West Environmental, Inc. (WEI) conducted a city-wide Vernal Pool Inventory to locate, document and map vernal pools in Portsmouth. This effort was coordinated with the Portsmouth Planning Department and Conservation Commission to help the City of Portsmouth in vernal pool identification and mapping. The goal of this project was to locate isolated wetlands that provide vernal pool habitat. Currently the City of Portsmouth’s wetland regulations exempt wetlands less than 5,000 square feet from the local 100’ buffer zone. This study identified smaller wetlands which have the potential to provide vernal pool habitat that may deserve the 100 foot buffer protection. It should be noted that vernal pool habitat can exist in a variety of freshwater wetlands including larger red maple swamps. These areas were also mapped when encountered. A field workshop was held for the Conservation Commission members to give them hands-on training in vernal pool ecology. The results of this Vernal Pool Inventory were presented to the Portsmouth Conservation Commission in July of 2008. Based on the results of this study and the recent revisions to the NHDES Wetlands Bureau regulations which added rules for vernal pool protection, the Portsmouth Conservation Commission has recommended a change to the Article 8 - Environmental Protection Standards of the City of Portsmouth to include vernal pool identification and protection with a 100’ buffer.
New Hampshire Estuaries Project
West Environmental Inc., "Portsmouth Vernal Pool Inventory" (2008). PREP Reports & Publications. 68.