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Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership
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Battle Brewing Over Great Bay Nitrogen Levels
12-27-11: Portsmouth Herald
EXETER — Officials at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services deny accusations that the agency "turned its back" on a memorandum of agreement it entered into with the Great Bay Coalition communities of Exeter, Newmarket, Portsmouth, Dover and Rochester.

Lilac City Weighs Joining Great Bay Coalition
12-31-11: Fosters Daily Democrat
ROCHESTER - The city is considering joining neighboring communities in an adaptive management plan for the Great Bay, in hopes of avoiding having to make costly upgrades to its wastewater treatment plant. Concerned over the health of Great Bay the Environmental Protection Agency is considering limiting the level of nitrogen allowed to be discharges from wastewater treatment plants near the bay, but upgrading the plants would come with multimillion dollar costs to communities...

Nature Conservancy Gets Grant to Restore Great
Bay Estuary Oysters

12-20-11: Portsmouth Herald
NEWMARKET - The Nature Conservancy’s New Hampshire Chapter announced today that it has received a $24,000 grant from the New Hampshire Conservation License Plate Program to continue its efforts to restore native oysters in the Great Bay estuary by rebuilding an oyster reef at the mouth of the Squamscott River in Newmarket...

Line in Sand Drawn Over Wastewater
12-17-11: Portsmouth Herald
PORTSMOUTH - City officials on Friday criticized state and federal environmental regulators over a perceived "lack of sincere effort" in working with local communities on wastewater treatment testing...

Bay Watch
12-14-11: The Wire
With environmental pressures on Great Bay rising and funds to deal with them shrinking, stakeholders rally to come up with solutions. The scientific facts are straightforward: Nitrogen loads in the Great Bay Estuary are increasing. As a result, eelgrass habitat, oyster and clam populations, and water quality and clarity are declining... 

Environmental Groups Target Non-Point Sources of Nitrogen
12-8-11: Portsmouth Herald
PORTSMOUTH — Researchers, environmental groups and public officials gathered at Great Bay Community College Wednesday to discuss Great Bay estuary pollution. Jeffrey Edelstein, a third-party mediator with Edelstein Associates, and the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, put together the forum...

PREP to Hold Meetings on Effort to Clean up Water Polluition
12-7-11: Portsmout Herald
PORTSMOUTH — More than 90 public officials, researchers and residents of the Seacoast will gather today at Great Bay Community College to begin a series of meetings to identify actions to clean up water pollution in Great Bay, plus rivers, lakes and streams throughout the Seacoast. The meeting is scheduled from 1 to 4:30 p.m...

Op-Ed: Broader Approach to Pollution Prevention
12-6-11: Portsmouth Herald
To the Editor:
I am an environmental science major at Wesleyan University. As part of my Introduction to Environmental Studies class, I am writing to you with regards to the state of the Great Bay estuary.
I have seen the decline of the Great Bay first hand. Mudflats have replaced my childhood memories of boating through eelgrass. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified nitrogen as a primary culprit for the decline of the estuary's ecosystem. The ripple effect of nitrogen on marine...

Op-Ed: A Plan Worth the EPA's Approval
11-28-11: Foster's Daily Democrat
The Great Bay Municipal Coalition communities have made a reasonable proposal concerning the health of the Great Bay Estuary to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the N.H. Department of Environmental Services. It is one that, after careful consideration, should be approved...

Legislator Files Bills Aimed at Cleaning up Great Bay
11-27-11: Portsmouth Herald
NEWMARKET — State Rep. Adam Schroadter is taking the fight to clean up the Great Bay estuary to the Legislature. Schroadter, R-Newmarket, has submitted three bills aimed at reducing nitrogen getting into the bay. He said he has been closely monitoring the situation for the last few years as increased levels of nitrogen in the estuary have been blamed for significant declines in the eelgrass and oyster populations...

Plan Tackles Nitrogen
11-22-11: Portsmouth Herald
EXETER — The Great Bay Municipal Coalition communities submitted a formal nitrogen reduction plan for the Great Bay estuary to the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Services. The Adaptive Management Plan recommends multiple options for addressing the impairments in the Great Bay watershed...

McMahon: Wastewater May Be Biggest Issue in City
11-21-11: Portsmouth Herald
I owe the city an apology.
I should probably also apologize to city residents as well.
It wasn't until this past week that I realized how much is going on behind the scenes when it comes to the city's wastewater treatment efforts. My epiphany came during a water impact forum Nov. 15, hosted by the Portsmouth Democrats...

