skip navigation
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Agencies with Lake Related Responsibilities

The following is a general guide to New Hampshire state agencies, councils, committees and academic institutions that perform activities that directly or indirectly affect lake management in the state. The information contained within this document is not all inclusive. For more information please go to the Web sites via the links provided.

NHDES Bureaus and Programs
blue square Department of Environmental Services
  blue squareSteward of state-owned (waterfront) property.
    blue squareOffice of the Commissioner
      blue squareLaboratory Services Unit
        blue squareAnalyzes water samples.
      blue squareEnvironmental Health Program
        blue squareMercury Fish Consumption Advisories Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol(Fact Sheet ARD-EHP-25)
      blue squarePlanning Unit
        blue squareProvides technical assistance on smart growth and minimum impact development practices.
    blue squareWater Division
      blue squareDam Bureau
        blue squareRegulates dams.
blue squareRegulates water levels.
      blue squareDrinking Water and Groundwater Bureau
        blue squareOversees the operation of all public water systems to ensure compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and New Hampshire SDWA.
blue squareReviews proposals to create and/or expand public water systems.
blue squareProvides technical assistance to identify and solve problems with public water systems.
blue squareMaintains database of drinking water samples collected by public water systems for water quality.
blue squarePerforms field inspections of public water systems.
          blue squareDrinking Water Source Protection Program
            - Promotes and provides assistance with groundwater and aquifer protection, and the protection of water supply watersheds.
- Provides technical and financial assistance for the protection of water supply lands.
- Provides training of teachers and non-formal educators with respect to water-related youth education.
          blue squareHydrology and Conservation Section
            - Reviews permits for new community water supply wells and large groundwater withdrawals to ensure safe and sustainable water supplies.
- Implements water conservation program.
- Enforces water use registration and reporting program.
- Implements groundwater discharge permitting program.
- Implements program to eliminate illicit floor drains and other illicit discharges to groundwater.
        blue squareWatershed Management Bureau
          blue squareBeach and Pool Inspection Program
blue squareBiomonitoring Program
blue squareBoat Pumpouts (Clean Vessel Act)
blue squareClean Lakes Program
blue squareLake Water Quality Reports
blue squareExotic Species Program
blue squareLakes Management and Protection Program
            blue squareReviews and makes recommendations regarding the disposition of state-owned (waterfront) property.
          blue squareSurface Water Quality Assessments [Sections 305(b) and 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act ]
blue squareTotal Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)
blue squareVolunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP)
blue squareVolunteer River Assessment Program (VRAP)
blue squareDiagnostic Studies
blue squareWatershed Assistance Section
            blue squareProvides technical assistance to watershed organizations, lake associations, and others working with lakes.
          blue square401 Water Quality Certificate Program
            blue squareWater quality standards attainment: Any applicant for a federal permit or license (e.g., US Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit, Federal Energy Regulator Commission license) must apply for and receive from NHDES a 401 Certification for any activity that requires a federal permit or license that may result in any discharge.
          blue squareWetlands Bureau
            blue squareRegulates wetlands and shoreline structures (docks, breakwaters, beaches).
blue squareReviews permits for culvert placement and bank stabilization.
              blue squareShoreland Protection Program
                blue squareImplements and enforces the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act.
blue squarePromotes and provides technical assistance with maintaining woodland shoreland buffers.
blue squareDevelops criteria for the placement of structures to preserve water quality.
Other NH Agencies, Councils, Committees and Academic Institutions
  blue squareDepartment of Agriculture, Markets and Food
    blue squareDivision of Regulatory Services
      blue squareResponds to water quality complaints about the misuse of manure, fertilizer, and compost.
blue squarePublished BMPs for the best use of manure, fertilizer, and compost to protect water quality.
blue squareAdministers the Agricultural Nutrient Management grant program, which must contain a water quality objective.
    blue squareDivision of Pesticide Control
      blue squareAdministers and permits pesticide and herbicide applications to lakes.
  blue squareNH State Conservation Committee
    blue squareOversees and provides support to New Hampshire's Conservation Districts.
blue squareFacilitates coordination of the activities of federal, state, county and local governments in natural resource conservation.
blue squareManages and promotes State Conservation Committee Moose Plate Grants Program.
blue squareRepresents conservation interests on Lakes Management Advisory Committee, Conservation License Plate Advisory Committee, Moose Plate Marketing Committee, Agricultural Structures Advisory Committee, and other groups.
  blue squareFish and Game Department
    blue squareSteward of state-owned (waterfront) property.
      blue squareStatewide Public Access Program
blue squareFish Hatchery Program
blue squareThreatened and Endangered Animal Program
blue squareNuisance Animal Species Program
blue squareAquatic Habitat Acquisition Program
blue squareInland and marine fisheries research and management
blue squareOn-water fishing activity regulation
blue squareOn-ice activity program
        blue squareRegulates snowmobile use on-ice.
      blue squareEnforcement of Wildlife/Fisheries Rules and Laws
  blue squareDepartment of Health and Human Services
    blue squareDivision of Public Health
      blue squareWorks with NHDES regarding water quality issues.
