Great Bay

Environment
5:30 am
Fri March 28, 2014

UNH Students' "Urine Diversion" Program Cleans Water, Fertilizes Farms

The UNH "Pee Bus" in all its glory. The bus will be active for four weekends, and the urine gathered will be pasteurized and redistributed to farmers as fertilizer.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

There are many challenges to a good town-gown relationship in college towns, but here’s one that doesn’t get a great deal of press: urine overloads.

On certain nights of the week, partying UNH students in Durham can overwhelm the town’s wastewater treatment plant, but a group of UNH students have teamed up with the town to get some of that nitrogen-rich urine out of the water. They plan to take that pee, and put it somewhere that it could do good.

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Environment
9:43 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Cities, State "Hopeful" For Settlement On Great Bay Question

Credit Flikr Creative Commons / Rickpilot_2000

There is a hint of light at the end of a two-year-long legal battle over waste-water treatment plant upgrades on the Great Bay.

The towns of Portsmouth, Rochester and Dover have been arguing that regulators with the Department of Environmental Services and the EPA hadn’t proved that requiring millions of dollars of state-of-the-art wastewater plants would substantially improve water quality. But after a panel of independent scientists issued a sharp critique of the science used by the DES, a deal could be on the horizon.

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Giving Matters
12:14 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Children Learn To Be Good Stewards Of The Great Bay

Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland, N.H.
Cheryl Senter

The Great Bay Stewards work to preserve and protect the Great Bay estuary through education, land protection and research. Sharon Musselman, one of the educators, is recently a retired teacher who often brought her own classes here to explore this ecosystem.

"I'm excited to be here at Great Bay Discover center," Musselman said. "I brought my first grade class to Great Bay for 15 years because it is such a great experience for first graders."

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Environment
12:30 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

As Seacoast Development Booms, Water Quality Could Bust

While development trends vary slightly from town to town, in general development is on the rise, and in many communities speeding up
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Meanwhile, many of the stresses that threaten water quality – more waste-water, increased runoff from pavement, and fewer forests to naturally filter water – increase hand-in-hand with development. Those in the conservation community say the cheapest route is to keep water clean by putting land into conservation, instead of trying to clean it up after it’s already a mess. No-where is the tension between environmental quality and more acute, than on the seacoast, in the communities of the Great Bay.

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Environment
5:43 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Durham's Third Way: One Great Bay Community Blazing A New Trail To Clean Water?

Durham Town Engineer Dave Cedarholm shows off one of the rain gardens installed as alternative an storm water control in Durham.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Several   seacoast communities have been ordered to upgrade their waste-water treatment plants by the EPA.But towns are pushing back on the question of how much the plants need to improve.

Durham is in that boat. The town is trying a new approach to pollution control called adaptive management. And depending on how things go for Durham, this could be the way the way towns and the EPA will resolve difficult and expensive water problems going forward.

The Nitrogen Numbers

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Giving Matters
12:00 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Children Learn To Be Good Stewards Of The Great Bay

Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland, N.H. April 8, 2013.
Cheryl Senter

The Great Bay Stewards work to preserve and protect the Great Bay estuary through education, land protection and research. Sharon Musselman, one of the educators, is recently a retired teacher who often brought her own classes here to explore this ecosystem.

"I'm excited to be here at Great Bay Discover center," Musselman said. "I brought my first grade class to Great Bay for 15 years because it is such a great experience for first graders."

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Environment
10:04 am
Wed July 17, 2013

VIDEO: Oyster Farming With Fat Dog

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

On the dock of Great Bay Marine, there’s what looks like a little raft tied up, but get close and you hear the hum of a water pump. This is where Fat Dog Oyster Company is based.

Reporter Sam Evans-Brown recently spent a day with Jay Baker and Alex Boeri of Fat Dog for his story on the boom in oystering in N.H.'s Great Bay Estuary. You can check out more of his photos and sound in this 2-minute video:

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Environment
5:30 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Is N.H. Oyster Farming Poised to Surge?

Three-year old oysters grown in Little Bay by Fat Dog Shellfish Company. These oysters are ready to go to market.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Oyster farming in the Great Bay Estuary is in the midst of a little bit of a boom. In recent years, the number of oyster farms has leapt from 1 to 8, with more on the way. These gains are boosting the hopes that using these filter feeders as an “outside-the-pipes” way to clean up the waters of the Great Bay could become a reality.

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Environment
5:18 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Legislators Will Take Up Great Bay Issues In January

Fertilizer running of from immaculate lawns in the Great Bay watershed is in the cross-hairs of one Newmarket lawmaker.
Credit Flikr Creative Commons / GrahamKing

Come January, New Hampshire lawmakers will consider a bevy of bills dealing with the water quality of Great Bay. Some proposals confront waste-water treatment plant costs head-on, while others skirt that controversy.

The decline in the ecosystem of the Great Bay, coupled with Portsmouth, Rochester, and Dover's decision to fight the EPA over required wastewater treatment plant to upgrades is inspiring action in Concord.

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Environment
5:42 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Seacoast Scientists Say Great Bay Is In "Stasis"

The Great Bay Estuary has been called the most studied estuary in the country, and many who watch this ecosystem worry that it is on the verge of a collapse
Credit Flikr Creative Commons / Rickpilot_2000

A new report out Friday finds that the Great Bay Estuary is still struggling. Every 3 years the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, or PREP releases its State Of Our Estuaries report. The report’s data plays into an ongoing battle over the cost of new wastewater treatment plants on the seacoast.

If you’ve been following the efforts of conservation groups on the Seacoast, PREP’s data from the last three years are no big surprise.

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Environment
1:42 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Towns Sue E.P.A. Over Nitrogen Emissions In The Great Bay

Amy Quinton NHPR

Top municipal officials of three Seacoast region communities are continuing their fight against tough new environmental regulations for their wastewater treatment plants.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon July 23, 2012

The Future of Great Bay

Conservation Law Foundation

Often called New Hampshire’s “hidden coast, the Great Bay is considered an estuary of national significance. Yet, its future seems in question both because pollution has taken a toll on its ecosystem and because nearby communities, activists, and officials can’t agree on how best to eradicate it, even as all realize something must be done. We'll look at the Great Bay debate and see if some sort of compromise can be made?

Guests

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Environment
10:36 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Efforts to Restore Oyster Beds Could be a Stopgap Measure for Great Bay

Three-year-old oysters that were killed by one of two invasive European diseases
Sam Evans-Brown

 

The Nature Conservancy and the University of New Hampshire are working to restore oyster beds in the Great Bay. The organization hopes its efforts can help stave off an ecosystem collapse while towns in the watershed work toward upgrading their wastewater plants. 

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Environment
5:30 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Great Bay Communities and EPA Square Off In Exeter

Sam Evans-Brown

 

Representatives of five New Hampshire towns say the Environmental Protection Agency is imposing wastewater limits on the Great Bay that are a financial burden. They made their case to two members of the Congressional Committee on Oversight at a field hearing held in Exeter Monday. While towns and regulators haggle over the cost of improving waste water treatment, time may be running out for the Great Bay estuary.

A Contentious Issue

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NH News
6:20 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Conservation Law Foundation Joins DES in Great Bay Lawsuit

Flikr Creative Commons / gdahlman

 

The Conservation Law Foundation has asked to help defend the Department of Environmental Services in a lawsuit brought by a coalition of Great Bay area communities.

The suit is an attempt to block rules that would require the towns to upgrade their wastewater treatment plants.

The CLF’s Director, Tom Irwin, says the suit is a stalling tactic, aimed to delay measures needed to help the Great Bay recover its health.

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