The New Hampshire Setting SAIL project seeks to support state and municipal implementation of the Coastal Risk and Hazard Commission (CRHC) report, Preparing New Hampshire for Projected Storm Surge, Sea-Level Rise, and Extreme Precipitation, through outreach and technical assistance.

Project Partners: NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), NH Coastal Program (NHCP), NH Fish & Game (NHFG), Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GBNERR), Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC), Strafford Regional Planning Commission (SRPC), UNH Cooperative Extension (UNH-CE), NH Sea Grant (NHSG), and NH Coastal Adaptation Workgroup (CAW).

Project Period: October 1, 2016 – March 31, 2018

Funding: NOAA FY16 Project of Special Merit

Learn more about the different project components and find associated materials below.


Project partners will conduct outreach to New Hampshire’s 17 coastal zone municipalities and select state agencies to relay CRHC recommendations and assess municipal and state priorities and readiness to take action.

kick off municipal workshops

Project partners hosted two region-specific workshops focused on strategies to address coastal flooding in the Great Bay and Atlantic Coast municipalities.

Great Bay WorkshopThursday, March 23, 2017, 5:30-8:00pm | Newmarket Town Hall, 186 Main Street, Newmarket, NH

Atlantic Coast WorkshopThursday, April 13, 2017, 5:30-8:00pm | Hampton Falls Town Hall, 1 Drinkwater Road, Hampton Falls, NH

Outreach to municipal boards & Commissions

Conservation Commissions – Project staff from UNH-CE, NHSG, and GBNERR will convene meetings with Conservation Commissions in each of the ten Great Bay municipalities.

Completed meetings include:

  • Coastal Roundtable (04/10/17)
  • Greenland (04/12/17)
  • Newfields (04/17/17)
  • Stratham (04/26/17)
  • Rollinsford (05/18/17)
  • Madbury (05/22/17)
  • Newmarket (06/08/17)
  • Dover (06/12/17)
  • Exeter (06/13/17)
  • Newington (07/13/17)
  • Durham (09/14/17)

Other Boards & Commissions

Project staff from NHDES, NHCP, RPC, and SRPC will conduct additional follow-on engagement meetings with Town/City councils, select boards, planning boards, zoning boards, etc. in the ten Great Bay municipalities. Additional outreach to the seven Atlantic Coast communities will be conducted upon request.

Outreach to state agencies

Project staff from NHDES and NHCP will present a summary of the CRHC final report and recommendations to select target state agencies including, but not limited to, the: NHDES, NHFG, Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED), Department of Administrative Services (DAS), Department of Cultural Resources (DCR), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM), Department of Transportation (NHDOT), and Office of Energy and Planning (OEP).

Scheduled meetings include:

  • DAS Senior Leadership (06/27/16)
  • NHDES/ACEC-NH Joint Meeting (10/28/16)
  • NHDOT Senior Leadership (11/03/16)
  • NHDES Watershed Management (11/18/16)
  • State Environmental Resilience Group (01/31/17)
  • State Commissioners Group (03/22/17)
  • NHDES Senior Leadership (03/27/17)

Additional outreach to state agencies will be conducted upon request.


Project partners will provide customized technical assistance to New Hampshire’s ten Great Bay municipalities to prioritize and implement CRHC recommendations that meet their unique needs, including the development of a Climate Adaptation Master Plan Chapter for the City of Dover, NH.

City of Dover Climate Adaptation master plan chapter

Project staff from SRPC, UNH-CE, and NHSG will work with the City of Dover, NH to develop a Climate Adaptation chapter of the City’s Master Plan. The Climate Adaptation chapter will review potential impacts on public and private assets and infrastructure from future climate changes. Adaptation strategies and recommendations will be developed to protect vulnerable areas and key infrastructure and resources that may be prone to flooding and sea level rise.

Steering committee meeting information is available through the City of Dover Planning Board’s online public meeting archive.

Municipal technical assistance grants

Project partners will provide approximately $6,000 in customized technical assistance to nine of the ten Great Bay municipalities to support municipal implementation of the CRHC report and recommendations. Examples of eligible projects include: zoning/building code amendments; site plan/subdivision regulation amendments; coastal hazards and adaptation master plan chapters; natural resource/conservation planning; municipal policy development, community outreach, and grant writing.

