PREP Reports & Publications


Cains Brook is a freshwater stream that flows in an easterly direction from its origin—a spring fed pond about one mile west of I-95 on the Salisbury, Massachusetts/Seabrook, New Hampshire border. At its lower reaches the brook is joined by Shepard Brook where it becomes Mill Creek, a tidal creek that discharges into the Hampton-Seabrook estuary. Along its course there are several ponds on either side of US Route 1—Secords, Cains and Mary’s Ponds to the west of Route 1 and Cains Mill Pond and Noyes Pond to the east. This stream system is approximately 3.8 miles long. The Cains Brook Watershed has experienced significant residential and commercial growth over the past 20 years. This growth has resulted in the loss of wetlands and wildlife habitat and caused sedimentation to the watershed’s ponds streams. These impacts have led to a degradation of the quality and aquatic habitat of the waters within the brook and the Hampton-Seabrook Estuary. Prior to this urbanization, there were significant and valuable terrestrial and aquatic habitats within the watershed. Seabrook has been concerned about the negative impacts of this recent development to the watershed’s resources. A number of local and state initiatives have resulted in some progress toward restoring the quality of the watershed’s water resources and habitats. These have included structural changes such as the reconstruction of the culvert and bridge over lower Cains Brook at the Spherex site and the dredging of Secord’s Pond. These efforts have also included changes to the town’s regulations to better manage stormwater from new development or redevelopment within the watershed.


Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership

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New Hampshire Estuaries Project

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