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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Weeklong series on Great Bay on NHPR this week!

August 16, 2010

Starting on August 16, New Hampshire Public Radio hosts a weeklong series on Great Bay. Visit NHPR to see the full stories and link to the audio.

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 www.nhcoast.org, signing up for our email list, or following us on Twitter or Facebook.

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.

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”

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.