For information on the Long Island Sound Watershed RCPP, click here for their project website.
The Upper Connecticut River Watershed (NH and VT) contributes 47% of the Nitrogen (N) to Long Island Sound which contributes to anoxic zones and reduced water quality throughout the system. Sedimentation is also a major problem to the watershed. Sedimentation increases nutrient loading, contributes to reductions in water quality, and buries key ecological features such as eelgrass beds and oyster reefs. Currently the EPA is working to develop a TMDL for Long Island Sound (LIS) and has commissioned a study to further the understanding of the problem. Reducing N and sediment delivery to the CT River and its tributaries is the focus of our work. To do this, we propose to work on intensively managed agricultural lands in close proximity to the CT River and its main tributaries. On productive farmland in NH, years of intensive management and continuous silage corn production have resulted in measured reductions in biological and physical soil health parameters, mainly from compaction and loss of soil structure. Nutrient imbalances, specifically N leeching, increased soil phosphorus levels, and lack of proper pH management are widespread problems in the CT Valley. All of these problems can be addressed with increased technical assistance to farmers, and most of these problems can be, at minimum, alleviated with the implementation of NRCS conservation practices. As a result, NHACD is proposing an intensive focus on soil health and nutrient
management. To increase adoption of these Best Management Practices (BMPs), we are proposing to add additional planning capacity by hiring a three-year term position. With increases in technical staff at NRCS and the NH Dept. of Agriculture also in progress along these lines, we feel confident that we can build a ‘farm management team,’ with the extra staff in place to assist farmers in adopting BMPs. The need exists and we all want to see a healthier Connecticut River, not only to address hypoxia in the Long Island Sound, but also to improve water quality within the watershed.
In 2017, we hired Bill Fosher as our Agronomist for this project. Bill has been providing technical assistance to private, EQIP-eligible landowners and farmers in the Connecticut River Watershed. Specifically, he's focusing on improving water quality in the Connecticut River Watershed, by providing expertise and leadership with agronomic practices.
Map of the area
Participating Counties in New Hampshire:
What we're doing/have done so far with farmers:
nutrient management plans
language about getting farmers set up to work with NRCS to get the process going etc.
How this all fits into/needs to fits into EQIP.