The Seacoast Region

At 18 miles long, New Hampshire has the shortest shoreline in America.  But for centuries, this small strip of land has been the heart of the state’s Seacoast region.

The Seacoast is home to New Hampshire’s commercial fishing industry, and has been since the establishment of the first fishing colony in 1623.  But in recent decades, the area’s fishermen have struggled to maintain their foothold in the sector.  In Portsmouth, the Seacoast’s main city, the US Census Bureau found only 0.2 percent of residents work in the “Farming, fishing and forestry occupations” category.

Today, a significant portion of the Seacoast’s economy is tourism–based.  Portsmouth’s historic buildings and the draw of Hampton Beach, among other attractions, have allowed a number of small business owners to make their livings catering to visitors.

In addition to tourism, the Seacoast is home to a thriving professional sector.  A number of people are employed in the financial services and high-tech sectors. Compared to New Hampshire as a whole, the Census Bureau reports Portsmouth has a higher percentage of people working in management and professional roles.  Statewide, 37.5 percent of workers have these higher-dollar jobs, compared to 46.3 percent of Portsmouth residents.

Home values in Portsmouth also skew high.  There, 53.7 percent of owner-occupied homes are valued from $300 thousand to $999,999, while statewide, that accounts for only 35.2 percent of homes.  The portion of Portsmouth homes valued at $1 million or more is also double the figure for all of New Hampshire.

Despite this comparative prosperity, the Seacoast struggles in some areas.  Most notably, there are a number of environmental issues surrounding declining water quality in the area’s vital Great Bay Estuary.  These problems could prove costly to fix in the short-term, and have the potential to harm the Seacoast’s economy in the long-term.

Summary provided by StateImpact NH

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Newscast
8:34 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Fired Seabrook Officers Plan To File Grievances

Two Seabrook police officers who were fired after they were caught on tape roughing up a suspect at police headquarters are planning to file grievances.

Officers Mark Richardson, who was seen slamming the suspect's head into a wall, and Adam Laurent, who pepper-sprayed the suspect, were fired. Richardson has also been charged with assault in connection with the Nov. 11, 2009, encounter at the Seabrook police station.

NH News
5:08 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Members of Congress Worry Propane Rail Shipments Could Harm Great Bay

  Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte along with Congresswoman Carol-Shea Porter want to take a closer look at the potential environmental impacts of propane rail traffic through the Great Bay Estuary. 

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NH News
3:07 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Two Seabrook Officers Fired After Police Brutality Investigation

A screen cap of the YouTube video of the event, which has been watched more than 200,000 times.

Two Seabrook Police Officers were fired Wednesday in connection with the November 2009 assault of a man who had been taken into custody.

The incident took place four and a half years ago, but didn’t become public until earlier this year, when the assault victim, now 24 year old Mike Bergeron, posted a video of the incident on YouTube.

In the video, Officers Mark Richardson and Adam Laurent are seen shoving Bergeron, then 19, headfirst into a concrete wall.

Seabrook Town Manager William Manzi says the investigation was independent and fair.

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Word of Mouth
2:38 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Historical New Hampshire: Cultural Highlights In The Southern Counties

Credit jbspec7 via Flickr CC

New Hampshire is often advertised as a state filled with natural attractions, famous for our mountains (Mt. Washington and Mt. Monadnock are both known world-wide), lakes, and rivers. But the state is filled with historical landmarks as well, which Lucie Bryar covers in her book Exploring Southern New Hampshire: History and Nature on Back Roads and Quiet Waters. Here are some of the cultural attractions in southern NH you may not have heard about, but that you’ll definitely want to check out.

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NH News
5:13 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Barter Your Homemade and Homegrown Foodstuffs Sunday At Seacoast Swap

Pickled garlic scapes
Credit Erin Urquhart / Putting Up With Erin

About 40 foodies are expected to show up at the Seacoast’s first community Food Swap this Sunday at Frank Jones Mansion in Portsmouth. 

Organizer Erin Urquhart says it works like this:

You get together and one person says 'ok I have two cans of blueberry jam, I have two pounds of carrots, I’m willing to swap for that,' and someone behind you says 'I have a sheet of brownies that I made, I want that instead.'

