Watershed Watch: June 2013

Our Watershed Watch feature is dedicated to sharing our partners’ and others latest research and reports. If you have, or know of a report you would like us to feature in an upcoming issue of Downstream, please contact us and we will be happy to include it.

Great Bay Nitrogen Pollution Source Study

By: NH Dept. of Environmental Services


In PREP’s 2013 State of Our Estuaries it was reported that 68% of the nitrogen that ends up in Great Bay Estuary originates from sources spread across the watershed rather than direct discharges from “point sources”, like sewer treatment facilities. So, 68% is considered “non-point sources” such as atmospheric deposition (air pollution), fertilizers, human waste disposed into septic systems and animal waste. But, what’s what in this 68%? What’s coming from where? After two years of work NHDES released this report in Mid-May that  takes a stab at answering those queries. Overall, it appears that lawn and agricultural chemical fertilizer and human waste from septic systems each make up 27% of the total non-point source nitrogen respectively, 33% is from air pollution and the remaining 13% is from animal waste.  The study used a combination of computer modeling, surveys, aerial imagery and peer reviewed research to determine the results.

Read the full report here → 
Great Bay Nitrogen Non-Point Source Study Draft Report PDF

Read a synopsis from the media on the results here →

Report breaks down nitrogen sources in Great Bay, Fosters.com
Report: Septic systems big contributor to Great Bay pollution, Seacoastonline.com
New Study: Lawn Fertilizer, Septic Tanks Big Contributors To Great Bay Pollution, NHPR.org

More Habitat Means More Fish

By:  Restore America’s Estuaries

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Habitats for fish go far beyond the big bays, like Great Bay or our oceans, some 600 species of fish rely on the small streams, tucked away ponds and even wetland in the estuary for parts of their life cycle. The   more habitat we can work to preserve the more fish we will have to catch, meaning more jobs and more money into our local economies. This report looks at the relationship between habitat loss and species loss across the country and gives research facts and figures on the value of restoring different habitats like oyster reefs, eelgrass beds and small rivers. Check out this great, informative & highly engaging report here.

Water Blues ~ Green Solutions: Interactive website & Movie Project

By: Penn State Public Media

A new, interactive, multimedia documentary project telling stories of communities creating green solutions for our nation’s water blues – flooding, pollution and scarcity.

“Floods. Drought. Overloaded sewers. Acres of pavement. Pollution. We’re in a water crisis. Meet the innovators who are teaching America to “soak it up.” America’s deteriorating water infrastructure demands repair and expansion. Some communities are testing new solutions. Water Blues ~ Green Solutions tells the stories of visionary leaders in four cities—Philadelphia, New York, San Antonio, and Portland—who borrow strategies from nature to clean and protect water.”

Watch the trailer

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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.