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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Fresh Creek Tidal Restoration

Fresh CreekFresh Creek is a tidally restricted tributary of the Cocheco River. The 4,000 acre-Fresh Creek Watershed, located in Strafford County, spans the towns of Rollinsford and Dover, and includes a 550-acre unfragmented forest block.

The Fresh Creek crossing at Gulf Road, built in 1948, consists of an elevated causeway and concrete box culvert. The box culvert has an invert that is 1.5 feet above mean high tide, which prevents tidal inundation upstream of Gulf Road.

Under present conditions, the tidal restriction makes upstream fish passage impossible and limits a number of processes, including tidal mixing and water circulation upstream with impacts to water quality and habitat suitability for marine and freshwater fishes. The tidal restriction also limits historic salt tolerant plant communities and other marine organisms within the upper reaches of the system.

Fresh Creek has been cited in several recent management documents as a high priority tidal restoration project with the goal of restoring historic diadromous fish runs, recovery of brackish tidal marsh and associated plant communities, and reconnection of the estuary with adjacent upland habitats.

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  • Kevin Lucey, Restoration Coordinator
    New Hampshire Coastal Program
    NH Department of Environmental Services
    Pease Tradeport
    222 International Drive, Suite 175
    Portsmouth, NH 03801
    (603) 559-0026



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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
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