Non-point Nitrogen Still a Murky Issue: Cost to Combat Unknown
10-16-11: Portsmouth Herald
PORTSMOUTH — While Great Bay Coalition communities have been giving some estimates about capital costs related to meeting new federal nitrogen discharge standards, the cost of getting a handle on other nitrogen pollutant sources remains a huge unknown. Some studies have indicated that about 70 percent of the nitrogen that gets into Great Bay comes from non-point pollution sources...

Newmarket Looking to Clean Up its Act
10-14-11: Portsmouth Herald
NEWMARKET — Newmarket showed itself to be ahead of the curve at a Planning Board meeting on Tuesday when it adopted new subdivision and site plan review regulations to combat the increasing amount of polluted stormwater runoff that threatens the region's watershed...

Great Bay Coalition Reports Costs to Upgrade Wastewater Treatment Plants
10-9-11: Portsmouth Herald
PORTSMOUTH — The Great Bay Coalition communities may have to shell out between $74 million and $160 million to build new wastewater treatment plants to meet new federal nitrogen discharge standards, according to a cost impact report. But, the costs don't end there...

Great Bay Coalition Towns Await Results of River Sampling Project
10-7-11: Portsmouth Herald
EXETER — While water sampling of the Squamscott River is complete, results of remain undisclosed.
The river sampling was done by University of New Hampshire researchers in August and funded by the communities of Exeter, Newmarket, Portsmouth, Dover and Rochester. The goal of the sampling was to get a better understanding...

Newmarket Gets Word on Nitrogen from EPA: 3 Milligrams
10-5-11: Portsmouth Herald
NEWMARKET — Newmarket has become the second community along the Great Bay estuary to receive its draft nitrogen discharge permit from the Environmental Protection Agency. The town received its permit on Tuesday and, like Exeter, is being asked to achieve a discharge limit of 3 milligrams per liter...

Eliot asked to help reduce estuary nitrogen
10-1-11: Portsmouth Herald
ELIOT— Selectmen have been asked by officials in Newington, N.H., to weigh in on a nitrogen problem in the Great Bay estuary. Newington officials said in a letter to Eliot selectmen that they are trying to find cost-effective ways to reduce nitrogen pollution inputs to Great Bay other than having to finance costly upgrades to its sewage treatment plant...

Hampton Falls Officials to aid study of Hampton-Seabrook Estuary
9-13-11: Hampton Union Leader
HAMPTON FALLS — Selectmen have agreed to participate in an Oct. 27 meeting as part of a "Local Stakeholder Group," providing input sought by the New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup (NH CAW). NH CAW is a coalition of New Hampshire municipalities, organizations and agencies working together to assist communities in preparing for impacts from natural hazards...

Town Council OKs Money for Great Bay study

9-9-11: Exeter Newsletter
NEWMARKET — The Town Council is onboard with a study to examine the nitrogen problem in the Great Bay. Councilors hope the study will aid in receiving a less stringent permit limit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the nitrogen being discharged from the town's wastewater treatment plant...

EPA Change of Heart Could Save Communities Tens of Millions
9-2-11: Foster's Daily Democrat
DOVER — Local municipalities could save tens of millions of dollars if the Environmental Protection Agency follows through with proposed changes to regulations on nitrogen levels in Great Bay. The news would be welcome to several communities that have property along the shores of Great Bay or whose wastewater flows into the estuary...

EPA may ease nitrogen limit: Talks suggest a less costly option for plant upgrades

8-21-11: The Portsmouth Herald
EXETER — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may be willing to budge from its nitrogen limit of 3 milligrams per liter set in its draft permit to the town's wastewater treatment plant.
Carl DeLoi, of the EPA's Office of Ecosystem System Protection, met with Exeter officials earlier this month to discuss alternative approaches to the final nitrogen limit...

Dollars Dry Up: Little Federal or State Money Available for Water Projects
7-17-11: The Portsmouth Herald
It's looking as if state and federal funding for wastewater treatment plant upgrades is going to be scarce just when Seacoast communities need it the most. This year the state Department of Environmental Services was given $15 million from the Environmental Protection Agency to distribute to communities seeking assistance with various wastewater projects. But, the funding forecast gets cloudier after 2011 and the state has been told to expect much less in the coming years...

Durham May Not Join Water Model Study on Nitrogen
6-19-11: The Portsmouth Herald
While five out of six Great Bay Municipal Coalition communities have signed on to a new study to further examine issues that may be impacting the health of the Great Bay estuary, it may still be a few weeks before the final community joins the group...

