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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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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River protection has benefits

January 6, 2010

Exeter-Newsletter: Letter to the Editor: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20100105-OPINION-1050339

January 05, 2010 2:00 AM

By Mike Kappler

The Lamprey River Watershed is in the region of the state undergoing the most rapid growth, with pressures from development that affect the environment in the river corridor.

Although the Lamprey River is 47 miles long, currently only 12 miles of the river, in Lee and Durham, are in the state rivers protection program. The goal of the Lamprey River Nominating Committee (LRNC) is to add the remaining segments of the Lamprey River and several of its major tributaries into the N.H. DES Rivers Management and Protection Program (RMPP) in accordance with NH RSA 483. The benefits of expanding this designation to add all the river into the RMPP include:

1. Increased protection against water quality impairment in the river corridor, damaging channel alterations, new dam construction, and solid or hazardous waste facilities constructed less than ¼ mile from its banks.

2. Expansion of Lamprey River Local Advisory Committee (LRLAC), the rivers current committee, to coordinate management and protection of the river at the local and regional levels, providing riverfront communities with a direct avenue for formal input into state decisions affecting the river.

3. Development of a locally written long-range management plan for the river that coordinates local values for water quality and supply, historic resources and recreation.

“The Lamprey River is an important natural and cultural resource providing abundant clean water, wildlife habitat, scenic beauty, historic character, and recreation for all the communities within the watershed. State designation will ensure that these qualities are protected. Designation of the remaining segments of the river and its major tributaries will bring more citizens and communities together to develop an integrated strategy to manage and protect the river.” said Jim Hadley, of Northwood, LRNC chairman.

The segments of the river requiring protection begins at the headwaters in Northwood at the lake, in Northwood Meadows State Park, to the Epping and Lee town lines, and the tidal portion of the Lamprey in Newmarket. The major tributaries include: the North Branch River in Candia and Raymond; the Little River, Bean River, and North River in Nottingham; the Pawtuckaway River in Nottingham and Raymond; and the Piscassic River flowing from Fremont to Newmarket.

The Lamprey River Nominating Committee is working in partnership with the Lamprey River Watershed Association, the Lamprey River Local Advisory Committee, and with the “Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program” of the National Park Service (NPS) in this nomination effort.

The LRNC asks for your support in this nomination. Public hearings will be scheduled in early 2010 and letters of support are welcome. We especially ask for supporting letters from town governments, planning boards, conservation committees, and legislators from the communities in the watershed. Strong local support is necessary for a successful application. Letters of support may be sent to: Lamprey River Nomination Committee, 43 North River Rd., Lee, N.H. 03861. The next LRNC meeting is Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Raymond Fire Station, off Route 101, Exit 4, in Raymond. For more information, contact me at l.mikekappler@comcast.net.

Mike Kappler is a Republican state representative from Raymond.

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.

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.

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.