Beaches | New Hampshire Public Radio

Beaches

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Seacoast beaches have been crowded this weekend with people trying to beat the heat, though some coronavirus restrictions remain in effect. Parts of the shoulders of Route 1A have reopened for parking, but the state beach lots are only accepting 50 percent of their normal capacity to encourage physical distancing.

NH State Parks

The state will not conduct some routine sampling of inland beaches this summer due the pandemic.

The Department of Environmental Services says they’ll focus on monitoring and responding to blooms of toxic algae at freshwater shores this season.

They will not regularly sample those beaches for fecal bacteria as they have in other years.

They say their lab capacity and other logistics have been hampered by the coronavirus.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

After his initial restrictions were in place for less than a week, Gov. Chris Sununu is altering the rules for beach access in New Hampshire.

Effective immediately, beaches in the state are open for all activities, including sunbathing. The initial guidelines, which went into effect on Monday, only allowed exercise activities on the sand, such as running or walking, along with swimming and surfing.

Chris Nash / NHDES

The state is temporarily banning shellfish harvesting in coastal Atlantic waters because of a severe bloom of potentially toxic algae.

The ban applies to mussels, clams and oysters in near-shore and offshore waters. It does not apply to lobsters, or to inland areas, such as Great Bay and Little Bay.

The advisory also does not indicate a threat to swimmer or surfers, who were allowed back onto the Seacoast beaches as of Monday.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

When New Hampshire reopens parts of its economy in the next couple of weeks, the public beaches on the Seacoast will stay closed. It's sparked debate in seaside towns like Rye over what restrictions are warranted.


Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire is doing its part this weekend for the Ocean Conservancy's annual, international coastal cleanup.

NHPR’s Annie Ropeik went out with one group of enthusiastic trash collectors at Wallis Sands State Beach Friday morning and has this story.


Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu announced plans last week to study whether New Hampshire schools should be required to start after Labor Day.

But some families who flocked to Seacoast beaches on the holiday Monday said they don’t really care when school starts.

Dawn Szelog’s family had staked out a spot among the crowds at Wallis Sands State Beach in Rye by late morning, as the temperature neared 90.

NHDES

The state Department of Environmental Services wants to make its beach safety advisories more timely and accurate this summer.

As of midday Friday, DES had advisories posted for at least eight New Hampshire lakes.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Volunteers with the New Hampshire Beach Monitoring program are taking measurements of the state's beaches ahead of Hurricane Jose.

As volunteer Sherri Townsend explains, scientists want to know how the storm will impact the topography of the beach.

"We're just measuring if there's any changes in where the berm is, and how high the berm is, and the slope of the berm -- which is the high point, when the storm surge comes up."

Three beaches in Laconia that tested positive for bacteria last week are now in the clear.

The Parks and Recreation Department says Opechee Cove, Opechee Point and Weirs Beach posted advisories for high E. coli levels between Aug. 19 and Aug. 21.

Director Kevin Dunleavy tells The Citizen the beaches now all have clearance after further testing.

woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s been 25 years since Larry David’s “show-about-nothing” debuted on NBC, but it lives on. Recently a critic made the argument that Seinfeld not only transformed the sitcom but paved the way for television’s anti-hero dramas. Plus, not even a month into summer, you may already be approaching capacity on grilled burgers and hot dogs. JM Hirsch, food editor for the Associated Press joins us to inject new ideas into the outdoor cooking season. And, a sneak peak of bands heading to western Massachusetts for this weekend’s Green River Festival.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


Josue Mendivil via Flickr CC

Three beaches in New Hampshire are getting high marks for clean water quality.

The beaches are Hampton Beach State Park, Wallis Sands Beach at Wallis Road, and Wallis Sands State Park beach.

The Natural Resources Defense Council put them at "superstar" status along with 32 other beaches nationally in its annual "Testing the Waters" report.

Officials say New Hampshire ranks second out of 30 states that are part of the EPA's beach monitoring program.