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0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8a390002"A national treasure in our backyard"It spans more than 13,000 acres. Nearly a quarter of the state’s population lives within its watershed. In a 2010 series, Amy Quinton looked at the trouble pollution poses to the health of this critical estuary, and some proposed solutions for returning the Seacoast’s Great Bay to health.Now, NHPR's Environment Reporter Sam Evans-Brown brings you continuing coverage of the efforts being made in the Great Bay.Coverage supported by Penn State Public Media.Great Bay Watershed Map | More Great Bay Images

Legislators Will Take Up Great Bay Issues In January

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Come January, New Hampshire lawmakers will consider a bevy of bills dealing with the water quality of Great Bay. Some proposals confront waste-water treatment plant costs head-on, while others skirt that controversy.

The decline in the ecosystem of the Great Bay, coupled with Portsmouth, Rochester, and Dover's decision to fight the EPA over required wastewater treatment plant to upgrades is inspiring action in Concord.

Newmarket Representative Adam Schroadter a republican has introduced two bills, one would require the DES to redo a study that triggered the EPA wastewater requirements.

Schroadter: First and foremost I’m trying to be a good legislator for my constituents.

But Schroadter also has another bill that would address a different source of nitrogen, fertilizer on people’s lawns.

Schroadter: If it rains right after application, it all ends up washing into the bay on way or another.

He worked with the fertilizer industry to draft that bill which would cut the amount of nitrogen allowed in lawn fertilizers sold in New Hampshire, a measure he hopes will be adopted throughout New England.

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