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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

The New Hampshire Coastal Program is one of 34 federally approved coastal programs authorized under the Coastal Zone Management Act and is administered by DES. The Coastal Program provides funding and staff assistance to towns and cities, and other local and regional groups who protect clean water, restore coastal habitats, and help make communities more resilient to flooding and other natural hazards. The Coastal Program supports the region's economy by helping to preserve the environmental health of the coast and Great Bay and Hampton-Seabrook estuaries for fishing and shellfishing, and assisting with the maintenance of our ports, harbors and tidal rivers for commercial and recreational uses.

The New Hampshire Coastal Program’s mission is to balance the preservation of natural resources of the coast with the social and economic needs of this and succeeding generations. To accomplish this mission, the Coastal Program focuses on six primary goals:

  • To prevent and abate water pollution.
  • To improve and sustain public access to lands and waters.
  • To foster community stewardship and awareness of coastal resources.
  • To protect and restore natural resources.
  • To encourage a viable economy with adequate infrastructure.
  • To increase community awareness and resilience to natural hazards

In 1972, Congress passed the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) in recognition of the importance of the nation's coastal resources. The NH Coastal Program gained federal approval in 1982. It is administered by the NH Department of Environmental Services.

Seventeen communities in the coastal zone Adobe Acrobat Reader Symboland 25 communities in the coastal watershed Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbolshare in the work of the NH Coastal Program.

Working Strategic Plan

The program's efforts are focused on N.H.'s coastal watershed, an area that encompasses 820 square miles.

The Section 309 Enhancement Grants Program Assessment and Strategy helps guide our work. Working with our network of partners, NHCP will focus on areas with the most demonstrated need that protect coastal resources while balancing the needs of people and ecosystems.

The Section 309 Enhancement Grants Program Assessment and Strategy Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol



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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 2014. State of New Hampshire