Earth Day Workshop: Backyard Solutions to Nitrogen Pollution in the Great Bay Estuary

April 13, 2010

Portsmouth, NH – The New Hampshire Coastal Protection Partnership will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day by hosting an eco-friendly workshop highlighting steps that local residents can take to reduce nitrogen pollution in the Great Bay Estuary right in their own backyard. Participants will get basic tips on how to install a rain garden at home. They will also learn how to make eco-friendly decisions about lawn fertilization.

When: Tuesday, April 20 from 7 to 8 PM

Where: Urban Forestry Center Meeting Room – 45 Elwyn Rd. in Portsmouth, NH

Free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of $10. RSVP online at or send an email to

The workshop is part of the New Hampshire Coastal Protection Partnership’s ongoing efforts to improve water quality in Great Bay by reducing nitrogen pollution from two major sources: lawn fertilizers and stormwater run-off. When it rains, stormwater run-off carries nitrogen from lawn fertilizers, pet waste, and leaky septic tanks into the estuary. As a result, the total nitrogen load to Great Bay has increased by more than 42 percent over the past five years. Nitrogen pollution can trigger explosions of algae in an estuary that consume oxygen and block out sunlight aquatic plants and wildlife need to survive, leading to a loss of habitat.

The week of Earth Day is a great time for the seacoast community to come together and learn how to take action to protect Great Bay. This critical coastal habitat is home to more than 162 species and plays an important role in the local economy. Countless tourists travel to the seacoast to learn about the estuary each year.

Editorial: Great Bay needs everyone’s help

March 26, 2010

An editorial in The Concord Monitor shines a light on the water quality problems facing Great Bay and how people can help by supporting oyster restoration. Read the editorial.

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”

Pact reached to conserve three islands in New Castle back channel

December 11, 2009

Read the full Foster’s article here.

“The New Castle Open Space Committee, the Southeast Land Trust, and the landowner have reached agreement on the proposed purchase of three islands in the Piscataqua River’s back channel in New Castle, affectionately known by generations of island children as “Jumping Rock.”

The undeveloped islands offer habitat for a diversity of wildlife, including tern, deer, blue heron, kingfisher and other wildlife. Blueberry bushes, white pine and red oak populate the islands.”

TREE Facility in Rochester Certified as Wildlife at Work

December 1, 2009

Read the full article as featured in Business NH magazine

“Turnkey Recycling and Environmental Enterprise (TREE) in Rochester was one of 18 facilities to receive re-certification as a ‘Wildlife at Work’ site from the Wildlife Habitat Council. These certifications, announced at the council’s annual meeting, recognize outstanding habitat management and environmental education programs developed through partnerships with local organizations.

The TREE facility is an environmental park encompassing roughly 1,245 acres, of which 150 are actively managed for wildlife. The land abuts both the Isinglass and Cocheco rivers.”

The Isinglass River feeds into the Cocheco River, a tributary of the Great Bay estuarine system.

Conservation Roundtable, Part I: Wildlife and Water: Why Is It Important?, 11/19/2009

November 3, 2009

November 19, 2009; 7-9 pm

Candia Town Office Meeting Room; Candia, NH 

Why is land and water important? Why does it need to be protected? Frank Mitchell and guests will discuss how land and water provides habitat for native wildlife and plants and “ecosystem” or natural services such as water quality protection, groundwater recharge, and flood control.

Riparian Zones Essential in Protecting Water Quality

November 3, 2009

A recent article by David Deen published in the Keene Sentinel captures how invaluable riparian zones are to the overall well being of a waterbody.

“The riparian zone is the three-dimensional land area (width, length and depth) directly adjacent to a wetland, lake or river that interacts with both the water and land ecosystems.”

Riparian zones serve diverse purposes in their relation to waterbodies. They often serve as a sort of last defense between stormwater/runoff and its direct input into a system. We know this is essential for Great Bay due to the excess of Nitrogen it has been experiencing from increased non-point sources.

Riparian vegetation provides shade, helps stave off erosion problems and serves as an invaluable source of leaf litter which provides habitat for aquatic organisms.