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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Media Center

DATE: April, 25, 2012
CONTACT: Paul Susca, NHDES, 603 271-7061
Derek Sowers, Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, 603 862-2641
Andrews Tolman, Maine CDC, 207 287-6196

Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative Honored with U.S. Water Prize

Durham, NH – The Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative, an ambitious inter-state effort to protect drinking water supplies for more than 47,000 residents in Maine and New Hampshire, has been awarded a 2012 U.S. Water Prize award by The Clean Water America Alliance.

Members of the collaborative received the award at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on Monday, April 23.

Conceived through the efforts of the drinking water protection programs in the states of both Maine and New Hampshire, the Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative brings together natural resource experts, municipalities, land trusts, local water districts and community and watershed organizations to develop and implement an Action Plan to protect clean drinking water for current and future generations.

The Salmon Falls River is the largest river system contributing to the Great Bay estuary which borders both states, and was identified by the U.S. Forest Service as being the most threatened in the nation with regard to a potential decline in water quality due to conversion of private forested lands to housing.

The selection of the Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative for the U.S. Water Prize highlights the importance of inter-jurisdictional partnerships to protect and sustain drinking water supplies. The success of the collaborative relies on the “on-the-ground actions” of multiple local watershed and community groups. The groups implement actions town-by-own, property-by-property throughout the watershed. The collaborative unites to protect forests, champion smarter development approaches, and reduce water pollution from existing and future land development.

The Collaborative’s work has been made possible through funding support from NH Department of Environmental Services, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the national Source Water Collaborative.  Other key partners in the Collaborative include: the Wells and Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserves, Maine Rural Water Association, Granite State Rural Water Association, South Berwick and Berwick water districts, City of Somersworth, Maine Non-point Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO), Strafford Regional Planning Commission, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, York County SWCD, Acton-Wakefield Watersheds Alliance, and five land trust organizations.

To learn more about the Salmon Falls Collaborative or to view the group’s action plan, please visit

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Photograph from the Award Presentation:
Aerial view of the Winnispesaukee River Basin Wastewater Treatment Plant

Bottom row, left to right, names and organizations:

- Linda Schier, Acton
-Wakefield Watersheds Alliance
- Rachel Rouillard, Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP)
- Kira Jacobs, EPA Region 1 Drinking Water Program

Top row, left to right, names and organizations:

- Doug Owen, Malcolm Pirnie/ARCADIS (Clean Water America Alliance sponsor)
- Paul Susca, Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau, NHDES
- Rick Ellsmore, New Hampshire State Conservationist, USDA NRCS
- Andy Tolman, Drinking Water Program, Maine CDC
- John Batten, Malcolm Pirnie/ARCADIS (Clean Water America Alliance sponsor)
- Juan Hernandez, Maine State Conservationist, USDA NRCS
- Ben Grumbles, President, Clean Water America Alliance

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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