PREP Reports & Publications


This report summarizes the activities of the NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Shellfish Program for the period of January 2006 to December 2006, emphasizing those tasks for which NHDES received direct funding from the NH Estuaries Project. The NHDES Shellfish Program conducts a number of activities to minimize the health risks associated with consuming shellfish, and to continue to comply with National Shellfish Sanitation Program guidelines. These include water sampling on a prescheduled/randomized basis, as well as a pollution source identification and evaluation program. These sampling programs are supplemented by other activities aimed at improving the management of conditionally-approved harvesting areas. Augmented sampling in conditionally approved areas after rainfall events and/or sewage treatment plant upsets provides information to improve management decisions and, in some cases, increase harvesting opportunities. A study to compare results from two different bacterial analysis methods (the traditional fecal coliform Most Probable Number, or MPN, test, and a newer fecal coliform membrane filtration test using mTEC agar) was initiated in 2004 and continued through 2006. The results of the study will help DES determine how classification of growing areas might change if the lessexpensive mTEC test is chosen to replace the traditional MPN method. Sanitary surveys were completed for the Hampton/Seabrook Estuary, as well as for the Piscataqua River (North) growing area, which encompasses the tidal portions of the Cocheco River, Salmon Falls River, and Upper Piscataqua River. Future work will focus on maintaining the classifications established by sanitary surveys conducted since 2000. The remaining 13 percent of unclassified estuarine waters will be periodically evaluated to determine if/when sanitary surveys should be conducted.


Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership

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New Hampshire Estuaries Project

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