Seacoast

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.

Jason Moon for NHPR

On the Seacoast, crews are working to repair damage from winter storms in time for the summer tourist season.

At North Hampton State Beach, repairs are being made to a collapsed parking lot and sidewalk.

Johannes Thiel via Flickr cc

More than 50 teachers and support staff at the Timberlane School District are in danger of losing their jobs due to funding.

 

The problem, school administrators say, is that because a higher proposed budget failed with voters, an almost $72 million default budget will go into effect. And that default budget doesn’t allow staffing numbers to stay where they are.

 

Maine DOT

 

A  replacement for a 76-year-old bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine opened to traffic on Friday after months-long delays caused friction between transportation officials and the contractor.

Sarah Mildred Long Bridge replaces an old span that connected Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine, along the Route 1 Bypass over the Piscataqua River.

Jason Moon for NHPR

New research from UNH says nuisance flooding of roads on the East coast has increased by 90 percent over the last two decades.

Nuisance flooding occurs as a result of normal tidal activity. It's the kind of flooding that can happen on sunny day with calm weather.

The new report estimates that nuisance flooding is already causing over 100 million hours of delays for drivers each year. As oceans rise, the report says, so could that number.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Authorities continue to investigate a suspicious package sent to Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter's Dover office Monday.

No one was injured, police said.

Shea-Porter, a four-term Democrat from Rochester, issued the following statement:

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

More than 100 responders from dozens of state, federal and local agencies were busy in Portsmouth Thursday, practicing their response to a hypothetical oil spill.

These exercises happen every year on the Piscataqua River between New Hampshire and Maine – but the made-up crisis they game out is always changing.

Carroll Brown is New Hampshire’s oil spill contingency planner. He says this year’s scenario imagined flying debris from a winter storm, rupturing an Irving Oil diesel tank on the riverbank in downtown Portsmouth.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Federal and state agencies will act out an oil spill response scenario in Portsmouth on Thursday as part of a federal requirement to practice for a real-life crisis.

This year's drill imagines a winter storm damaging part of the local Irving Oil facility overnight, causing a large amount of oil to spill into the Piscataqua River.

Via USGS.gov

The city of Portsmouth says it expects to release a trove of documents about toxic waste cleanup at Coakley Landfill Superfund Site around the end of this month.

It comes as a group of Seacoast lawmakers files suit to get records from the entities responsible for that pollution, known together as the Coakley Landfill Group. 

National Marine Life Center

A young harp seal who spent a month recuperating after getting stranded on Hampton Beach will be released on Sunday.

It’s only the second time the Seacoast Science Center has helped release a seal in New Hampshire waters.

The year-old seal is named Merrimack, or Mack for short. He was found on Hampton Beach on Valentine's Day.

Seacoast Science Center marketing director Karen Provazza says Mack was alert and chatty, but also seemed sick and confused.

Harp seals are born on ice in Canada and like to eat snow, but Mack was eating sand off the beach. 

Chelsey Puffer

After a week of uncertainty following a public auction of the Smuttynose Brewery, a new owner has been announced. Smuttynose is now owned by Runnymede Investments, a venture capital and investment firm based in North Hampton. The purchase was made for an undisclosed amount.

Runnymede is installing a new CEO at the brewery, Rich Lindsay, who has experience at other breweries including Samuel Adams and Night Shift Brewing.

US Navy

Governor Chris Sununu wants the former Pease Air Force base included in a first-ever national study on the health effects of toxic chemicals called PFCs.

Sununu wrote this week to the federal agency leading the study, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. It’s part of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

The latest federal defense spending bill authorizes the agency to spend $7 million to study the health impacts of perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

It’s Town Meeting time, and in Rye, a long-simmering controversy is back on the ballot. On Tuesday, voters there will decide the fate of the old Town Hall.

For many in town, the 180-year old building raises civic pride. Others are simply ready to raze it.

Courtesy Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Brewing Company will be sold at auction Friday afternoon in Hampton.

