CHESTERFIELD, N.H. -- Roughly 40 people attended the Chesterfield Conservation Commission meeting on Thursday, June 28, to witness a detailed presentation by a shoreline protection specialist.
Jay Aube, of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, discussed significant amendments to the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act, now named the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act. The hour-long presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session that lasted roughly 30 minutes.
Aube explained that the amendments became effective on July 1, 2011. He also focused on the importance of vegetated buffers, which stabilize and shade the shoreline. They also extract nutrients and some contaminants from stormwater, promote infiltration by moderating the impacts of heavy rainfall and promote wildlife habitat.
According to the NHDES website, vegetated buffers prevent invasive species, such as milfoil, from taking root. Milfoil is not a shade-tolerant species and is not likely to establish itself in shaded waters. Elimination of vegetated buffers results in increased nutrient loads and decreased water clarity and quality.
CSPA was renamed during the 2011 legislative session, according to the presentation. The main purpose of SWQPA is to maintain and restore vegetated buffers and better manage stormwater runoff. The amendments included changes to vegetation requirements within the natural woodland and waterfront buffers and a
The law protects tidal waters, all lakes and ponds greater than 10 acres, designated rivers and streams and rivers of the fourth order or greater. Streams are categorized into orders -- which define their size -- as high as 12.
Aube told the Reformer he thought the presentation was well-received. He is the shoreland program outreach coordinator of the NHDES Wetlands Bureau and helped implement SWQPA.
David Wood, of the conservation commission, arranged for Aube to visit and introduced the guest to the attendees.
"I thought it was a success," Wood said, adding that he's concerned over the conservation of land because he lives right on Spofford Lake.
He said the commission was born out of a committee that formed due to frustrations with enforcement of CSPA.
Before it was renamed the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act, CSPA enacted into law in 1991. It established minimum standards to the state's public water bodies.
The commission meets the fourth Wednesday of every month in the Chesterfield Town Office at 7:30 p.m.
Domenic Poli can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.