New Hampshire's coastal ecosystems and infrastructure are threatened by the effects of a changing climate.
New Hampshire's coastal ecosystems are threatened by habitat loss, stormwater pollution and the effects of a changing climate. Coastal areas are especially vulnerable to storm surge, flooding and sea level rise, which puts coastal infrastructure, property and habitats at risk. The New Hampshire Coastal Program protects clean water, restores coastal habitats, and helps make communities more resilient to flooding and other natural hazards through staff assistance and funding to 42 coastal towns and cities as well as other local and regional groups. The NHCP is one of 34 federally approved coastal programs authorized under the Coastal Zone Management Act and is administered by NHDES. Learn more about the Coastal Program.
‘Building a Flood Smart Seacoast’ Workshop Series
From cracked foundations, totaled cars and destroyed utility systems, recurrent coastal flooding has already inflicted considerable damage in Hampton Beach. This issue is prompting residents to search for ways to protect and continue enjoying their properties for years to come. The Coastal Program, in partnership with the Seabrook-Hamptons Estuary Alliance, hosted the first-in-the-state “Building a Flood Smart Seacoast” workshop series focused on helping property owners make better-informed decisions about how to make their properties more flood resilient.
Wagon Hill Farm Living Shoreline Project
The Town of Durham received a NHDES Coastal Program Coastal Resilience Grant to complete design plans to control erosion problems at Wagon Hill Farm, a popular public recreation spot at the mouth of the tidally influenced Oyster River, through the construction of a living shoreline. This includes saltmarsh habitat and provides space for the marsh to move inland as sea levels rise. Thanks in part to the Coastal Program grant and staff technical assistance, the Wagon Hill Farm living shoreline project was awarded construction funding by the NHDES ARM fund. Construction was completed in 2019.
Dune Restoration Hampton-Seabrook Estuary
New Hampshire’s Hampton-Seabrook Estuary has lost 86% of its historic sand dunes since they were first mapped out in 1776. Sand dunes create a natural buffer from storms, shield from flooding and provide habitat. A project initiated by the NH Sea Grant and UNH Cooperative Extension with the support of two Coastal Program resiliency grants continues to restore and protect dunes. The project has focused on replanting and protecting vulnerable and eroded areas in Hampton. Work has included the installation of signs showing where people can access the paths across the sand dunes to the beach and re-vegetation by community volunteers.
Check out our interactive maps!
NHDES has developed a number of online mapping tools to help you find water quality data and information. There are three primary tools: the coastal atlas, the assessment mapper and the lake information mapper.
Surface Water Quality Assessment
- Spatial extent of assessment units.
- Sampling data locations.
- Access the Watershed Report Cards (a.k.a. 305(b)/303(d) assessment info).
- Run reports to access water quality data summaries used in the assessment process.
- View the extent of the EPA's 2017 MS4 General Permit Areas.
Find areas for shellfish harvesting and beach going
The Coastal Atlas is a tool to show information on shellfish bed closures, beach advisories and coastal public access in an easy-to-use format.
- Shellfish bed closures.
- Beach advisories.
- Coastal public access.
Water quality information of individual waterbodies
- Trophic studies.
- Lake TMDLs.
- VLAP reports.
- Ice cover history.
- Cyanobacteria bloom history.
- Watershed-based plans on lakes.
- Diagnostic feasibility studies.
- Invasive aquatic species information.