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For Immediate Release
February 18, 2021


Steve Landry, Watershed Assistance Section Supervisor
(603) 271-2969

NHDES Awards $406,698 in Watershed Assistance Grants to Five Projects

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Watershed Assistance Section has awarded five Watershed Assistance Grants for watershed protection and restoration projects totaling $406,698.

Watershed Assistance Grants (WAG) focus on nonpoint source (NPS) pollution prevention and reduction. NPS pollution occurs when rainfall, snowmelt, or irrigation waters travel through the ground or across land, transporting pollutants to rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Funding for the program is provided through Clean Water Act Section 319 funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Proposals received for Watershed Assistance Grants are ranked based on criteria including: water quality improvement or protection; cost/benefit ratio; local capacity to complete the project; relative value or significance of the water body; and general quality and thoroughness of the proposal.

Each year the Watershed Assistance Grant program requests applications for projects that will accomplish important work to reduce NPS in the state’s waterbodies. The grant selection process is typically very competitive with numerous proposals submitted for worthy projects. Eligible applicants are encouraged to submit their project proposals during the annual proposal period. The following projects were selected in 2020 based on the results of the ranking process and available federal grant funding levels.

Project Name and Grantee Award Amount Project Summary

Merrymeeting Watershed Management Plan Implementation Phase 1: Intersections of South Shore Road and Merrymeeting Road Best Management Practices

Town of New Durham

$94,448 This project will address severe erosion that is resulting in sediment discharge directly to the Merrymeeting River. A series of best management practices (BMPs) will be installed to stabilize eroding areas and reduce sediment transport to the river. Once constructed, the BMPs will prevent sediment from entering roadside drainage ditches, control the flow of water via properly sized culverts, and direct stormwater into a bio-retention facility.

Messer Pond Watershed Plan: Phase 2 – Forest Acres Road, Browns Brook, Fieldstone Lane and County Road Best Management Practices

Messer Pond Protective Association

$36,750 This grant will allow the Messer Pond Protective Association (MPPA) to implement BMPs to reduce nutrient loading to Messer Pond. The project will fund design and implementation of stormwater controls on private and municipal properties in the watershed. The project will involve stakeholders from MPPA, NHDES, the Town of New London, and landowners.

Nippo Lake Association Watershed Management Plan: Implementation of Road, Residential, and In-lake Best Management Practices

Nippo Lake Association

$172,000 Nippo Lake is on the state's impaired waters list for Primary Contact Recreation (swimming) due to frequent cyanobacteria blooms. Watershed studies and monitoring indicate that phosphorus input to the lake from watershed sources and benthic sediments fuel the algal blooms. This grant will enable the Nippo Lake Association to implement management practices to reduce phosphorus loading from lake sediments, roads, and residential properties.

Lake Sunapee Watershed Plan Implementation Phase 1: Davis Hill Road, Garnet Hill Road, and Mt. Sunapee Resort Best Management Practices

Lake Sunapee Protective Association

$50,000 The Lake Sunapee Protective Association (LSPA) will implement projects that will reduce sediment loading at Garnet Hill Road in Sunapee, improve culverts at Davis Hill Road in New London; plus, implement stream stabilization measures and install a vegetated swale at the Mount Sunapee Resort. LSPA will collaborate with the New London Public Works Division, Sunapee Highway Department, and Vail Resorts Management Company to implement BMPs at these sites.

Lake Warren Watershed Management Plan Implementation Phase 1: Pine Cliff, Arbor Way, and Property Owner Stormwater Best Management Practices

Southwest Regional Planning Commission

$53,500     This project will implement BMPs at sites identified as having medium or high water quality impact. Projects include stormwater management improvements to Arbor Way, conceptual designs for reducing road width to create a larger buffer and walkway between the edge of the road and the shoreline on Pine Cliff Road, and technical assistance and installation of BMPS at residential shoreland properties or town properties and rights of way.


For more information on the NHDES Watershed Assistance Grants, visit the Watershed Assistance webpage or contact the NHDES Watershed Assistance Section Supervisor, Steve Landry, at[email protected] or (603) 271-2969.