New Hampshire “Green Credits” Process Okayed by Two Regulators
“Credit for Going Green” provides a strategy for earning regulatory credits by installing natural buffers, plus a way to calculate buffer pollution-removal rates, with support from four national estuarine research reserves and NOAA’s Science Collaborative program.
Vegetated buffers are areas of natural land around wetlands and water bodies that improve water quality and provide other benefits. A New Hampshire initiative offers two new ways to encourage buffer use: a science-based process to calculate the pollution-removal rate of buffers; and a process for receiving credits, which communities and landowners potentially can use to meet stormwater permit requirements. These processes have been accepted by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Project partners include the Great Bay, Narragansett, Waquoit Bay, and Wells National Estuarine Research Reserves and NOAA’s Science Collaborative program.
Additional critical partners on the “Credit for Going Green” project include the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center and Roca Communications.
Installing or restoring vegetated buffers often improves water quality and can push habitat protection, erosion control, and flood resilience to higher levels. The project team organized and managed a panel of scientific experts to develop the recommendations. The team has provided guidance on the panel process to help other communities forge science-based management solutions when data are lacking.
What’s more, the project’s outreach toolkit helps “green credit” partners spotlight their good works through web content, social media posts, training, and meetings.
The Great Bay Research Reserve led the project, leveraging its facilitation skills and connections to water quality regulators. All New England research reserves helped craft outreach materials and share project resources with regional partners.
The project team received a grant of $99,901 from NOAA’s Science Collaborative, a program that’s managed in partnership with the University of Michigan. Visit the project page to learn more and access all products. (2020)
Partners: Chesapeake Stormwater Network, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Roca Communications, University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s Science Collaborative, and the Great Bay, Narragansett, Waquoit Bay, and Wells National Estuarine Research Reserves