September 26, 2017

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Geosyntec’s Winnicut River Watershed Restoration and Management Plan is Published

Dan Bourdeau, Taylor Walter (New Hampshire), and Hayley O'Grady (Massachusetts) were honored for their work on the Winnicut River Watershed Restoration and Management Plan by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Watershed Assistance Section.

The NHDES will add the watershed restoration and management plan to their "family of great watershed plans."

After a year of focused collaboration, Geosyntec professionals, along with the New Hampshire Rivers Council (NHRC) and our partners Wright-Pierce and the Horsley Witten Group, successfully completed the Winnicut River Watershed Restoration and Management Plan. The purpose of the plan is to guide restoration and management actions to improve water quality in the river. The plan complements NHRC's ongoing work in the watershed including Volunteer River Assessment Program water quality monitoring and outreach through the Watershed Steward Program.

According to the NHRC, they are now looking forward to working with watershed municipalities, residents, agencies, and other local partners to implement the plan beginning this fall.

The Winnicut River originates in the marshes and low-lying hills of the coastal plain of New Hampshire, flowing north into the Great Bay estuary. The watershed drains about 17.5 square miles and includes portions of North Hampton, Stratham, and Greenland. The river, its perennial tributaries, and numerous streams account for a total of 46.5 stream miles in the watershed.

The challenge is that the river and several of its tributaries are experiencing the negative impacts of nonpoint source pollution due to the rapid development that has occurred within the watershed over the past 20 years. The river and several of its tributaries are currently listed as impaired for multiple designated uses including aquatic life, primary contact recreation, and secondary contact recreation.

This project will go a long way towards improving water quality in the Bay and will help ensure that it remains an important recreational and commercial resource for the whole region.

Funding for the Winnicut River Watershed Restoration and Management Plan was provided in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Office for Coastal Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act, in conjunction with the NHDES Coastal Program. Additional funding was provided through a Watershed Assistance Grant with Clean Water Act Section 319 funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and from generous contributions from members of the NHRC.

The NHRC works to ensure the instream flow rules that protect the ecosystem of rivers in the state management program are established, contribute to a study of the economic value of the state's rivers and lakes, conduct workshops for citizens and decision makers regarding important river issues, coordinate river and watershed groups statewide to help them work on river and watershed issues, and strengthen the organization's leadership and membership. Their priorities are educating and informing the public and decision makers about the benefits and value of New Hampshire's rivers, watersheds and related natural resources, building a constituency for New Hampshire rivers by coordinating and supporting grassroots river and watershed organizations, advocating for policies, and funding that conserve river resources and improve their management, and encouraging and supporting the nomination of additional rivers into the state's Rivers Management and Protection Program.

More Information

Learn more at: NHRC website.
For consultation regarding river watershed restoration and management plans, contact Dan Bourdeau at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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