Oyster River Nomination
Another addition for the New Hampshire Rivers Mangement and Protection Program
From the Fall 2009 through June 2010, the Strafford Regional Planning Commission (SRPC) worked cooperatively with the Oyster River Watershed Association to develop the Oyster River Nomination for designation as a New Hampshire protected river. The Nomination was submitted on May 27, 2010 to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Rivers Management and Protection Program. The project was funded by grants from the Section 604(b) of the Clean Water Act from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
The Oyster River is part of the Great Bay Estuary watershed in coastal New Hampshire. The entire Oyster River watershed is located within New Hampshire. The Oyster River originates in the town of Barrington, and flows through the towns of Lee, Madbury and Durham before becoming tidal. This nomination includes the section of the Oyster River from Hall Road in Barrington, downstream through Lee and Madbury, and through Durham to the Mill Pond Dam where the river changes from freshwater to saltwater. The nomination does not include the tidal portion of the Oyster River.
The Rivers Management and Protection Program identifies a number of river-related values and characteristics that may qualify a river for designation. The Oyster River supports many of these, including a variety of natural, managed, cultural, recreational and other resource values. Some are significant at the local level; others are significant at either the state or national level. The resource values that qualify the Oyster River for designation include geology, wildlife, vegetation and natural communities, fish, water quality, natural flow, open space, impoundments, water withdrawals, historic and archeological, community river resources, boating, other recreation, public access, scenery, land use, land use controls and scientific resources.
To read the full nomination document please download here: Oyster River Nomination: Submitted to the Department of Environmental Services.
Oyster River, Lower Exeter and Squamscott Rivers, and Undesignated Portions of the Lamprey River Incorporated into the New Hampshire Rivers Management and Protection Program
Concord, N.H. – Eight rivers in New Hampshire’s coastal watershed have recently been designated under the New Hampshire Rivers Management and Protection Program by the New Hampshire State Legislature. The RMPP, administered by DES, gives citizens the opportunity to demonstrate to the state why their rivers are important to their communities. Once designated, a river is protected and managed for water quality and flow by a local river advisory committee.
The Oyster River, Lower Exeter and Squamscott Rivers, and the currently undesignated sections of the Lamprey River with its major tributaries (the North Branch, North, Little, Pawtuckaway and Piscassic Rivers) were accepted for designation. In addition, the Mascoma River, which is a major tributary to the Connecticut River, was also designated under the Rivers Program this year, bringing the total to 18 rivers since the RMPP was legislatively established in 1988 (RSA 483). Incorporation into the RMPP represents the tremendous effort of citizens coming together to complete a nomination process documenting the natural, historical and recreational resources on each river up for consideration.
The Oyster River designation will provide a more formal means for riverfront towns to communicate with each other and with the state on how to protect the river in the rapidly developing Seacoast region. The Lower Exeter and Squamscott Rivers helps complete the goal of designating the whole Exeter River, portions of which were designated in 1995, from its source to where the tidal portion meets Great Bay Estuary. Including all of the portions of the Lamprey River and its major tributaries will allow for all fourteen towns in the Lamprey River Watershed, or area of land that drains to the Lamprey, to participate in protecting the area’s water resources.
The next step is the formation of local river advisory committees (LAC) for each newly designated river. The LACs will be responsible for developing a management plan and commenting on activities affecting the river that require state or federal permits. They are comprised of citizens from each riverfront community who are nominated by their municipalities and appointed by the DES Commissioner. Because the river management plan is locally developed, adopted and implemented, it reflects the specific needs, interests and concerns of local citizens.
To read the article in Great Bay Trout Unlimited please follow the link.
Oyster River Fact Sheet; Created 6/1/2009; PDF; 401KB
Oyster River Map; Created 5/26/2009; PDF; 501KB
Oyster River Watershed Management Plan; Created June 2001; PDF; 32.8MB
About the Oyster River Wastershed Association (ORWA)
Founded in 2000, the Oyster River Watershed Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that seeks to protect, promote and enhance the ecological integrity and environmental quality of the Oyster River watershed through community participation and involvement.
The Association holds monthly meetings and river walks, conducts outreach and educational activities throughout communities in the watershed, sponsors water quality monitoring through the NH Volunteer River Assessment Program on the Oyster River, and attends local meetings and provides occasional comment on projects of significance in the watershed. In 2001 the Association developed a watershed management plan for the Oyster River based on neighbor-toneighbor collaboration.
ORWA ContactsChuck Cox - Association PresidentDick Weyrick - Vice PresidentTom Lee - Town of LeeEric Fiegenbaum - Town of MadburyBrian Gallagher - University of New Hampshire
About the Local Advisory Committee (LAC)
A distinctive characteristic of the NH Rivers Management and Protection Program is the partnership created between state government and local citizens through the formation of a local river management advisory committee for each designated river. Each committee plays a vital role in protecting not only the river, but its shorelands as well. A minimum of one resident from each riverfront community along the length of designation is appointed to the committee by the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Services (DES). Committee members represent a broad range of interests and backgrounds. The main responsibilities of the advisory committee are to develop and implement a local river corridor management plan and advise local, state, and federal governing bodies and agencies of activities which may affect the water quality or flow of the protected river or segment. The DES offers the committee technical assistance in developing and implementing the management plan.
LAC ContactsEric Fiegenbaum - Town of MadburyTom Falk - Town of MadburyDavid Shea - Town of Lee
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