Rutger’s University to host a rain garden workshop for landscaping professionals.

A neighborhood treebox filter installed by the group

 

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Event: Supporting Sustainable Fisheries

December 8, 2010

Portsmouth, NHOn December 15th, the Gundalow Company will host a moderated panel discussion that will include Bob Campbell of Yankee Fisherman’s Cooperative; Will Carey from Little Bay Oyster Company; Carolyn Eastman of Eastman’s Fish Market; Ken LaValley from UNH Cooperative Extension; Sara Zoe Patterson of Seacoast Eat Local; and Roger Woodman, a commercial fisherman using 19th Century methods.

Panelists will discuss what current issues face our local fisheries, how their organizations are addressing these challenges and what consumers can do to ensure the long term health of our fisheries. The program is the last in the four part Contemporary Coastal Issues series that has been examining local water quality issues and exploring ways we can all reduce our impact on our local watershed.

Contemporary Coastal Issues programs are funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act in conjunction with the NH Coastal Program and NH DES.

Hope to see you there!

Supporting Sustainable Fisheries

Date: Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Time: 7:00 pm

Levenson Community Room

Portsmouth Library

Contemporary Coastal Issue events are free and open to the public. For more information call (603) 433-9505 or email.

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New grant to study sources of nitrogen pollution in Great Bay

December 7, 2010

DURHAM, N.H. – Rising levels of nitrogen are threatening New Hampshire’s Great Bay, with algal blooms, reduced eelgrass coverage, depletion of dissolved oxygen, and reduced native oyster production all linked to the increase of nitrogen pollution. A new grant to University of New Hampshire researchers aims to pinpoint the major sources of nitrogen throughout the Great Bay watershed, ultimately informing nitrogen-reduction policies that will deliver the “biggest bang for the buck,” says the principal investigator.

“The nutrient dynamics of Great Bay are complex, and we need to fill gaps in our basic understanding of how high nitrogen sources in the watershed are delivered if we are to reduce the nitrogen in the bay,” says lead researcher Bill McDowell, professor of natural resources and the environment and director of the New Hampshire Water Resources Research Center at UNH.

With the $600,000, three-year grant from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative (a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and coastal states), McDowell and UNH research scientist John Bucci will aim to identify hotspots of nonpoint source nitrogen (that which comes from diffuse sources like runoff) throughout the watershed. They will sample more than 250 sites in tributaries of the Lamprey, Exeter, Swampscott, and Cocheco rivers throughout southeastern New Hampshire and into Maine.

Nonpoint sources of nitrogen include fertilizer from agricultural crops as well as homeowner lawns, septic systems, manure, rain running off impervious surfaces like parking lots and the atmosphere. The study will look for chemical signatures that help track nitrogen back to various sources. “Which of these sources, and under what conditions, are the most efficient at delivering nitrogen into small streams?” says McDowell, who has studied the Lamprey River watershed extensively for more than a decade. He says that models from that system indicate that human population density is the best predictor for high nitrate concentration.

The research also will determine the effectiveness of the tributaries at removing nitrogen before it reaches major rivers or the bay. In the Lamprey watershed, says McDowell, only 14 percent of the nitrogen that gets delivered into the river basin makes it into the river.

Ultimately, this project will inform management strategies that target reducing nitrogen in Great Bay. One component of the grant will involve working with local stakeholders and watershed associations in the Great Bay region. “Our goal is to be honest brokers of information trying to lay out the scientific basis for any management decisions,” McDowell says.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state’s flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.

Originally posted online by UNH Media Relations

Related media coverage:

Grant will seek pollution source in NH’s Great Bay – Boston Herald

New grant to address Great Bay’s pollution ‘hot spots’ – Foster’s Daily Democrat

UNH’s grant money may be ‘saving grace’ for Great Bay – The New Hampshire

$600K grant helps study nitrogen pollution in estuary, bay – Seacoast Online

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Earmarks and the Great Bay Estuary

December 3, 2010

Daniel Barrick’s article touching upon the role that federal earmark spending has played in funding Great Bay conservation and coastal research in New Hampshire has sparked a flurry of related media coverage. According to the article, retiring Senator Judd Gregg used the earmark process to secure more than $100 million in federal funding used to protect wetlands around Great Bay and build a coastal research center at UNH. Senator-elect Kelly Ayotte opposes earmarks, but will hopefully work to find other ways to provide the funding needed to save this estuary in decline.

Learn more:

Tallying Gregg’s earmarks for N.H. – Concord Monitor

Gregg built legacy of earmarks – Concord Monitor

Will Choice Bacon Still Come Home? – Foster’s Daily Democrat

NH Earmarks on the table – Manchester Examiner

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