Seacoast

Jason Moon for NHPR

A new study says rising seas could threaten more than 5,000 homes on the New Hampshire Seacoast by the end of the century.

The Seacoast properties at risk from chronic flooding pay more than $33 million in property taxes, according to the national report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Sanborn Head

The main landfill serving the Seacoast has gotten state approval for a big expansion, over the objections of some neighbors and environmental groups.

The 1,200-acre Turnkey Landfill in Rochester takes trash from the Seacoast and out of state.

Waste Management told New Hampshire regulators last year it wanted to add about 60 acres to its landfill in order to keep it open through at least 2034.

K2PARN / FLICKR/CC

This Saturday, the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire will put on its annual Juneteenth Celebration.

Juneteenth marks the day when slaves in Texas heard they were free, almost two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

For JerriAnne Boggis, the executive director of the Black Heritage Trail, the holiday is time for both festivities and reflection.

Portsmouth turns 400 years old in 2023 and planning for that birthday is already under way.

Portsmouth residents will have a chance tonight to share their ideas at a public forum on how they want to celebrate the city's four centuries.

Susan Labrie is the director of Portsmouth400, which is the group planning the celebration. She says the anniversary is more than just a day for a parade.

"It's going to be creating the programs and events that go beyond 2023,” she said.  

Screenshot via office of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin planning emergency dredging of Hampton Harbor over the next year.

The Army Corps' 2018 Work Plan includes $275,000 for planning work ahead of dredging.

The funds will let the Corps assess dredging conditions and draw up a contract for the project.

New Hampshire's Congressional delegation has been pushing since last year for the harbor to be dredged.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan is contributing a commemorative letter about the new Sarah Mildred Long Bridge to a time capsule.

The bridge connects the state to Maine. She'll start at the Kittery, Maine, side on Friday, where she plans to highlight the importance of the bridge as a vital economic link for the region and for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The time capsule will serve as a reflection of life in northern New England in 2018 and will be placed at a later time.

NHDES

State environmental regulators will ask a North Hampton car wash to change how it disposes of used water, after testing showed high levels of potential toxins.

The investigation comes after two types of contaminants – PFAS and 1,4 dioxane – were found last year in a North Hampton well that served Seacoast residents.

The pollutants were under state limits, but Brendan Kernen of the state’s drinking water protection bureau says the well's operator, Aquarion, shut it off anyway.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Neighbors of the Coakley Landfill Superfund site in Greenland are optimistic the site may see further cleanup.

They met privately with top Environmental Protection Agency officials Monday.

The group held a press conference at the edge of a brook that runs alongside the landfill and contains high levels of potentially toxic PFAS chemicals.

“While this may have been called an emerging issue some time ago, it is now a top priority issue for the U.S. EPA,” said New England EPA Administrator Alexandra Dunn.

Courtney Marshall

 

Courtney Marshall's Sunday Zumba class is standing-room only. Once a week, a group of all ages laugh, cheer, and dance together. 

This group brings style and goofy t-shirts to their workouts. They call it "Sunday Funday".

"You saw me get up and do a dance. I would never do that in any class that I take I would never do that," said Donna Garofono, a regular participant.

Dan Tuohy

 

Portsmouth, New Hampshire's oldest city, is gearing up for its 400th birthday.

The Portsmouth Historical Society and the city have created a partnership called Portsmouth400 to mark the anniversary in 2023. The events will start with a look back at previous anniversaries.

The festivities will continue with discussions of how to engage the community in programs that will honor the city's historic past and benefit its future.

The sessions are set for June 12 and June 26 at the Portsmouth Public Library. More sessions will be held in the fall.

 

USS Manchester LCS-14

 

The USS Manchester, the newest in a class of speedy warships, was commissioned into service Saturday with crew members marching down a gangway and bringing the ship to life.

More than 5,000 people watched the ceremony at the New Hampshire State Pier in Portsmouth.

New Hampshire's Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, the ship's sponsor whose initials are welded into the ship's hull, said serving as the ship's sponsor was "the thrill of a lifetime."

Naval Sea Systems

 

The USS Manchester, a U.S. Navy combat ship, will be commissioned Saturday in Portsmouth.

The commissioning ceremony for the USS Manchester Littoral Combat Ship on May 26 will be at the New Hampshire State Pier, aka the state Port Authority.

Courtesy Revision Military

A military and tactical gear company says it will set up its United States headquarters at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth.

Via PortsmouthWastewater.com

Senator Jeanne Shaheen has announced that the Pease site will be the model test site for a national study examining the health effects of PFAS exposure.

Andrea Amico has dealt first hand with PFAS contamination. Her two children were exposed to the chemicals at a Pease daycare.

Tonight, she's one of several community members who will meet with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to learn about the study.

Portsmouth Regional Hospital has opened a new drop-off site for moms who are interested in donating breast milk. The hospital partnered with Mother's Milk Bank Northeast for the project.

This is state's fourth milk depot.