  blue squareOffice of Energy and Planning
    blue squareSmart Growth Planning and Assistance
blue squareConservation Land Stewardship Program (CLS)
blue squareMunicipal and Regional Planning Assistance Program
blue squareNational Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
blue squareState Development Plan
  blue squareDepartment of Resources and Economic Development
    blue squareSteward of state-owned (waterfront) property.
      blue squareDivision of Parks and Recreation
        blue squareAdministers Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund for acquisition of conservation lands and the development of recreational facilities.
blue squareManages state park lands (many located on lakes).
      blue squareDivision of Forest and Lands
        blue squareRegulates forestry practices, including cutting along lake and river shorelines.
blue squareManages state forest lands.
    blue squareNew Hampshire's Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP)
  blue squareDepartment of Safety
    blue squareDivision of Safety Services
      blue squareBoating law enforcement on all public waters
blue squareRegulates watercraft.
blue squareProvides boater education.
blue squareMooring regulations
blue squareMaintains aids to navigation.
blue squareHomeland Security/Port security responsibilities
  blue squareDepartment of Transportation
    blue squareSteward of state-owned (waterfront) property.
      blue squareBureau of Rails and Transit
blue squareBureau of Operations
        blue squareAccess to public waters
      blue squareBureau of Aeronautics
        blue squareOversees seaplane landing zones on surface waters and on-ice runways.
  blue squareGovernor and Executive Council
    blue squareApproves "major" wetlands permits.
blue squareApproves disposition of state-owned (waterfront) property.
blue squareApproves mooring fields.
  blue squareCouncil on Resources and Development (CORD)
    blue squareFosters interagency coordination and investigates natural resources development issues.
blue squareParticipates and provides guidance relative to the statewide public access program.
blue squareReviews and makes recommendations regarding the disposition of state-owned (waterfront) property.
  blue squareLakes Management Advisory Committee (LMAC)
    blue squareReviews and makes recommendations regarding the disposition of state-owned property adjacent to or providing access to a lake.
blue squareAdvises the Lakes Management and Protection Program in carrying out its purposes to:
      blue squareCompliment and reinforce existing state & federal water quality laws.
blue squareMaintain and enhance the scenic beauty & recreational potential of New Hampshire lakes.
blue squareProtect wildlife habitat around lakes.
blue squareEnsure opportunities for public enjoyment of New Hampshire lakes.
  blue squarePublic Water Access Advisory Board (PWAAB)
    blue squareAdvises, monitors and coordinates state agency public access efforts including the Statewide Public Access Program.
blue squareReviews deposition of state-owned (waterfront) property.
  blue squareWater Quality Standards Advisory Committee
    blue squareAssists NHDES in drafting revised water quality regulations.
blue squareFacilitates public input, solicits advice and provides a forum for the discussion of focused water quality issues.
The committees listed below do not have their own Web site.
For more information go to and enter the name of the committee as the "keyword".
  blue squareLong Range Capital Planning and Resource Utilization Committee (LRCP&UC)
    blue squareContinuously reviews all buildings and land presently owned by the state under consideration for disposal; including waterfront properties.
blue squareReviews and approves deposition of state-owned (waterfront) property.
  blue squareWater Resources Committee
    blue squareStudies water resources in New Hampshire.
blue squareAnnually reports its findings and recommendations for proposed legislation by November 1.
  blue squareWinnipesaukee River Watershed Advisory Committee
    blue squareOffers recommendations on the development and implementation of the NHDES water flow model.
blue squareSolicits input relative to the water flow model from residents of the Winnipesaukee River watershed area.
  blue squareUniversity of New Hampshire
    blue squareCooperative Extension
      blue squareLakes Lay Monitoring Program (LLMP)
blue squareTechnical assistance on the use/purchasing of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides as well as agricultural BMPs and sustainable landscaping
blue squareConservation and stewardship education and assistance
blue squareAssists landowners with the development of stewardship plans.
blue squareWorks with communities on voluntary and regulatory water resources protection plans.
    blue squareNew Hampshire Water Resource Research Center
      blue squareFunds and conducts water related research projects.
blue squareEducates the public on water issues (radon, groundwater, biosolids, septic systems, landfills etc.).
blue squareTrains future water professionals.
    blue squareCenter for Freshwater Biology
      blue squareLakes Lay Monitoring Program
blue squareResearches and monitors lake biotoxins.
blue squareDevelops reports on lake water quality.
blue squareProvides training in aquaculture.
  blue squarePlymouth State University
    blue squareCenter for the Environment
      blue squareEngages local communities and organizations in environmental demonstration projects.
blue squareMS degree program in Environmental Science and Policy
blue squarePartnerships:
        blue squareSeveral projects with NHDES, including regional lake water quality laboratory
blue squareCo-funding lake research associate position at Squam Lake Association (SLA)
blue squareCo-funding of hydrologist at PSU/Hubbard Brook
blue squareSeveral projects with White Mountain National Forest
blue squareSeveral projects with local communities
      blue squareMaintains a research facility to facilitate student projects.
        blue squareFocuses on applied field research.
      blue squareOutreach and services:
        blue squareRegional lake water quality laboratory
blue squareNewsletter
blue squareOutreach documents associated with research projects
blue squareCo-organizer of annual New Hampshire Water Conference beginning in 2007.

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

copyright 2017. State of New Hampshire