Hampton-Seabrook Estuary Management Plan

Estuary Management Plan

The Hampton-Seabrook Estuary Management Plan (EMP) uses science, data, and policies on current and future threats, conditions, and uses of the estuary to formulate effective management strategies that can be implemented by the communities of Hampton, Hampton Falls, and Seabrook and numerous other partners and stakeholders. Implementing these management strategies will achieve the vision for the estuary, which stakeholders identified as being a sustainable, healthy, and resilient environment providing ecosystem services for the benefit of communities and wildlife.

The impetus for developing the EMP was to streamline all previous and ongoing efforts related to the estuary into a single guiding document for more effective stakeholder collaboration. The EMP serves as a roadmap for the collaborative management of the estuary across stakeholder groups, regardless of political boundaries. Municipalities can adopt all or a portion of the EMP as a companion document to their individual master plans so that each town’s vision aligns with the collective vision for the estuary.

Stakeholders can use the EMP to prioritize planning and support funding opportunities for implementation of the recommended management strategies in the action plan. SHEA will treat the EMP as a vibrant working document to be updated regularly (every 5-10 years) so that the management goals, objectives, and actions are evaluated against expected milestones and timeframes and adjusted accordingly to adapt to any changes in the threats, conditions, and uses of the estuary over time. The hope is that the EMP incorporates an understanding of the estuary’s stressors and provides a holistic management approach for the communities to
achieve their shared vision.

The EMP development process was broken down into three phases.

PHASE 1 – Conduct an audit of the relevant ordinances and Master Plan chapters in each of the three towns to determine where there are similarities and differences and where there are best management practices in place that may be recommended for implementation to the other towns. Funded by a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, this audit was completed in 2020 with the help of independent planner Liz Durfee of EF|Design & Planning, LLC.

Click HERE for a pdf of the Audit.

PHASE 2 – Develop a consensus-based vision by collecting information about what residents and municipal officials believe are the key functions, values, and biggest threats to the Hampton-Seabrook Estuary based on their perspectives as passive or active users.  Farrell Strategic Group performed this phase with funding from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service’s Coastal Program.

Click HERE for a pdf of the Visioning Survey Effort.

PHASE 3 – Develop a robust and multifacet plan that addresses the current and future conditions and provides recommendations for maintaining the estuary’s health and vitality.  FB Environmental developed the EMP with input from various stakeholders, researchers, and scientists.  Funding for this portion of the project came from the NH State Conservation Committee Conservation Moose Plate Grant Program, the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service’s Coastal Program.

Click HERE for a PDF of the complete Estuary Management Plan.

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