Letter to the Editor: Nitrogen Needs More Study
6-19-11: The Portsmouth Herald
Many people have been asking me about the notice they received with their most recent sewer bill. The notice indicates that the rates have risen 50 percent... From the questions I have received, it's clear to me that a review of where we are and how we got here is necessary...

Letter to the Editor: Further River Study is Worthwhile
6-21-11: Exeter News Letter
Last week Exeter selectmen agreed to put money toward a study of the Squamscott River that will greatly enhance our understanding of pollution in local waterways. This has become a hot topic in many local communities...

Exeter Selectmen opt to join river study on nitrogen
6-15-11: Seacoast Online
The town has signed on with five other communities to fund a calibrated computer model that will challenge the science used by the federal Environmental Protection Agency in issuing new draft discharge permits for wastewater treatment plants discharging nitrogen into the Great Bay estuary...

Exeter to EPA: Pull the Permit
6-14-11: Portsmouth Herald
Not everyone agreed on a course of action but there was plenty of passion on display during the Environmental Protection Agency's public hearing Thursday night. About 150 people came out to the June 9 meeting at the Town Hall. The topic of discussion was Exeter's draft permit from the EPA...

Demand for Study Gains More Support
6-7-11: Fosters Daily Democrat
The effort to stave off what appear to be unreasonable demands being made by the EPA on Seacoast cities and towns took another step forward last week. The Rochester City Council entered into a memorandum of agreement with other Great Bay communities in an effort to stop EPA dictates that would require a $20 million overhaul of the Lilac City's wastewater treatment plant...

River Modeling Left in Jeopardy
5-22-11: Seacoast Online
The decision of the [Exeter] town's Board of Selectmen to hold off on signing a memorandum of agreement to construct a water-quality model of the Squamscott River doesn't kill the potential project, according to the state Department of Environmental Services.

Sewer Plants in Great Bay Face Tougher Clean Water Standards
5-20-11: New Hampshire Public Radio
The 18 wastewater treatment plants that discharge into the Great Bay estuary face tougher clean water standards. Nitrogen pollution is threatening the Bay’s health. The Environmental Protection Agency is requiring the town of Exeter to reduce nitrogen pollution coming from its plant...

Editorial: Master Plan Needed for Great Bay
5-17-11: Portsmouth Herald
The Environmental Protection Agency's bid to curb nitrogen emissions from wastewater treatment plants comes at a moment when the economy is fragile and water and sewer ratepayers rightly feel they simply cannot afford the expensive solutions being forced on them by the federal government...

Sandown Homeowners Get Help in Reducing Runoff
5-5-11: Tri-Town Times
Those looking to do their small part in reducing stormwater runoff now have an easy to use tool to learn more: Sandown’s website...

Letter to the Editor: Support Grows for Delaying EPA Action for Great Bay
5-8-11: Fosters Daily Democrat
I'd like to take a few moments to respond to the community commentary from Jeff Barnum and a recent letter to the editor written by Mitchell E. Kalter, MD. First and foremost, Congressman Guinta is not alone with his actions to help delay the new permitting of the waste water treatment facilities (WWTFs) in the coalition communities...

Scientists Say Time to Cut Nitrogen in Estuary is Now; Scientists: We Can't Wait to Cut Discharge Levels
5-12-11: Portsmouth Herald
While proponents of a delay in tougher Environmental Protection Agency limits on nitrogen discharged into the Great Bay estuary cite the need for additional scientific study, experts said Wednesday that action to mitigate pollution needs to start now. Experts added that reducing nitrogen in watersheds plays a huge part in the deterioration of the estuary. This turned out to be the overarching theme Wednesday morning at a science symposium...

Stratham Weighs Wastewater Options
5-10-11: Seacoast Online
As Stratham weighs options for a wastewater treatment system in the future, it may have to plan for tougher requirements for nitrogen removal. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has recently issued a draft permit for Exeter that would limit the amount of nitrogen that its wastewater treatment plant can discharge into the Great Bay Estuary...

Editorial: Consensus Needed to Save Great Bay
5-1-11: Fosters Daily Democrat
The effort by U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H., to make the EPA stop and take a breath before forcing Seacoast communities to spend millions of dollars on upgrades to waste water treatment plants is welcome news. It has also caught fire since first announced, with Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., calling on the EPA to delay action...

