New Hampshire Land Protection Project Selected to Compete in National Process
Portsmouth, N.H.- Today, the New Hampshire Coastal Program at the Department of Environmental Services submitted the Sprucewood Forest land protection proposal in the town of Durham for consideration for funding under the federal Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP). If successful, the project would permanently conserve 176 acres of land important for flood protection, drinking water quality and wildlife habitat.
Project partners include: The Trust for the Public Land, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, town of Durham, and Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire.
“This is exactly the kind of parcel that CELCP funding was meant to preserve. It sits in one of the most ecologically important places in the Seacoast watershed, has numerous rare and threatened species, and, at the same time, is a wonderful place for hiking and running,” said NHDES Coastal Program Manager Ted Diers. “These common goals of public access and coastal resource protection are exemplified in this proposal,” he added.
This project was submitted to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, where a group of CELCP reviewers will rank the proposals on a national priority list. Then, depending on CELCP funding availability, Congress will allocate funding using the list, with grant monies becoming available in May 2011.
The CELCP program recognizes that protecting our most exceptional coastal resources is of national importance. Ecological value and other factors, such as project readiness, influence a proposal’s ranking.
“The Trust for Public Land is excited this important conservation effort will be considered for federal CECLP funding,” said Gregg Caporossi, TPL project manager. “There has been considerable effort already invested by all the partners, and securing federal funding will greatly enhance our chances to protect water quality, recreational opportunities, and wildlife habitat in Durham.”
CELCP, a tremendously competitive national program, aims to protect coastal lands with significant ecological value. Qualifying land protection projects in New Hampshire must be located within the 42 coastal watershed towns and provide a one to one match. In addition, lands designated as priorities for protection in New Hampshire are identified in N.H.’s CELCP Plan.
Under the program, each of the 34 states with coastal management programs can participate. In addition, the CELCP process requires states to develop a CELCP plan in order to be eligible to nominate projects. The Land Conservation Plan for New Hampshire’s Coastal Watersheds was initiated by the Coastal Program and Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership to help fulfill that requirement, and has since served as the foundation of the state’s CELCP plan. The Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests, The Nature Conservancy, and the Strafford and Rockingham regional planning commissions were all major players in the development of that plan.
More information on the CELCP Program is available on www.des.nh.gov. Click on the search function in the top right hand corner and search for “CELCP.”
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