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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NH News
2:17 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

UNH To Put $54 Million Toward Buildings And Pool

Hamilton Smith Hall
Credit www.necarnegies.com

  The University System of New Hampshire voted Friday to put $54 million toward building renovations and acquisitions at UNH’s Durham Campus. 

$37 million will be spent renovating Hamilton Smith Hall, which houses UNH’s English Department, ESOL, Journalism and writing programs. The building has not been renovated in more than 30 years, and does not meet all disability and safety standards. 

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NH News
4:15 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Seabrook Officer Indicted On Assault Charge For Alleged Police Brutality

A Seabrook police officer has been indicted on one count of simple assault in connection to an incident of alleged police brutality.

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NH News
4:54 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Unexpected Reactor Shutdown At Seabrook Nuclear Plant

Credit Jim Richmond via Flickr Creative Commons

 

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says an unexpected reactor shutdown happened at New Hampshire's Seabrook nuclear power plant as the plant was shutting down for planned refueling and maintenance.

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NH News
3:53 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

List Of Candidates Grows To Replace Suspended Rockingham County Attorney

Joe Plaia -- a former Marine MP and public defender and current chief hearings officer for the New Hampshire Liquor Commission --  will run again for the position of Rockingham County Attorney.  Plaia is the first Democrat in this majority-Republican county to seek the seat of suspended  Attorney, Jim Reams. 

Plaia  says the Rockingham County Attorney's Office needs to be modernized. "There's a lot we can do to save taxpayer dollars," Plaia says, "there's a lot we can do to reduce recidivism." 

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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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NH News
5:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Seacoast Residents Concerned Over Proposal To Ship Propane By Rail

Railroad trestle in Portsmouth, NH
Emily Corwin NHPR

  For 36 years the Newington company Sea-3 has imported propane from Algeria and other countries. Ships come into port, off-load the fuel, and Sea-3 stores it and sells it locally. 

Then two years ago, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in places like North Dakota led to a boom in production, and American propane actually became cheaper than foreign propane. And with that, says Sea-3s’ vice-president Paul Bogan, the company’s business model was no longer profitable.

“Essentially,” he says, “we’ve been out of business for the last couple of years.”

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NH News
2:51 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Flying Car Will Be Tested At Pease

Credit Terrafugia

  The Massachusetts-based company Terrafugia will test a flying car at the Pease Airport in Portsmouth over the next two weeks.  

The vehicle caters to recreational pilots who live near an airport and don’t want to rent a hangar. the "Transition" vehicle being tested at Pease looks like a small plane with wings that fold.  When folded, it fits into a one-car garage.  The vehicle is legal for driving on public roads, and is expected to cost $280,000. 

Watch Terrafugia's promotional video:

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NH News
5:29 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

N.H. Man Pleads Guilty To Receiving Stolen Lobster Traps

Credit Excelglen via Flickr CC

A Bedford, N.H., man charged with possessing 49 stolen lobster traps, including some owned by a fisherman who died last summer, has pleaded guilty to several crimes and more than 100 violations.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says Kyle Basoukas pleaded guilty Monday to receiving stolen property and disturbing lobster gear, as well as 133 violations regarding his own equipment. He was given a suspended sentence of 90 days, fined more than $11,000 and had his lobster license revoked for five years.

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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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NH News
4:46 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Lead And Asbestos-Ridden 'Alcatraz Of The East' For Lease At Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

Credit rjzii via Flickr Creative Commons

The US Navy will offer for lease the former Naval Prison on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

The Navy has twice before sought private-sector redevelopment of the old Naval Prison, which closed in 1974.  It was built in 1908, and has been called the “Alcatraz of the East.”

The medieval-looking multi-story building is 265,000 square feet and has 11 and a half acres of waterfront land.

The new tenant would be responsible for ensuring structural stability in the now-dilapidated building, and cleaning up hazardous waste, including asbestos and lead paint.

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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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NH News
5:00 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Increasing Fees Could Ease Parking Problems

Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

Portsmouth planners say in the next six years, the city will need at least 650 more parking spaces But last year, a new parking lot championed by the then-mayor failed to gather support among city councilors. The future of parking in the city became a divisive issue in last November’s council election.

On Monday, the newly elected council took the oath of office.  It's likely this month they will begin trying to reach agreement once again on whether a new parking garage downtown will help or harm the future of Portsmouth.

 

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Giving Matters
12:00 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Portsmouth African Burying Ground Commemorates Past

African Burying Ground NH

During the 1700's, many Portsmouth residents were of African descent– some slave, some free— and were buried in a segregated cemetery. That cemetery was built over, its boundaries obscured. A public works crew rediscovered the site and now the restoration of its dignity has begun. Kelvin Edwards is working on the Portsmouth African Burying Ground Memorial.

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NH News
12:59 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Extreme Cold, Harsh Weather Take Toll On Memorial Bridge Lift

Credit Rik Koenig, via Flickr creative commons

Crews are inspecting the Memorial Bridge today after it had to be closed for a little more than an hour last night.

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