DURHAM – In case you missed it, last week U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan visited Wagon Hill Farm in Durham, where she toured the property and learned about coastal resilience measures that the town is taking, and saw first-hand the impacts of erosion on the shoreline. The town has previously received federal funds to address this erosion, and is now applying for funding through the National Coastal Resilience Fund, a program that Senator Hassan directly worked to increase funding for in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, for additional work at the site.
By Karen Dandurant
Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, visited Wagon Hill Farm Friday to learn more about the dangers of erosion along its shoreline and to support a federal grant to address the damage.
Town officials, working with scientists at the University of New Hampshire, and coastal experts at the NH Department of Environmental Services, are preparing a grant application seeking about $2 million to continue work already begun to restore and protect the shoreline of Wagon Hill Farm, a jewel of a property offering recreation access for area residents, for special events and as a popular place to exercise dogs.
[…] Hassan said the economic impact of coastal erosion affects New Hampshire people's homes, businesses, way of life and the climate.
"So, it's really important to come here today and talk with the people from Durham, the state of New Hampshire and UNH, who are using federal dollars to do this work and who are applying for more federal dollars under the infrastructure law," she said. "I wanted to see how it's going and see what the impact of funding this project will be. Sadly, we are seeing serious erosion and sea level rise. I was heartened by seeing that when we invest in science and community-based, nature-based solutions, we really slow this erosion and the sea level rise. Thanks to the infrastructure law, we are seeing these nature-based solutions here in New Hampshire."
Hassan said New Hampshire towns don't generally have grant writers on staff.
"So our office wants to make sure we can support our local communities in applying for this funding," Hassan said. "We want to make sure communities who have started down this path can continue and can continue to share their expertise with New Hampshire. We want to make sure there is long term support for the maintenance of this kind of project."
WMUR: Over the last few years the New Hampshire shoreline has experienced significant erosion. Officials are saying if nothing is done it is only going to get worse. WMUR’s Troy Lynch is in Durham with a plan they are discussing.
WMUR’s Troy Lynch: That’s right Senator Maggie Hassan visiting the Wagon Hill Farm shoreline as you can see right behind me, now experts have told me that they lose about half a foot of shoreline every year due to erosion. Now the Town of Durham has gotten federal funding for this issue in the past, but now they say they need more help. Senator Hassan getting a tour along the water’s edge, seeing what local experts have done to successfully keep the shores from eroding but also hearing what else they need to do to make sure the rest of the coastline is resilient. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the Town of Durham, and University of New Hampshire have been working together for several years but now they’re applying for a National Coastal Resilience Fund grant to address the rest of the shoreline down on Wagon Hill Farm.
Senator Hassan: Sadly, we are seeing really serious erosion and sea level rise on our coasts and it is going to be something we both need to try to resist but also adapt to. […]