Slide background

The Swampscot River runs through Exeter and empties into Great Bay.

Slide background

Exeter's Brickyard Pond has received too many nutrients and has an algae problem.

Neighbors are using Green Infrastructure tools to improve the water.

Slide background

Urban snow piles, such as this one in Portsmouth, contain large amounts of oil, dirt, salt, and litter.

The project team is working on a solution to keep these pollutants out of our waterways.


Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management in NH Coastal Communities

The Green Infrastructure Project provides resources and support for communities to improve stormwater management. We are supporting pilot projects in six towns and developing workshops, fact sheets and other resources to help communities develop better regulations, train staff and build stormwater treatment systems.

What is Green Infrastructure?

Green infrastructure uses natural “green” methods to help reduce problems associated with rain runoff from surfaces that have been altered by people. Examples include shrub and tree buffers along streams, engineered systems that treat runoff by infiltrating or filtering the water on site, incentives or education to encourage homeowners to protect soil and water, or regulations that require better stormwater control for new construction. For a list of strategies available through this project click here.  A Complete Community Approach uses green infrastructure throughout all aspects of community planning.

Why do we care about stormwater and how does Green Infrastructure help?

Stormwater is rain runoff that flows across parking lots, roads, or other hard surfaces. Instead of soaking into soil on site,  the runoff tends to be sent elsewhere in large volumes. This contributes to flooding and the untreated water can carry pollutants including nitrogen and toxic automobile lubricants  into our rivers, lakes, and Great Bay. Many stormwater management systems designed to control some runoff are not always able to handle the large storm events that New Hampshire has experienced over the last several years. Green Infrastructure is a cost-effective way to keep more water on site, remove pollutants,  and help to alleviate flooding. Find out more below:

Green Infrastructure can be used to address climate change.

Green Infrastructure has a legal basis in New Hampshire.

Barriers to Green Infrastructure can be overcome.

Adopting  Green Infrastructure and strong stormwater standards now can help communities avoid pollution abatement costs later.



Congratulations to our Implementation Communities!

The communities of Exeter, Stratham, Portsmouth, Rochester, Durham and Brentwood were selected to work with us on projects to improve stormwater management. See below for descriptions.

  • Exeter
    ExeterTownExeter worked with residents near Brickyard Pond to develop an education program followed by implementation of several residential stormwater treatment systems such as rain barrels and rain gardens.  The project combined education, water treatment, and monitoring and engaged a wide range of stakeholders. To view the summary, click here.
    • Portsmouth
      PortsmouthCityPortsmouth worked with the Project Team to design a treatment system for a snow dump on Pierce Island.  Snow removed from parking lots and roads is stored at the snow dump and as it melts,  sediment, salt and other pollutants are released.  This project attempted to find a solution to a common, but rarely addressed problem. For a summary, click here.
      • Stratham
        StrathamTownThe Town of Stratham worked with the project team to strengthen the town's regulations and planning documents regarding stormwater and water quality protection.
        • Durham
          DurhamTownDurham constructed a bioretention system and gravel wetland in a residential neighborhood located near the intersection of Oyster River Road and Garden Lane.  The purpose of this structure was to disconnect the stormwater runoff generated from a residential neighborhood and reduce the impacts of non-point source pollution on the Oyster River. These structural installations were accompanied by outreach to the neighborhood on ways the residents can protect their water. The summary is available here.
          • Rochester
            RochesterCityThe goals of this proposed project were to improve the quality-of-life of Rochester’s citizens and visitors by protecting natural resources and reducing municipal costs through the incorporation of Green Infrastructure. This was accomplished by: 1) creating a means with which the city can require, with consistency, the implementation of the best and most current Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure stormwater mitigation practices and   2) establishing baseline data and/or methodology for tracking and monitoring the ongoing maintenance of these systems. The summary is available here.
            • Brentwood
              BrentwoodTownBrentwood recognizes that stormwater from the town goes to the nearby Exeter River. Participants worked on developing storm water management plans for various municipal hot-spot sites that increased awareness of on the part of town boards and the highway department about Low Impact Development (LID) strategies and then implemented some of those strategies. The summary sheet is available here.

              Green Infrastructure for New Hampshire Coastal Watershed Communities was a joint project led by the UNH Stormwater Center and was funded by a grant from the NERRS Science Collaborative.

              Contact Us

              Fill out the quick form below.