The Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership assists communities in preserving, and enhancing their natural resources through various programs and funding opportunities:
Community Technical Assistance Program
The PREP's Community Technical Assistance Program provides assistance to communities on a wide range of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to natural resources protection. The PREP Management Plan (pdf/8MB) identifies many priorities that involve implementing actions at a community level. In order to implement those actions and to assist communities, the PREP will hire Technical Assistance Providers (“TAPs”) to work with communities on natural resource topics of mutual interest to the community and the PREP. TAPs are organizations and firms with expertise in natural resource protection issues and activities. Communities interested in receiving customized assistance from qualified professionals should submit an application to the PREP. The program is intended to be simple for communities to participate: the PREP pays for the assistance and manages the contract agreement with the TAPs.
To learn about current CTAP opportunities and past projects, go to the CTAP webpage.
Coastal Watershed Land Conservation Transaction Assistance Grants
PREP provides matching grants of up to $4,000 per project to communities, land trusts, and conservation organizations for transaction costs associated with permanently protecting land from development.
Applications deemed eligible and complete will be funded on a first-received, first-funded basis, as available funding allows. Direct questions on this program to Derek.Sowers@unh.edu or 862-3948.
Natural Resources Outreach Coalition (NROC)
The PREP funds and participates in NROC, a collaboration among 10 state, private non-profit, local, and regional organizations. NROC assists coastal watershed communities with a natural resource-based planning approach to managing growth pressures and minimizing impacts. NROC offers a customized educational presentation, Dealing with Growth, for municipal board members, staff and interested citizens. Dealing with Growth reviews the current status of a community's natural resources and potential impacts of growth, and introduces various techniques for managing them. The presentation is followed with a series of community meetings to focus on natural resource protection goals and the actions needed to accomplish them. NROC provides sustained technical assistance to help communities and conservation groups meet their identified goals. Some funds may be available for communities to implement natural resource planning and conservation actions identified through this process. NROC typically works with three new communities each year. For more information see their website or contact Amanda Stone, NROC Coordinator, at 364-5324 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buffer Characterization Project
Dr. Fay Rubin of the Complex Systems Research Center at the University of New Hampshire conduct ed a buffer characterization study. The study characterized 2nd order and higher streams within the Great Bay Watershed of coastal New Hampshire. Existing remote sensing and GIS data was used to map a suite of anthropogenic factors, including land use (1998 or more current, if available), land cover (impervious surface data from 1990, 2000, and 2005), conservation lands, and transportation infrastructure, within one or more standard buffer(s) around each stream segment. These factors were analyzed to produce a categorical indicator representing the status of each stream. The resulting data is presented on a series of town-based maps . See the Buffer Characterization Maps.
Coastal Watershed Land Conservation Plan
The Nature Conservancy, Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Rockingham Planning Commission and Strafford Regional Planning Commission worked together to develop a Coastal Watershed Land Conservation Plan. The purpose of this project was to develop and distribute a comprehensive, science-based land conservation plan for New Hampshire’s coastal watersheds. The plan identified, described, and delineated important areas that should be preserved to protect water quality, unfragmented forest blocks, and recreational opportunities.
The plan is useful to communities in two ways: 1) the plan establishes a regional conservation framework and propose a watershed-scale network of conservation areas (i.e. the ‘bigger picture’) that communities can consider as they develop and pursue local conservation objectives; and, 2) the plan identifies conservation and land use strategies that can be put into place locally to protect these important areas in the future. It also serves as a publicly vetted land conservation action plan, which is a requirement to obtain funding through the federal Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program. Funds for the project were provided by the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, New Hampshire Coastal Program, and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation's Piscataqua Region. Read the Coastal Watershed Land Conservation Plan
Coastal Conservation Lands Update
Dr. Fay Rubin of the Complex Systems Research Center at the University of New Hampshire updated the GRANIT Conservation Lands data layer to reflect currently protected lands in the 42 coastal watershed communities. The information is posted on the GRANIT website and the GRANIT Conservation Land Viewer; a summary table was developed including the location, ownership, type and acreage of new parcels; and a map was produced displaying the new parcels within the context of all conservation parcels in the 42 town region. For more information contact Phil Trowbridge.
Impervious Surface Mapping in Coastal New Hampshire
Dr. Fay Rubin of The Complex Systems Research Center at the University of New Hampshire developed impervious surface estimates for the 42 coastal watershed towns. The data was derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery, acquired in the fall of 2005. The 2005 estimates were based on the same fundamental technology as the prior impervious mapping projects in 1990 and 2000, and thus they have yielded an assessment of trends on the landscape, and their associated potential watershed impacts, over the 15-year span. The maps show the impervious surface features in the coastal watershed, the degree of impervious surface for each cell, and impervious acreage estimations by sub-watershed and by town. See the maps. For more information about the project contact Phil Trowbridge.