The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Coastal Program is working with a coordinated team to help municipal leaders, community members and business owners identify and understand coastal resources and hazards as well as ways to reduce vulnerability to these hazards.
The project partners will connect the Seacoast community with information and tools to help plan for coastal hazards, including the development of two community action plans, the creation of a new one-stop shop for all hazards-related data in the 42 municipalities of New Hampshire’s coastal watershed, improved modeling on how NH’s salt marshes will be affected by sea level rise, and outreach to area businesses.
The project is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (as a Project of Special Merit). Project work began in early 2014 and is slated to be complete in spring 2015.
- DES Coastal Program
- DES Flood Hazards Program
- NH Fish and Game Department Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Great Bay Stewards
- National Resources Outreach Coalition, UNH Cooperative Extension, NH SeaGrant
- NH Geographically Referenced Analysis and Information Transfer System-GRANIT
- Jackson Estuarine Laboratory
- Stephenson Strategic Communications
- NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup (in-kind partner)
- Rockingham Planning Commission (in-kind partner)
Project partners will work on developing action plans to help reduce community vulnerability to coastal hazards. Two communities that are ready to work on this process were identified using an application process: the City of Dover and the Seabrook-Hamptons Estuary Alliance, a collaboration of the three communities of Seabrook, Hampton Falls and Hampton. Throughout the Action Plan development, communities will test and give feedback about the NH Coastal Hazards Viewer.
- Request for Qualifications that was used to select the communities.
NH Coastal Hazards Viewer
This web-based product is slated to launch in spring 2015 and will bring information together into an interactive map, including river erosion hazards data, culvert hazards data, sea level rise and flood risk projections, new and field-tested salt marsh vulnerability data, and more. The NH Coastal Hazards Viewer will bring all hazards-related data in the 42 coastal watershed communities together into one internet-based product. Users will be able to interact with the data on online maps. When ready, a link to the NH Coastal Hazards Viewer will appear on this webpage.
Fluvial Erosion Hazards and Culvert Assessment
For the first time, river and culvert hazards data will be made accessible via the NH Coastal Hazards Viewer. In addition, a summary document will be developed to help explain what the data means.
The Sea Level Affecting Marsh Migration model will be run with new and more accurate data inputs. This model will provide new and valuable information on how salt marshes will be able to adapt to future sea level rise conditions. Final mapping products will be incorporated into the NH Coastal Hazards Viewer. In addition, project partners are coordinating on outreach to project communities (Portsmouth, Hampton, Hampton Falls and Seabrook) and others on the SLAMM mapping and analysis products.
- Marshes on the Move, by NOAA Coastal Services Center and the Nature Conservancy
- Ecosystems and Wildlife Climate Change Adaptation Plan Chapter, NH Fish and Wildlife Action Plan, NH Fish and Game
Tidal Marsh Elevation Verifications
The elevation of six Sediment Elevation Tables (SETs) in the Hampton Seabrook Estuary and seven SETs in the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve will be measured. This data will help show if NH’s salt marshes are keeping up with sea level rise.
Outreach discussions are being held with Seacoast area businesses. Feedback from these discussions has indicated that business owners want to hear stories about how other businesses bounced back or didn't after coastal hazards hit. A business continuity workshop was held in June incorporating this and other valuable input from business representatives.
- “Climate Change Impacts Businesses,” opinion, Seacoast Online, May 16, 2014
At the conclusion of the project, a workshop will be held to introduce community members to the NH Coastal Hazards Viewer.
Two six month progress reports will be submitted to NOAA as well as a final report at the project’s completion.
For more information, contact Coastal Program Manager Steve Couture at (603) 271-8801 or (603) 559-0027 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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