Septic tanks and nitrogen pollution in the Great Bay Estuary

June 28, 2011

On Wednesday, June 29, 2011, Bambi Miller of the Strafford County Conservation District and Tom Canfield of Septic Design and Installations will host a “How to Make Your Septic System Last Forever!” workshop for septic system owners at the Lee Safety Complex, located at 20 George Bennet Road in Lee, NH. The event kicks off at 7:00 PM.

The 2009 State of the Estuaries Report identifies faulty septic tanks as a source of fecal coliform bacteria and nitrogen pollution in the Great Bay Estuary.

Event sponsored by the Lamprey River Advisory Committee and Lee Conservation Service. For more information, contact Bambi Miller at (603) 749-3037 or


New Hampshire ranks 1st in nation for beach water quality

July 28, 2010

HAMPTON BEACH – New Hampshire leads the nation in beach water quality, according to a new report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Water pollution closed beaches in New Hampshire for a total of 12 days last year. Nationwide, water pollution resulted in more than 18,000 beach closings and advisories in 2009.

Representatives from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, State Division of Parks and Recreation, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, and Environment New Hampshire spoke at an event marking the report’s release at Hampton Beach today.

“When families head to the beach this summer, they shouldn’t have to worry about swimming in polluted water that can make them sick,” said Environment New Hampshire Advocate Jessica O’Hare.

Most of the beach closings that took place in New Hampshire in 2009 were caused by elevated bacteria levels. Contaminated beach water can expose swimmers to a variety of waterborne illnesses, including stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, dysentery, and hepatitis. The precise of the bacteria remains unknown at this time.

Read the complete report: Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches

Read the NRDC’s New Hampshire factsheet

Jessica O’Hare of Environment New Hampshire discusses the NRDC report

Despite ranking first in the nation for beach water quality, water pollution continues to be a problem within the Granite State’s coastal watershed. NHDES has listed a number of the region’s surface waters as impaired or threatened by pollution. The list include Little Bay, Great Bay, Bellamy River, Cocheco River, Exeter River, Oyster River, Piscataqua River, Lamprey River, and Salmon Falls River.

View the complete list of impaired or threatened surface waters in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Coastal Protection Partnership is working to reduce water pollution in the Granite State’s coastal watershed. Learn more by visiting, signing up for our email list, or following us on Twitter or Facebook.

River protection has benefits

January 6, 2010

Exeter-Newsletter: Letter to the Editor:

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

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.

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.