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
6:56 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Cyclists' Deaths Spur Tensions On Seacoast

Credit By Porro, Creative Commons, Flickr

  Drivers and cyclists aren’t always happy to share the road. After two cyclists died in a fatal car accident on Saturday morning in Hampton, tensions between those on two wheels and four -- have heated up. 

When Krystle Crossman, who lives in Manchester, first saw that two cyclists had died after being struck by a car in Hampton, her instinct was to blame them. She says "because when there are in large groups like that because of roadraces and such, they tend to go four or five abreast, instead of one or two."  

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NH News
9:27 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Strawbery Banke Receives $300K Donation From State Senator

Credit sskennel via Flickr Creative Commons

A New Hampshire state senator has made a $300,000 donation to the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth to construct an expanded visitor's center.

Martha Fuller Clark, a Portsmouth Democrat, said she hopes the project, which includes a new cafe along with 50 percent more space in the lecture hall, will bring more people to the 10-acre outdoor history museum.

Fuller Clark's mother, Marion Fuller, was one of the founders of Strawbery Banke, which is a National Historic Landmark.

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NH News
7:00 am
Sun August 18, 2013

Art, Local Food, And Charity Combine At Farmers Market

The Nottingham Farmers Market will be the site of a so-called ‘vegetable mandala' today.  Traditionally, mandalas are intricate geometric designs used in Buddhist practice.  But in Nottingham, visitors will buy or bring their own local produce to a table and artistically arrange their donations to create a large-scale design. 

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NH News
10:49 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

130 Get Dinner And A Movie In Downtown Dover

Jaws played at Dover's Dinner and a Movie at Cocheco Mill Courtyard
Credit Emily Corwin

About 130 people gathered in Dover's outdoor Cocheco Mill Courtyard Tuesday night for dinner and a movie, organized by Community Events of Nashua.

A crowd is seated on white folding chairs, nibbling on macadamia-encrusted Ahi, among other things on a menu from nearby restaurant Blue Latitudes.  They await this evening's entertainment: Jaws.

Chris Smith is here with his two sons. He says he's looking forward to going back in time.

I saw Jaws when it first came out, yeah, it's very unforgettable.

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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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NH News
7:30 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Depression-Era Pool At Center Of UNH, Durham Debate

At the heart of a heated debate between UNH and Durham residents is a swimming pool.  During the Great Depression, the pool was built over a popular pond as part of the New Deal.  Now, the university is pushing to upgrade its facilities and downsize the pool.

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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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Giving Matters
12:00 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Portsmouth African Burying Ground Commemorates Past

This is an artist's approximation of the burials on Chestnut Street which is home to the recently rediscovered site in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It is the only archaeolgically authenticated 18th century African burying ground in all of New England.
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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All Things Considered
6:08 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Sailors, Artists, Tavern Keepers, And Mayors Among Portsmouth's Most Notable Women

The cover of "Portsmouth Women."

A new book aims to tell the stories of some of the most remarkable women in the history of Portsmouth, from colonial tavern keepers to nationally-known artists, politicians, philanthropists and more.

It's called Portsmouth Women: Madams and Matriarchs Who Shaped New Hampshire's Port City.

The book's editor, Laura Pope, talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about some of the women featured in the book.

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NH News
7:30 am
Fri April 12, 2013

One Year After Police Chief's Death, Memorial Fund Continues Service Legacy

After Chief Michael Maloney died, there was a massive outpouring of support for Greenland. Now, a memorial fund is trying to keep that community spirit, and Maloney's memory, alive.
Credit NHPR

One year ago today, Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was killed in the line of duty as he tried to execute a search warrant.  Not long after his death, friends and family established a memorial fund to serve the Seacoast in his name. 

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NH News
9:16 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Seacoast Set To Get The Most Snow Today

Current weather forecasts estimate anywhere from two to four inches of snowfall over much of the state by this evening.  Unlike the blizzard two weeks ago, this storm is moving slowly, dropping wet, heavy snow across parts of New Hampshire.  Meteorologist Alex Graves says changing temperatures today will also affect accumulation.

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Word of Mouth
9:51 am
Wed February 20, 2013

The Fula From America

In 1981, playwright, performer and theater company director Carlyle Brown decided on a whim to take a trip to Africa. That launched a journey of self-discovery and an adventure that became the basis for a one-man show called “The Fula from America: An African Journey," which Brown performs tonight at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. It’s a fund-raising event for Portsmouth’s African Burying Ground, and will be followed by a candelight procession to the site where the design for a memorial will be unveiled.

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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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