April 22, 2014 Portsmouth, NH
In honor of Earth Day, April 22, 2014, the public was invited by the Portsmouth Department of Public Works, the NH Department of Environmental Services and the Hodgson Brook Restoration Project to learn about their efforts to improve water quality in the Hodgson Brook watershed during a brief presentation and tree box filter installation demonstration in the Holly Lane neighborhood of Portsmouth at 11:30am.
Hodgson Brook, which is a small freshwater stream, flows through 2,135 acres in the heart of Portsmouth, and has become negatively impacted over time as a result of local land use and urbanization. Its physical, chemical and biological state was degraded to the point that pollutants it carried were impacting the health of the North Mill Pond. A local resident group, the Advocates for the North Mill Pond, recognized that in order to improve its condition the water quality and habitats of Hodgson Brook needed to be restored. With support from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the City, the Hodgson Brook Restoration Project was launched in 2004.The Hodgson Brook Restoration Project seeks to improve the water quality and habitats of the brook through monitoring, education, and building community partnerships.
"The benefits of the Hodgson Brook Restoration Project - clean water, enhanced wildlife habitat, and strong community partnerships - are important to Portsmouth residents as well as to all those who care about these things around the world," said Sally Soule, of the NH Department of Environmental Services Watershed Assistance Section.
Many Portsmouth area businesses and community members have contributed to The Hodgson Brook Restoration Project by providing office space, donations that have funded projects and volunteering to work on efforts such as residential rain garden installations and stream cleanups. In addition, the Portsmouth Department of Public Works has contributed extensively to the project by installing and maintaining tree box filters and engineered rain gardens that help improve the water quality of Hodgson Brook.
"The Portsmouth Department of Public Works and all the Portsmouth area businesses and volunteers who have donated time and resources are definitely the unsung heroes of the Hodgson Brook project. They deserve enormous respect for all they have done on the front line as we all work towards its restoration," says Candace Dolan, Hodgson Brook Watershed Coordinator.
Primary funding for The Hodgson Brook Restoration Project, which is managed by Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, is provided by a Watershed Assistance Grant from the NH Department of Environmental Services with Clean Water Act Section 319 funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The tree box filter being installed as part of the Earth Day event was partially funded through a grant from the Royal Bank of Canada Blue Water Project via funds provided through the Gulf of Maine Association. The shared objective of all the entities involved is to support initiatives that help protect and preserve and improve water in and around Portsmouth and the Gulf of Maine.
For more information about The Hodgson Brook Restoration Project please visit http://hodgsonbrook.org/.
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