Piscataqua Region Monitoring Collaborative

PREP is excited to announce that the 2017 field season monitoring budget is growing thanks to contributions from seven communities to the Piscataqua Region Monitoring Collaborative totaling more than $120,000!

What is the PRMC?

The Piscataqua Region Monitoring Collaborative (PRMC) is uniting partners working on water quality research and monitoring in our estuaries around a vision for expanded data collection, analysis, and access. Goals of the PRMC include: continuing to build a comprehensive understanding of our complex estuarine systems; tracking and reporting measurable changes in our watershed in the State of Our Estuaries Report; and increasing access to data and information to assist in local decision-making.

PRMC and Existing Monitoring

PREP, the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, UNH, and the NH Department of Environmental Services commit approximately $239,000 annually for water quality and biological monitoring of New Hampshire’s estuaries. And municipalities are investing in research and monitoring efforts in the estuaries and tributaries too. Despite growing support, existing programs – especially biological monitoring – are consistently under-funded. The PRMC provides targeted funding to expand our collective monitoring program. Through expansion we all have an opportunity to fill existing knowledge gaps and better focus management interventions where they are most needed, and track and evaluate the impact of our actions on the health of our estuaries.

2017 PRMC Budget

Prioritized activities for the 2017 PRMC funds include continued support for external advisors and new data collection. Regarding new data collection, PREP will allocate PRMC funding to deploy and maintain 5-7 new datasondes. Initial cost for the datasondes was provided by a one-time capital expenditure from the NH Legislature, however funding is needed for both data collection and operations and maintenance. Datasondes will now be in Hampton Harbor, the western lobe of Great Bay, Little Bay, the lower Piscataqua River, the Bellamy River, and the Cocheco River. More datasondes will increase our spatial extent of data collection across both the Great Bay and Hampton-Seabrook estuaries. Secondly PRMC funding may be used to better understand changing dynamics related to seaweeds.

Funding partnerships are critical to this effort and we cannot thank our communities enough for their support. A special thank you to Hampton ($800), Newfields ($1,000), Stratham ($9,214), Exeter ($18,168), Durham ($18,590), Dover ($35,000), and Rochester ($37,785) for your contributions to the PRMC and investing in clean water for our region.

There were additional communities who are also supportive of the PRMC, however due to budget cycles were unable to support the effort financially for 2017. PREP looks forward to working with a growing number of communities into the future on targeted funding efforts for monitoring in our estuaries.

For more information on the Piscataqua Region Monitoring Collaborative please contact:

Abigail Lyon Abigail.Lyon@unh.edu
Kalle Matso Kalle.Matso@unh.edu (603) 781-6591

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.