Watershed protection, restoration grants awarded in New Hampshire

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• NH DES awards over $1 million dollars in funding made available through EPA under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act

CONCORD, NH, Dec. 20, 2010 -- Over the past year the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) has awarded $1,079,000 to fifteen New Hampshire communities and non-profit organizations to address water pollution problems caused by runoff. These projects are currently underway, and typically take two to three years to achieve project completion.

Each year the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides DES with funding to both restore and protect New Hampshire's water resources that are impacted by polluted runoff. This includes restoring waterbodies that have become too polluted to support certain uses such as fishing, swimming or boating. DES also receives funding to protect waterbodies that are deemed high quality, but may be threatened by pollution such as those in areas impacted by increased growth and development.

In 2010, projects ranged in size and scope from a $1,200 award to NH Public Radio to develop a central web-based warehouse for innovative land use zoning regulations to an over $200,000 grant to Trout Unlimited to restore Nash Stream, a historically high quality brook trout fishery in Coos County.

Three awards were made to protect high quality waterbodies in New Hampshire. One went to the Newfound Lake Region Association to implement the Newfound Lake Watershed Master Plan. Another grant for $107,000 will implement portions of the Salmon Falls Headwaters Watershed Management Plan which will help protect five lakes and ponds in the watershed with assistance from multiple project partners including the town of Wakefield. The third project is for $25,000 to the Town of Sanbornton to develop a watershed management plan for Black Brook, a tributary to Lake Winnisquam.

Eleven projects will address impairments in waterbodies across the state, including Cobbetts Pond in Windham, where stormwater improvements will reduce excessive sediment and phosphorus runoff, and Willand Pond in Somersworth and Dover, which is impaired due to increased water levels and more frequent cyanobacteria blooms. The Town of New Ipswich will use $71,500 in grant funds to restore Furnace Brook by controlling erosion, treating stormwater and developing a septic system management plan. Other restoration projects address the Baker River in Warren; Berry Brook in Dover; Rust Pond in Wolfeboro; Mirror Lake in Wolfeboro and Tuftonboro, the Exeter River, and the Souhegan River.

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