Critical Issues

Our two largest estuaries – The Great Bay Estuary and Hampton Seabrook Harbor – help define who we are as a region. Whether it’s swimming in one of the many rivers of the estuary, going on a bird watch, or simply dining at one of our many local restaurants, these waters provide a profound sense of place for the tens of thousands who live and visit our region every year. Our economy – from our fishermen, to recreation, to the many businesses that call our region home – relies heavily upon a vibrant and healthy estuary system. For those of us who live, work and play in the waters of the estuary, it is imperative that we monitor study, report and educate ourselves on the challenges facing the estuary. And, we also need to identify solutions to the challenges we face that each of us can undertake – from policymakers to businesses to citizens – to keep our estuaries in balance.

As part of both the 2010 Piscataqua Region Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan and the 2013 State of Our Estuaries Report we have identified the Critical and Emerging Issues facing our region.

Click on an issue to learn more (download PDF):

PREP is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program, a joint program between local, state and federal agencies established under the Clean Water Act with the goal of protecting and enhancing nationally significant estuarine resources. PREP is supported in part by an EPA matching grant and is housed within the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering at the University of New Hampshire.

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