Technical Assistance RFP

SRPC staff will work with the Town of Durham Leadership Team to adopt advisory coastal flood hazard areas and encourage all new construction and substantial improvements within these areas to be designed and constructed in accordance with the standards set forth in the Town’s existing zoning ordinance: Article XV – Flood Hazard Overlay District. UNHCE/NHSG staff will develop outreach materials to educate property owners of the proposed changes to the zoning ordinance.
RPC and GBNERR staff will work with the Town of Exeter to develop a community outreach strategy and hold a public workshop to inform residents of potential risks associated with climate change. RPC staff will also coordinate with the Town’s consultant to suggest language that addresses climate change risks for consideration as part of the Town’s stormwater regulation update.
RPC staff will work with the Town of Greenland, NH to develop a draft Coastal Hazards and Adaptation Master Plan Chapter and convene public workshops to gather community input and assist in highlighting the most vulnerable areas of the community.
UNHCE/NHSG and SRPC staff will work with the Town of Madbury to plan, design, publicize, and implement a public outreach workshop to discuss concerns and actions related to extreme precipitation and flooding, drought and water supply, and emergency preparedness. UNHCE/NHSG will also produce any associated workshop materials.

Madbury Prepares for Extreme Weather Workshop – September 27, 2017

RPC and GBNERR staff will work with the Town of Newington to (1) perform outreach to vulnerable properties and businesses related to coastal flood risks; and (2) prepare content related to coastal flood risk and recommendations for adaptation to be included in the town’s Vision and Existing and Future Land Use Master Plan Chapters.
SRPC staff will work with a subcomittee the Town of Newmarket Planning Board to update the Town’s existing stormwater regulations for consideration by the Planning Board. SRPC and UNHCE/NHSG staff will also assist the Town in providing education and outreach related to the proposed changes at a formal public hearing. The UNH Stormwater Center will provide technical review and consultation, when appropriate.
SRPC and GBNERR staff will work with the Town of Rollinsford to (1) develop a framework for a future grant proposal to fund the replacement of a problematic culvert on Sligo Road; (2) determine why previous grant applications were not funded; and (3) work with the Town engineers to determine whether data from the C-RiSe Stream Crossing Assessment can be used to evaluate if the existing culvert is sized appropriately and if current designs take into consideration sea-level rise and/or increases in precipitation.
RPC will work with the Town of Stratham to: 1) convene community outreach forums designed to inform those areas/owners identified as most susceptible to the effects of sea-level rise focused on several wellhead protection areas for drinking water wells servicing condominium developments, and the Stuart and Scamman Farms; and 2) draft a Coastal Hazards and Adaptation Chapter for the Master Plan to guide current and long-range planning efforts related to coastal hazards within the Town and its municipal neighbors.


Project staff from NHDES and NHCP will provide capacity for select state agencies to coordinate audits of existing state statutes, rules, and policies as required by Chaptered Law 195 / SB 452. NHCP and NHFG staff will also complete spatial inventories of vulnerable NHDES and NHFG assets.

Sb 452 coordination & IMPLEMENTATION (nHdes, nhdot, dred, nhfg)

Project staff from NHDES and NHCP will develop a template approach for NHDES, NHDOT, DRED, and NHFG to implement Chaptered Law 195 / SB 452. The law requires NHDES, NHDOT, DRED, and NHFG conduct audits of their respective statutes, rules, and agency policies governing state properties, projects, and actions in the coastal and Great Bay regions and determine any changes necessary to enable authorities to take appropriate actions to prepare for projected storm surge, sea-level rise, and extreme precipitation. Project staff from NHDES and NHCP will also complete NHDES’ audit and will coordinate submission of interim and final reports to the Legislature on behalf of NHDES, NHDOT, DRED, and NHFG.

spatial inventory of vulnerable state assets (nhdes, nhfg)

Project staff from NHCP and NHFG will develop a methodology and complete a spatial inventory of NHDES and NHFG assets located in the coastal zone that are potentially vulnerable to sea-level rise and storm surge flooding. Results will help NHDES and NHFG prioritize internal adaptation efforts and inform other agencies interested in completing a similar analysis for their respective assets.

For more information about Setting SAIL, contact:
Nathalie Morison, NH Coastal Program
E-mail | (603) 559-0029

The New Hampshire Setting SAIL project is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) Enhancement Program Projects of Special Merit for FY 2016, authorized under Section 309 of the CZMA (16 U.S.C. § 1456b).