New Hampshire

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Local Engagement, Local Waters
by Jeff Barnum

As Great Bay–Piscataqua Waterkeeper, I consider local public engagement to be key to restoring the health of the Great Bay estuary, and it’s a major part of my work. But even for those already aware of the value of our local waters and the challenges of achieving clean water, getting engaged often is not easy. People…

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Portsmouth to Proceed with Long-Awaited, New Sewage Treatment Plant
by Jeff Barnum

The Portsmouth, New Hampshire, City Council recently reaffirmed its commitment to build a new sewage treatment plant at the site of the present antiquated facility on Peirce Island. Completion of the long-awaited upgrade may still be a few years away, though it could have happened sooner if the City had elected to shift its plans…

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Lead Law Moving Forward in New Hampshire Legislature
by Tom Irwin

While many of us believe childhood lead poisoning is a thing of the past, the sad truth is that it’s not. In fact, every year, more than 1,000 New Hampshire children are poisoned by lead, with deteriorating lead-based paints the primary cause. The impacts of lead poisoning can be devastating and lifelong. Children can suffer…

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A Healthy Approach to Lawn Care
by Jeff Barnum

Is the organic approach to lawn care and the movement against the use of chemical pesticides becoming mainstream? That seemed to be the case recently when more than 100 folks attended two events – one in York, Maine, and the second next door in Ogunquit – hosted by Scott Eldredge, owner of Eldredge Lumber and Hardware. Jay Feldman, director of…

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In Exeter, Another Vote for Clean Water
by Jeff Barnum

By a wide margin, the citizens of Exeter, New Hampshire, recently rejected a move to reduce the size of wetland buffers in their community. As I discussed in a recent blog, buffers are an important tool for protecting both the health of our wetlands and water quality. Considering the significant challenges facing our Great Bay…

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Rainbow Smelt Declining in Great Bay
by Jeff Barnum

Are we losing yet another piece of our Great Bay ecosystem? After two winter seasons of declines in rainbow smelt, most recreational fishermen would likely say “yes.” The smelt run seems to be going the way of the Great Bay oyster – downward. Every winter, ice fishermen haul their shacks onto the rivers feeding Great Bay to await the return…

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A Firsthand Account of the Ravages of Lead Poisoning
by Tom Irwin

On February 17, New Hampshire’s Senate Health & Human Services Committee held a public hearing on SB 135, a bill designed to better protect New Hampshire kids from the continuing threat of lead poisoning. The Committee heard strong support for SB 135 from a broad range of interests. Joan Valk, a Family Support Specialist at…

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Childhood Lead Poisoning: A Preventable Disease
by Tom Irwin

In my last blog – the second in a series about childhood lead poisoning – I discussed the fact that not nearly enough kids in New Hampshire are being tested for lead in their blood. As discussed, screening is essential for determining if a child has been poisoned and, if he or she has been, for…