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Salmon Falls River Watershed Collaborative


Protect and sustain high quality drinking water in the Salmon Falls River watershed.

About the Project

Cover of Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative Action Plan

The Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership convened the Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative in 2010 to build capacity and improve collaboration in the Salmon Falls River watershed.

The Salmon Falls River flows from an ecologically diverse land area shared by the states of Maine and New Hampshire. It drains into the Great Bay estuary, a coastal ecosystem of national importance.

About 28,000 people rely on public water systems in the Salmon Falls watershed to provide clean drinking water. Many other households obtain their drinking water from private groundwater wells within the region. Although the watershed is a critical drinking water source, it is threatened by increases in polluted runoff resulting from population growth and the conversion of forested land to developed area. The U.S Forest Service 2009 report Private Forests, Public Benefits identified the rivers in the Piscataqua Region as the most threatened in the nation by a potential decline in water quality if private forested lands become converted to housing.

The collaborative coordinates long-term source water protection efforts among planning commissions, land trusts, watershed associations, water systems, and town, state, and federal agencies in New Hampshire and Maine.


Project Details

Salmon Falls River location map

The Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative hosted the workshop Working Beyond Borders to Protect Drinking Water in the Salmon Falls Watershed workshop on October 27, 2010. The workshop built a sense of shared purpose among the more than 80 participants representing state agencies, water systems, local governments (select boards, planning boards, conservation commissions, and town staff), watershed groups, lake associations, land trusts, regional planning commissions, and other conservation organizations.

The workshop led to the preparation of an action plan that reflects the priorities and ideas generated and that complements existing water protection work being done by organizations in the watershed.

In February 2012, the Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative was awarded the US Water Prize for its work.


Project Partners

In addition to Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership and the Wells Reserve, these groups participate in the Collaboratives Steering Committee:

  • Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance
  • City of Somersworth, NH
  • Granite State Rural Water Association
  • Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Drinking Water Program
  • Maine Non-point Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO)
  • Maine Rural Water Association
  • New Hampshire DES Drinking Water Source Protection Program
  • New Hampshire DES Watershed Assistance Section
  • South Berwick Water District
  • Strafford Regional Planning Commission
  • Town of Berwick Water Department
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Project Management

  • Christine Feurt, Ph.D., 207-646-1555 ext 111
  • Annie Cox, 207-646-1555 ext 157

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