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Newscast
8:04 am
Wed July 9, 2014

New Trial Date For Woman Accused In Fatal Hampton Bike Crash

Credit Emily Corwin for NHPR

A trial has been rescheduled for a New Hampshire woman accused of giving a drug to a 19-year-old woman hours before the teen drove into some cyclists, killing two.

Foster's Daily Democrat reports the trial is scheduled for Oct. 6 for 49-year-old Cindy Sheppard of Hampton, with a final pretrial hearing on Sept. 25.

Sheppard was indicted in January on charges of dispensing a controlled drug and possession of fentanyl, cocaine and methadone.

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NH News
8:47 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Application For Portsmouth Cell Tower Withdrawn

AT&T has decided to withdraw an application to install a 130-foot cell tower in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, after residents voiced their opposition.

The Portsmouth Herald reports staff attorney Brian Grossman said AT&T is re-evaluating its network priorities, including the best way to improve wireless coverage within Portsmouth.

The company said, though, that customer demand is growing. It says 70 percent of its customers have smartphones and the amount of data handled by the national networks doubled between 2011 and 2012.

NH News
7:31 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Shaheen Discusses Fishery Disaster Plan

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is meeting with fishermen to discuss the impact of a plan to distribute $32.8 million in federal fishery disaster funds across New England.

New Hampshire is getting more than $2 million in disaster relief with more than $900,000 going to direct assistance for New Hampshire fishermen, and more than $1.1 million being used at the state's discretion.

Newscast
7:40 am
Thu June 26, 2014

'Last Surviving' Elm Tree In Portsmouth Has Died

An Elm tree with Dutch Elm Disease, which is responsible for killing trees up and down the East Coast.
Credit Robin Nystron via Flickr CC

City officials in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, say one of their oldest trees has died.

The American elm tree on Peirce Island was over 100 years old.

The Portsmouth Herald reports members of the Peirce Island Committee noticed the elm didn't sprout buds in the spring. The tree has no leaves.

Peter Loughlin, chairman of the city's Trees and Public Greenery Committee, said Dutch elm disease has killed American elms up and down the East Coast. He said the tree was the last surviving elm in the city.

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NH News
2:11 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

With No Federal Funding, Nashua After School Program Forced To Close

A group of students work on their homework at the after school program at Pennichuck Middle School. The program is shutting down after the state rejected the district's application to renew its federal funding.
Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

The end of the school year in Nashua marks the end of the line for an after school program that organizers say was vital for the city’s middle school students.

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Newscast
12:21 pm
Sat June 21, 2014

Master Sand Sculptors' Work To Be Judged At Hampton Beach Today

Works like this Lady Liberty sand sculpture from the 2010 event will be judged today.
Credit Lorianne DiSabato / Flickr Creative Commons

Today's the big day at the 14th Annual Master Sand Sculpting Competition at New Hampshire's Hampton Beach.   Sculptures by some of the continent's best sand artists will be on display and be professionally judged for $15,000 in prizes that will be announced at 8 p.m. Saturday.  Sculpture fans also get to vote from 1 to 4 p.m. for the People's Choice Award.   A sand sculpting lesson will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. to those who sign up at the Chamber of Commerce office near the sculptures.    Fireworks cap off the day at 9:30.

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NH News
4:42 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

226 Years A Swing State: N.H. Ratified The Constitution 226 Years Ago Saturday

Governor John Langdon's House, Portsmouth, NH
Credit Flickr: InAweofGod'sCreation

  Some things never change in New Hampshire – including our position as a battleground state. In 1788, eight colonies had ratified the constitution – but nine were needed to establish the United States of America.

Stephanie Seacord, with Strawbery Banke Museum, says New Hampshire was split. "There were two factions in NH," she says.  One, wanted to stay independent, the other hoped to join the union. The latter was largely based in Portsmouth and led by then-Governor John Langdon.

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NH News
6:51 am
Wed June 4, 2014

South Hampton Standoff Ends With Arrest

New Hampshire State Police have safely arrested an armed man sought in an area of southern New Hampshire near the Massachusetts border after an earlier confrontation with police at his home.

Maj. David Parenteau said Tuesday night that officers found 44-year-old Anthony Reardon back in his South Hampton home about five hours after they had condoned off the nearby area with a large police presence.

Parenteau said the first officers who came to his home Tuesday afternoon found Reardon with weapons he refused to surrender.

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