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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Volunteers Needed to Help Gather Data on Local Salt Marshes
DATE: June 2, 2006
CONTACT: Beth Lambert, NHCP, (603) 559-0022
Kevin Lucey, NHCP, (603) 559-0026

Portsmouth, NH – The New Hampshire Coastal Program (NHCP) at the Department of Environmental Services is in need of volunteers for the New Hampshire Marsh Monitors (NHMM) program. Each summer, volunteers, armed with nets, boots and binoculars, collect valuable information about our salt marshes. Volunteers are needed for the summer 2006 field season. Interested people should plan on attending one of two free training sessions, where they will learn about salt marsh ecology, plant identification, salinity monitoring and how to catch and measure fish.

This year NHMM will collect fish, vegetation and salinity data on two marshes: Fairhill Marsh and Awcomin Marsh, both in Rye. Time commitment for volunteering is flexible. Scientists and managers use the data to track the progress of salt marsh restoration projects and make management decisions.

"NHMM is a great opportunity to learn about the coastal environment while meeting other people who care about it," said Kevin Lucey, NHMM coordinator.

What: New Hampshire Marsh Monitor volunteer training
Where: Urban Forestry Center, Portsmouth, NH
When: Saturday, June 24 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. or
Monday, June 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and
Tuesday, June 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Salt marshes provide critical plant and animal habitat, offer flood protection for adjacent uplands, and produce fish and shellfish for recreational and commercial harvesters. Most New England salt marshes have been degraded either by tidal restrictions, such as roads and dikes that cut-off access to the natural process of tidal flushing, or by digging ditches into the peat to drain standing water from the marsh surface.

The New Hampshire Coastal Program (NHCP) is a federally approved coastal program authorized under the Coastal Zone Management Act and is administered by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. NHCP strives to maintain a balance between the use and preservation of coastal resources. Through partnerships, funding and science, NHCP works to improve water quality and decision making in 42 coastal watershed communities; supports maritime uses; and restores coastal wetlands.

For more information or to register, please contact Kevin Lucey, NHMM coordinator, at 559-0026. For additional information on the program, visit the web site at

NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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