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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Abstract

Philbrick’s Pond is a lagoon type estuary that formed landward of barrier beach spits in North Hampton, NH. Its inlet was stabilized and restricted by the road that is now Route 1A or Ocean Boulevard. Water flow from the Gulf of Maine passes through a culvert running under Route 1A and into a small waterway and is further restricted as it runs through a clay pipe under an old trolley berm. The lagoon is characterized as a 29 acre tidal marsh. The goal of the overall project is to evaluate the condition and hydrology of the two restrictions recognizing the conflicting needs for improved drainage from upstream flooding and limiting tidal flooding associated with extreme (i.e., storm surge) and normal flooding events due to sea level rise. The tidal marsh itself is a resource held in the public trust and therefore should be protected from any negative impacts associated with current conditions or predicted impacts due to future alternatives that may be chosen by the Town and its residents. Ditching of the marsh in the mid twentieth century rerouted drainage paths (e.g., Chapel Brook) and has resulted in large areas of vegetation loss between ditches in the past 60 years, as first reported by Short in 1984.

The objectives of this report on the tidal marsh are threefold: 1) to evaluate the health of the tidal marsh by comparing existing and new data in Philbrick’s Pond with conditions found in the Little River tidal marsh just to the south; 2) characterize the relative benefits to the tidal marsh for the hydraulic alternatives evaluated by the hydrologic modeling; and 3) recommend management actions to restore marsh health using small scale drainage improvements (also known as runneling).

Department

Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

Publication Date

5-2018

Document Type

Report

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