Letter to the Editor: Don't Delay Nitrogen Limit for Wastewater Plants
4-27-11: The Portsmouth Herald
Call it what you will, but the Great Bay Water Quality Coalition is not a champion of water quality, nor is the Great Bay Protection Act legislation being proposed in Washington by one of our state representatives going to protect Great Bay. You can give titles that sound wholesome, righteous and well meaning, but they are what they are: efforts to delay desperately needed action to correct worsening conditions in Great Bay and the rivers that feed it...

City Water Rates up 148% in 6 Years; Sewer Rates could See 76% increase in Same Period
4-25-11: The Portsmouth Herald
If the city increases sewer rates on July 1 as planned, that will mean property owners have seen a 76 percent increase of their sewer bills in six years. During the same time, water rates have increased 148 percent...

Op-Ed: Guinta Needs to Get Informed on Great Bay

4-24-11: The Portsmouth Herald
U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta has introduced the Great Bay Community Protection Act in Congress that would ban, for five years, Environmental Protection Agency efforts to improve water quality in the Great Bay watershed. The EPA's job is to enforce the Clean Water Act. Great Bay is not clean and the operators of the wastewater treatment plants know it. Necessary upgrades to these facilities come as no surprise. Communities have simply not planned for what they knew was already in the works...

Op-Ed: Why We Need to Act Now to Protect Great Bay
4-17-11: The Portsmouth Herald
The Great Bay ecosystem is one of the stunning natural places that New England is known for, and which make our part of the country so special. Great Bay supports local economies, provides fantastic recreation and supreme natural beauty to hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors alike.
Right now, Great Bay needs our help...

Open Letter to NH Senate: Don't Spoil NH's Future for a Short-Term Fix
4-10-11: The Concord Monitor
Dear Mr. Senate President:
Budget reductions proposed in HB 1 will cut deeply into the operations of New Hampshire's natural resource agencies. These cuts threaten several long-standing conservation programs with demonstrated track records of on-the-ground success supporting our economy as well as protecting the health and safety of our communities and citizens.

Spreading Population Harms Great Bay; UNH Researcher: Issue of Nitrogen Will Get Worse
4-3-11: Seacoast Online
As environmental officials work to improve the health of the Great Bay Estuary their biggest challenge may be getting a handle on the sources of pollution they can't control. Potentially complicating matters is the possibility for additional growth in rural areas within the estuary and its impact on pollution in the estuary...

Congressman Guinta Issues Letter to the EPA: Requests Moratorium on New Nitrogen Rules
4-5-11: Seacoast Online
Congressman Frank Guinta, R-N.H., is asking the federal Environmental Protection Agency to hold off on issuing draft discharge permits that limit the nitrogen that can be discharged into the Great Bay estuary. Guinta sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on Monday, April 4 to voice concerns about issuing the permits. The letter is in response to a cry for help from the communities...

Seacoast Officials Push for Delay of EPA's New Nitrogen Standards
3-27-11: Seacoast Online
Five communities that will be affected by new Environmental Protection Agency restrictions on the volume of effluent that can be discharged from wastewater treatment plants into the Great Bay Estuary are trying to stop the issuing of draft permits. Exeter is the first community to receive a draft discharge permit...

Dover Councilors Skeptical of Estuary Nutrients Solution
2-17-11: Fosters Daily Democrat
City councilors Wednesday night questioned nutrient issues in the Great Bay Estuary that have been reported by the state Department of Environmental Services. All councilors and city officials who spoke at the workshop said they were greatly concerned with the quality of water in the estuary, but they were hesitant to approve proposed infrastructure improvements at the city's waste water treatment plant, which has been deemed a possible contributing source of the estuary's nutrient problems...

Guinta Pledges Help on Great Bay Waste Plant Issues
2-1-11: Fosters Daily Democrat
Congressman Frank Guinta has pledged his assistance to the communities along the Great Bay watershed as officials work to determine whether costly upgrades to wastewater treatment facilities are necessary. The federal Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Environmental Services officials have mandated upgrades to treatment plants that focus on nitrogen reduction...

New Hampshire Public Radio's 5-Part Great Bay Series
August 2010: NH Public Radio
"A national treasure in our backyard" It spans more than 13,000 acres. Nearly a quarter of the state’s population lives within its watershed. In a weeklong series, NHPR’s Environment Reporter Amy Quinton looks at the troubles pollution poses to the health of this critical estuary, and some proposed solutions for returning the Seacoast’s Great Bay to health.

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PREP Publications 

PREP publishes a variety of reports, including the "State of the Estuaries".  Go to the PREP Publications webpage to find links to all on-line PREP publications.

Read the
"2009 State of the Estuaries"