The purpose of this project was to provide significant educational efforts on wetlands functions and values, prime wetlands designation, on-the-ground inventory findings, wildlife habitat, and New Hampshire's Prime Wetlands laws and rules for the two communities located within the project focus area. The focus area for this project was the Taylor River Watershed, which comprises the Taylor River as it flows through both
Hampton and Hampton Falls, a bit of Ash Brook and Old River as it flows through Hampton, and Grapevine Run as it flows through Hampton Falls. This project assessed over 152 wetland areas containing approximately 620 acres. This project included a comprehensive wetland resource assessment of an area that was originally roughly defined as shown on Map 1 (Appendix A). A NH Certified Wetland Scientist was hired by the Town of Hampton to complete an inventory of wetlands along the Taylor River corridor, and to identify individual wetland areas as well as wetland complexes that were potentiallysuitableforprimewetlandsdesignation. Oncethatassessmentwas completed, four distinct areas were chosen as potential candidates for prime wetlands designation, and a functions and values assessment was conducted on each candidate. The Wetlands Assessment, Inventory, and Prime Wetland Designation Project in the
Taylor River Watershed project offered substantial education and outreach to both conservation commissions, residents, and municipal officials, and was successful in helping to advance the continuation of evaluating additional wetland complexes within each community.
No warrant articles were prepared for town meeting for either community, and there were no prime wetlands application submissions to the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) completed during the length of this project. However, conservation commission members became educated on prime wetlands designation, and both communities have jointly proceeded to complete the wetlands assessment for the remainder of each community. In fact, with the assistance of this project and as a follow up to a formerly funded project by the New Hampshire Estuaries Project (NHEP) on shoreland protection, there are landowners along the Taylor River in both communities that are interested in participating in permanent protection efforts. The educational efforts on wetland functions and values, the importance of protecting prime
habitat, and on NH RSA 482 and Chapter Wt 700 of the NH DES Administrative Rules regarding the law and rules has brought much interest on this topic in both communities. Both communities are jointly moving forward with prime wetland inventories for the remainder of wetlands in each community, with additional support from the NHEP in 2005. Due to this advancement, it was decided by both communities that another year of educational initiatives was important, and as there is the possibility of redelineating existing prime candidate boundaries, no warrant articles were prepared for 2005. Completing full wetland assessments and determining additional prime wetlands candidates were recognized as being critical for each community, with the provision that it include substantial educational opportunities. All of the outcomes from the Wetlands Assessment, Inventory, and Prime Wetland Designation Project in the Taylor River
Watershed project have given both communities a renewed sense of the importance of stewardship, understanding and documenting, and protecting these critical natural resources.
New Hampshire Estuaries Project
Hampton Conservation Commission and Rockingham County Conservation District, "Wetlands Assessment, Inventory, and Prime Wetlands Designation Project in the Taylor River Watershed, Town of Hampton" (2004). PREP Publications. 237.