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N.H. Sea Grant

UNH Cooperative Extension


Safeguard Your Local Water Resources: Join UNH Great Bay Coast Watch

By Kathleen Schmitt
N.H. Sea Grant

June 10, 2003

DURHAM, N.H. -- Are you concerned about the quality of your local water? Would you like to help protect it and the environment it supports? UNH Great Bay Coast Watch (GBCW) is looking for dedicated individuals to help monitor the water quality of Great Bay and the New Hampshire coast.

Sponsored by NH Sea Grant and UNH Cooperative Extension, GBCW is New Hampshire's leading citizen volunteer group for monitoring water quality in saltwater and estuarine systems. GBCW needs additional volunteers to assist state agencies and other environmental groups with a variety of projects.

How much time do you have? You can tailor your involvement to be a little or a lot. Volunteer opportunities include:

Rainfall Run-off: Surveying Potential Pollution Sources

Help GBCW and the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) collect water samples from potential pollution sources in dry and wet weather conditions during late summer and early fall.

Marsh Monitors

GBCW is assisting Ducks Unlimited and the NH Coastal Program with a salt marsh monitoring program. This summer, state resource managers and ecologists will train volunteers to use biological, ecological and chemical indicators to assess the health of local salt marshes.

Concord Shuttle

Do you make frequent trips from the Seacoast to Concord? Volunteers are needed to deliver water samples and mussels to the Concord Health and Human Services Laboratory from June through November.

Ambient Water Quality Sampling Assistance

This is an opportunity for a volunteer to accompany DES staff on boats for ambient water quality sampling runs this summer and fall. Each trip is 1-3 hours long, rain or shine.

Collect and Transport Mussel Samples

GBCW and DES need volunteers to assist in the early detection of red tide. Volunteers can join weekly trips to the Isles of Shoals where they will collect mussels suspended at the end of the Star Island dock for testing.

Dover Stormwater Testing

GBCW and the City of Dover have partnered to sample the quality of the water exiting the city's stormwater system. Volunteers are needed to sample and test water for a variety of parameters, including water flow and the presence or absence of fecal coliform bacteria.

To learn more about volunteering, contact Ann Reid at NH Sea Grant Extension at (603) 749-1565 or You also can visit the GBCW Web site at

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