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The state of Great Bay is a reflection of activities throughout the watershed.

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What is stormwater?

Stormwater is rain runoff that flows across parking lots,
roads or other hard surfaces. The runoff contributes to
flooding and can carry pollutants including road salt and
nitrogen into our rivers, lakes and the Great Bay.

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Our Partnerships
Are Important

in protecting our watershed

Durham SealHampton Falls SealTown of Exeter SealRye SealStratham SealHampton Seal

Working Together to Mend Our Watershed

New Hampshire’s coastal waters have significant ecological, commercial, cultural, and recreational values for the state and its citizens, but the coastal waters are showing signs of pollution and environmental decline. Recognizing that water issues cannot be solved without collaboration, the New Hampshire Legislature created the Southeast Watershed Alliance in 2009. The Alliance is a means for communities to address water pollution, water supply, wastewater and stormwater management, septic systems, land use, and conservation.

The Southeast Watershed Alliance encompasses all forty-two New Hampshire communities in the New Hampshire coastal watershed. The Alliance is committed to improving the waters through collaborative watershed studies, education, and project implementation.

Has your town designated a representative to the Alliance? Participating in the Alliance offers opportunities to learn about technical assistance and project funding as well as initiatives that will help towns comply with regulations to reduce non-point source pollution.

News & Events
SWA Quarterly Mtg  April 16 at 6:30 p.m., Chester Town Hall, 84 Chester St. Introduction to Pollutant Load Maps, SB60 Commission Update.
Symposium on Watershed and Hydrodynamic Modeling of Great Bay
April 18, 8-noon, Great Bay Community College.RSVP at
The SWA Board of Directors will meet at 3 p.m. May 7, Hoyle-Tanner, Portsmouth.
Workshop #1
Adopting Stormwater Standards – Using Green Infrastructure to Improve Stormwater Management in Your Community
May 13, 2014 4-6 p.m.
Epping Town Hall, 157 Main Street
Workshop #2
Rain Garden Design and Installation
Hampton Library
May 14, 2014 6:30 – 8p.m., Design Workshop
May 17, 2014 9:00 – noon, Installation Demonstration
The peer review of the numeric nutrient criteria for Great Bay has been completed and is available here.
NHDES has released a draft nonpoint source management plan.

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lawModel Stormwater Standards

The Southeast Watershed Alliance has prepared draft stormwater management standards to provide a consistent and effective level of stormwater management and protection of clean water within the NH coastal watershed. These model standards are under consideration by several communities and have already been adopted by the Town of Newfields.


lawGreen Infrastructure for Coastal Communities

This project provides assistance to communities to improve stormwater management through the expertise of engineering consultants, installation of demonstration stormwater treatment systems, and workshops and outreach to municipal employees, town officials, volunteers, and neighborhood residents. For more information, contact Alison Watts, SWA project coordinator, at


This project improved stormwater management in selected communities. First, project leaders identified and mapped Locations appropriate for the installation of stormwater treatment systems. Results included engineering consultation and design, soil mix and planting recommendations, and installation oversight and training. Projects included bioretention systems, gravel wetlands, and a tree filters. These systems treat stormwater run-off on-site and reduce pollutants discharged to waterways. Communities also received a GIS-based pollutant loading map to identify locations for future stormwater treatment installations.


Help Make It Happen!

  • Make sure that your town sends a representative! Representatives can be regular citizens or town officials.
  • Alliance meetings are open to the public and everyone is welcome.
  • Meetings are held quarterly at different locations around the watershed. Date, location, and time are posted in advance.
  • Representatives are invited to attend the monthly board of directors meetings and to contact Michael Trainque, chairman of the board ( with any  questions about community participation within the Alliance.


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