UNH Forum Focuses On Growth And Change In The Seacoast

Contact: Erika Mantz
UNH Media Relations

Oct. 28, 2005

Editors and News Directors: In addition to publicizing the forum, you are invited to attend. Audio from the video that will be shown will be available for your use.

DURHAM, N.H. – The impact of land use change on Seacoast residents over the last 40 years will be explored in a forum Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005, from 7-9 p.m. in the 1925 Room of the Elliott Alumni Center on the Durham campus of the University of New Hampshire. The forum is free and open to the public.
Organized by the Carsey Institute at UNH and the New Hampshire Geographically Referenced Analysis and Information Transfer System (GRANIT), the forum will feature a presentation on trends in indicators of well-being in Rockingham and Strafford counties as well as personal accounts from local residents and a panel presentation on best practices for the future.
“Aerial photographs from 1962, 1974 and 1998 show how land use in the Seacoast has changed over the last 40 years, but what we didn’t know was how that change has affected the lives of the people living here,” said Amy Seif, project director with the Carsey Institute.
University researchers will present the results of the year-long project designed to uncover some of the effects of change on residents – funded by the New Hampshire Coastal Program, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation-Piscataqua Region, the Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation and the UNH Center for the Humanities – during The Changing Face of the Seacoast forum. Researchers collected a myriad of information on towns in the Seacoast, including census data, agricultural statistics, police and fire calls, and incidence of heart disease.
“We want people to consider the reality of growth,” said Seif. “The impacts are not all negative, but with growth come neighbors of a new subdivision. The history of change in the Seacoast may provide good lessons for communities to the west and north that are experiencing growth more slowly.”
The forum will also feature a video of six local residents talking about how they have experienced these changes in their own lives and professions, including a farmer, a police chief and the director of a homeless shelter, and will end with a panel discussion by county and state planners on steps people can take to plan for future growth.
Directions to the Elliott Alumni Center are available at http://www.alumni.unh.edu/photos/maps/mapnh.html. If you are interested in attending the forum, RSVP with your name and mailing address to changing.face@unh.edu or (603) 862-4240.