New Hampshire


Meeting #1
December 7, 2011: Great Bay Community College, Pease Tradeport, Portsmouth

Over 100 people were in attendance for the first meeting of the Great Bay Initiative. There were 9 presentations and 45 minutes of discussion and action item brainstorming. Please consider joining the dialogue by emailing your completed Questionnaire to

Portsmouth Herald's Coverage

December 7th
and December 8th by Aaron Sanborn

December 14th Sory by Matt Kanner

PREP's Press Release CLICK HERE


PRESENTER #1: Susan Murphy, MS4 Permitting Dept., United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 1
Phone: 617-918-1534
Topic: MS4 Stormwater Permit Program for New Hampshire



  • EPA directly regulates stormwater discharges from municipal drainage systems in urbanized areas via a permitting program for "MS4" operators.
  • The current permit issued in 2003 covers urbanized portions of 14 communities (as well as UNH and NHDOT) in the Great Bay watershed.
  • The MS4 permit is being reissued and a Final Permit is expected in early 2012.
  • The reissued permit will require substantially more from communities on the six "minimum control measures" of public education, public participation, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction stormwater management, development/redevelopment stormwater management, and municipal good housekeeping and pollution prevention.
  • The reissued permit will also require permittees in the Great Bay watershed to target their programs to achieve reductions in nitrogen discharges.

PRESENTER #2: Phil Trowbridge, Coastal Scientist / Water Quality Standards Program Manager New Hampshire Dept. of Environmental Services

Phone: 603-271-8872
Topic: Great Bay Nitrogen Pollution Source Study & the Comprehensive Monitoring Plan for Great Bay

DES Great Bay Nitrogen Pollution Source Study:

  • This study will look at nitrogen pollution that comes from sources besides wastewater treatment plants, including fertilizer, septic systems and air pollution.  The study area is the Piscataqua Region watershed covering 52 towns in New Hampshire and Maine.
  • The results of the study will be used to evaluate where and what type of pollution control will have the most effect for the lowest cost.
  • DES is creating GIS data layers for septic systems, managed turf (ball fields, golf courses, and parks), and agricultural lands in the watershed.  The data layers and results from the study will be integrated with UNH research efforts in the watershed.
  • The target completion date for the study is October 2012.
  • Contact: Philip Trowbridge,, 603-271-8872.

RESOURCE! Nitrogen Pollution Source Study - SEPTICS FACT SHEET
RESOURCE! Nitrogen Pollution Source Study - TURF FACT SHEET

Comprehensive Monitoring Plan for Great Bay (PREP & GBNERR):
The Great Bay Estuary has a lot more data than most estuaries thanks to existing programs from UNH, PREP, GBNERR, and NERACOOS. However, the data come from a mosaic of different programs with different research questions instead of a fully integrated, comprehensive monitoring program. Shrinking budgets have eroded all programs and capacity.

GBNERR and PREP have developed a plan to improve the monitoring program with:

  • Short-term fixes to the existing "mosaic"
  • Long-term shift to an integrated monitoring plan

We cannot implement this plan without additional funding and participation by stakeholders to set research questions. The current monitoring programs cost $150,000 per year. This annual funding needs to at least double.

RESOURCE! Piscataqua Region Watershed MAP
Piscataqua Region Monitoring Needs MAP & FACT SHEET

Click on map above for larger version.

PRESENTER #3: Paul Stacey, Research Coordinator, Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Phone: 603-868-1095
Topic: Comprehensive Monitoring Plan for the Great Bay


  • Monitoring is essential to attaining our common goal of a healthy bay
  • It supports scientific understanding
  • It supports management planning
  • It supports effective implementation including adaptive management

RESOURCE! PREP & GBNERR Comprehensive Monitoring PLAN
RESOURCE! Key Monitoring Attributes SUMMARY

PRESENTER #4: Michelle Daley, Research Scientist, New Hampshire Water Resources Research Center at University of New Hampshire

Phone: 603-862-1794
Topic: Nitrogen Sources and Pathways Project & Long-term research in the Lamprey River Watershed



  • Introducing the long-term research efforts in the Lamprey River Hydrologic Observatory Trends in nitrogen - inputs, outputs, retention
  • Nitrogen Sources & Pathways Project: Integrating science with stakeholders to ensure the results are useful & implemented
  • ID, map and model nitrogen concentrations, ID 'hot spots' for non-point source nitrogen in surface waters, quantify attenuation in rivers
  • Project began in October 2010 and is expected to be completed in October 2013.

RESOURCE! NH DES Nitrogen Assessment for Lamprey River Watershed REPORT
RESOURCE! Nitrogen Sources & Pathways Project BRIEF
RESOURCE! Nitrogen Sources Newsbites NEWSLETTER

PRESENTER #5: Rob Roseen, Director, University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center

Phone: 603-862-4024
Topic: Great Bay Municipal Bioretention Program


  • Working with municipalities and the Southeast Watershed Alliance to develop a program for implementation of bioretention and green infrastructure technologies for municipal buildings and town-owned properties.

PRESENTER #6: Mike Trainque, Chair, Southeast Watershed Alliance

Phone: (603) 669-5555, Ext. 176
Topic: The purpose goals and objectives of the Southeast Watershed Alliance


  • The Southeast Watershed Alliance (SWA) is made up of community officials representatives (i.e. "of the communities, by the communities and for the communities")
  • The SWA is a vehicle for community dialogue & implementation of Great Bay water quality management & restoration efforts
  • Current activities of the SWA:
    • Watershed Management & Restoration Plan Grant funding awards Ongoing symposia and education and public outreach
    • Collaboration with other groups, agencies & organizations

PRESENTER #7: Rachel Rouillard, Director, Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership

Phone: 603-862-3948
Topic: Update on PREP's efforts & plans


PRESENTER #8: Julia Dundorf, Manager of Community Relations, Clean Air-Cool Planet

Phone: 603-422-6464 ext.114
Topic: Climate Change & Water Quality


PRESENTER #9: Dean Peschel, City of Dover & Great Bay Municipal Coalition

Phone: 603-781-5931
Topic: Proposed Adaptive Management Plan presented by the Great Bay Municipal Coalition: Dover, Exeter, Newmarket, Portsmouth & Rochester



  • Identified 5 key areas agreement amongst the regulators, scientists and municipalities
  • The Adaptive Management Plan is made up of 3 critical components: Efficient use of scarce resources; Addresses point and non-point sources; Monitors progress and allows for adaptation.
  • Plan includes provisions for: bio-extraction methods; wastewater treatment technologies; Monitoring; Habitat Restoration; Stormwater improvements; Septic System contribution calculations; Fertilizer use controls; Stream and Wetland buffer provisions; and Watershed nutrient trading program
  • Plan has been submitted to the US EPA & NH DES, awaiting official comments back.

RESOURCE! Adaptive Management Plan

Participating Municipalities
& Organizations

Funding support from the Thomas W. Haas Fund through: