The Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership is just that, a partnership. The 2010 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan is what informs our work and priorities, and names 200 different partners to help in carrying out 82 Action Plans to improve water quality and environmental conditions throughout the watershed. Our work is driven by input from a diverse and talented group of stakeholders in four different committees and is supported and implemented by a wide ranging group of partners and 52-municipalities. The initiatives, work and projects that are required to protect, preserve and monitor the Great Bay and Hampton Seabrook estuaries rely upon the collective action of many partners, constructive collaboration and shared successes.
PREP is made up of 4 staff, 4 different committees, we work with 52 different municipalities, 82 different stakeholder organizations, agencies and coalitions and are one of 28 National Estuary Programs across the country.
PREP’s History Beginning in 1995, the New Hampshire Estuaries Project (NHEP) embarked on a process to develop and systematically address the 98 Action Items outlined in the program’s guiding document, the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. The intent was to achieve the Plan’s goals of improved water quality in New Hampshire’s estuaries. The organization’s name was changed in 2009 to the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP) when the PREP focus area was expanded to include 10 Maine communities. PREP addresses Action Items by either completing them directly or funding other organizations to complete the work.
PREP, UNH & the US EPA PREP is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program, which is a joint local/state/federal program established under the Clean Water Act with the goal of protecting and enhancing nationally significant estuarine resources. PREP receives its funding from the EPA and is hosted and administered by the University of New Hampshire.
PREP & the CCMP PREP’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for region’s estuaries was first completed in 2000, updated in 2005 and in 2010 PREP released the Piscataqua Region Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for 2010-2020. The CCMP outlines key issues related to management of New Hampshire’s estuaries and proposes strategies (Action Plans) that are expected to preserve, protect, and enhance the region’s estuarine resources and provides a 10-year roadmap to restoring the Region’s estuaries. The action plans and priorities were established over an 18-month stakeholder driven process which resulted in the careful development of 82 action plans including water resource action plans, living resources and habitat restoration action plans, land use and habitat protection action plans and watershed stewardship action plans. Projects addressing these priorities are undertaken throughout Piscataqua Region coastal watershed, which includes 52 communities.
PREP & the CIP PREP’s Community Impact Plan (CIP) is designed to effectively communication PREP’s data to our broad stakeholder base. Developed through a multi-year collaborative effort the CIP aims to create broad-based, popular support for ecological protection and restoration of our natural resources, using clean water as the driver for changing the conversation.
PREP Strives to:
- Improve the water quality and overall health of the region’s estuaries;
- Encourage all who live, work and play on the Seacoast to take actions to help protect and preserve the places we love.
- Support regional development patterns that protect water quality, maintain open spaces and important habitat, and preserve estuarine resources;
- Track environmental trends through the implementation of a long term monitoring program to assess indicators of estuarine health; and,
- Develop broad-based popular support for the implementation of the Management Plan by encouraging involvement of the public, local government, and other interested parties in its implementation.
- Support conservation and restoration initiatives across the region