The iconic New Hampshire craft brewer announced in January that it could no longer pay its bills and needed new ownership to survive.

Police in a New Hampshire city are making efforts to address loud motorcycles in Portsmouth.

Police Chief Robert Merner says he is aware of a proposed ordinance currently in a Senate committee that would ban "motorcycle-only checkpoints," but adds he has ordered decibel reading equipment for his officers to be used citywide.

The Portsmouth Herald reports Merner says enforcement of noise levels will begin in the spring during motorcycle season.

Offshore Drilling Debate Revived In New England

Mar 7, 2018

A public hearing earlier this week attracted environmentalists, fishing groups, and many others who oppose President Trump's new proposal to expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic, including off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire. We talk with NHPR's energy and environmental reporter Annie Ropeik about the latest developments and what impact offshore drilling might have for the state. 

BOEM

Federal officials will be in Concord today to talk about a sweeping proposal to open most of the nation's coastline to new oil and gas drilling.

The North Atlantic and the Seacoast are included in the Interior Department's plan, but analysts say this area would likely be a low priority if it goes forward.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu inspected historic flooding Saturday on the New Hampshire seacoast, as Atlantic waves whipped up from a nor'easter's high winds breached and eroded sea walls for a second day.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The town of Hampton has made good on its threat to sue the state of New Hampshire over services provided at the state-owned Hampton Beach.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Rockingham County Superior Court reads like a laundry list of all the complaints some town officials in Hampton have been raising for years.

They range from the maintenance of the sidewalks on Ocean Boulevard, to the revenue generated by parking spaces, to fire and ambulance services provided at the beach.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Patriots fans will be rooting against the Eagles in the big game this weekend. But they might have missed another Superbowl last weekend that was all about the birds.

In the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s annual Superbowl of Birding, dozens of birdwatchers flock to the Seacoast and the Bay State’s Essex County for a 12-hour birding blitz. 


Courtesy Jack Dorsey

This week we have another edition of New Hampshire’s Wild Neighborhoods, where we take a closer look at one of the more than 200 natural communities you can find within the confines of our state border. Communities like the Alpine Zone or Red oak, Black birch Wooded Talus, but those are pretty rare.

Jason Moon for NHPR

It’s a feeling many in today’s economy can relate to: starting out in a career is just harder than it used to be.

One group that’s very familiar with that idea is commercial fishermen. In New Hampshire, dozens of boats used to head out every morning to fish for cod and haddock. Today that number is down to just a handful.

For our series The Balance, which looks at the cost of living in New Hampshire, Jason Moon tells us about two young fishermen who, in spite of the odds, are trying to live a vision of an iconic New England profession. 

Jason Moon for NHPR

It's been nearly five months since a racist bullying incident shocked the Oyster River School District community.

Parents and school administrators met Wednesday to talk about what's been done in response, and priorities going forward.

It was this past September when a 7-year old black student was bullied with racist language while riding the school bus home. The incident shocked many, including Oyster River Superintendent Jim Morse.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state commission on the Seacoast’s high cancer rates signaled Friday it would push for cleanup at Coakley Landfill, despite objections from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The legislators and public representatives who make up the Cancer Cluster Investigation Commission have a report due this fall on what's driving those cancer rates, and they’ve honed in on the EPA’s Coakley Landfill Superfund site as a likely culprit.

Representative Charles McMahon, a Republican from Windham, chairs the commission.  

Jason Moon for NHPR

A meeting this week between Governor Chris Sununu and Hampton town officials may not have been enough to calm the waters in that town.

Last year, Hampton selectmen voted to sue the state over the cost of some services that the town provides at the popular state-owned beach.

Governor Sununu met with Hampton officials Tuesday night in an apparent effort to head off that suit, which is scheduled to be filed at the end of the month.

But Hampton Selectman James Waddell, who voted against filing the suit, says he doubts Sununu's outreach will make a difference.

Jason Moon for NHPR

It was a packed house at the Teatotaller café in Somersworth as five transgender panelists shared their stories and took questions from an audience.

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