Nora Fortin, director of maternity, pediatric and women's health, says there are a lot of women in the state who have extra milk to give.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is offering grants to coastal communities looking to better prepare for the effects of climate change.

A total amount of $200,000 is available to towns, state agencies, and private groups.  

Winning projects in the past have included everything from infrastructure projects, to flood plain studies, to educational outreach programs.

Google maps

 

A boat crash in New Hampshire has left two people dead and two others injured.

State Police Marine Patrol says the accident happened Saturday night on the Piscataqua River when a 59-year-old man operating a 24-foot Boston Whaler struck a buoy in the vicinity of the Eliot boat landing, throwing a female passenger into the water. She was found unconscious in the river and later died, as did another female passenger. The operator and another male passenger were hospitalized.

Jim Richmond via Flickr Creative Commons

Critics of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant voiced concerns about the facility’s bid for a new license at an annual federal meeting in Hampton Wednesday night.

Officials with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission say the Seacoast plant is currently operating safely, despite cracks spreading through some of its concrete.

Jim Richmond

The safety performance of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant will be the topic of a meeting in Hampton on Wednesday.

The annual public meeting is hosted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which will give a presentation on the overall safety performance of the plant in 2017 as well as take questions from the public.

The new Sarah Long Bridge connecting Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine, is closed to traffic, just a month after it opened.

Crews will be working at high altitudes on the bridge’s four lift towers from April 30th to May 6th.

Ted Talbot, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Transportation, says the work has been anticipated for a long time and is not an indication of any problems with the new bridge.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The New Hampshire Commission on Native American Affairs says it is not satisfied with interpretive text meant to address a controversial mural at the Durham Post Office.

In a statement released Thursday, the group says the interpretive text is not an acceptable solution and that they don’t consider the matter closed.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Citizen scientists have begun another year of sifting through sand on Seacoast beaches, in search of tiny bits of plastic known as microplastics.

It's the fifth year for the volunteer-driven New Hampshire Sea Grant project.

Blue Ocean Society executive director Jen Kennedy says scientists want to collect, sort and analyze the different types of microplastics that wash ashore on the Seacoast.

NHPR File Photo

 

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is conducting a routine training event Tuesday.

 

During the training exercise, gates to the Shipyard will be closed for a short duration, which could impact traffic. The gate closures will be around mid-morning - not during peak commuting times.

 

The regularly scheduled training is meant to better prepare Shipyard staff in case of emergency. 

Coordination has taken place with local law enforcement and first responders, the Navy says.

The shipyard conducted a similar security drill in January.

Courtesy of Chad Witko

Back in January, NHPR ran a story about Kevin, a sandhill crane who was melting hearts in the town of Rollinsford. Despite a leg injury and freezing temperatures, the bird was living its best life in this small town.

With the warmer weather and longer days, Kevin now appears to have flown the coop, leaving behind many a brokenhearted resident.

PETER MILLER VIA FLICKR CC / HTTPS://FLIC.KR/P/EVRDEE

A New Hampshire youth sports organization in Durham that's investigating a man's allegations that two baseball coaches talked about a plan to hurt his 11-year-old-daughter—the only girl on her team—to force her to quit says no player was ever in danger.

A coach has been dismissed, Foster's Daily Democrat reported.

 

Jason Moon for NHPR

The U.S. Postal Service has installed a sign adding context to a controversial mural at the Durham Post Office.

A section of the mural titled "Cruel Adversity" depicts a Native American raid that happened in what is now Durham in 1694.

Some have called the image, painted in 1959, offensive for its one-sided depiction of history.

N.H. Beaches Face Threat from Microplastics

Apr 16, 2018

New Hampshire beaches may look generally clean, but there's a big threat posed by tiny microplastics. Microplastics are defined as plastics between 1-5mm in size. They may be fragments of degraded larger plastic debris, synthetic fibers, or microbeads from cosmetics and toothpaste. We learn about research studying the prevalence of this microscopic debris on New Hampshire beaches, the threat it poses to marine ecosystems, and what we can do about it. 

Jason Moon for NHPR

New Hampshire’s Seacoast is home to some of the earliest history of European settlers anywhere in the country. Believe it or not, much of that history is still being uncovered.

But now climate change and sea-level rise is adding new urgency to those efforts.

NHPR’s Jason Moon joined a UNH researcher for a hike to see a centuries-old archaeological site that is literally washing away.

There are plenty of examples of literary and artistic couples: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald, George O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera... but some of these partnerships were famously fraught. A relationship that functions on many levels, both creative and romantic, brings the particular challenge of balancing family and art. 

In Lebanon, Keiselim Montás and Kianny Antigua are living that balancing act. They are both published, acclaimed writers... and they're married. How do they balance their family life with their literary practice?

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Some Seacoast residents were unhappy Thursday night to hear state and federal officials reiterate they don’t believe the Coakley Landfill is contaminating area drinking water.

Authorities say some groundwater wells around the Superfund site in North Hampton do show high levels of suspected carcinogens called PFCs – but they say the chemicals haven’t spread to private wells.

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