FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Beth Flagler, Program Administrator, New Hampshire Rivers Council 603.228.6472 or info@NHRivers.org Michele L. Tremblay, President, New Hampshire Rivers Council 603.796.2615 or MLT@naturesource.net
The New Hampshire Rivers Council, Anheuser Busch, and project partners are gearing up for the fourth annual McQuesten Brook Watershed clean up with support from River Network. Volunteers from the Budweiser Brewery in Merrimack, NH will celebrate World Environment Day on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. Helping hands from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHF&G), City of Manchester Urban Ponds Restoration Program, Manchester Fly Fishing Association, and Trout Unlimited will be returning for the annual event.
The 563-acre McQuesten Brook watershed is located in Manchester and Bedford, NH. The New Hampshire Rivers Council is proud to be leading the effort to create a watershed restoration plan to protect sensitive trout habitat within McQuesten Brook. The project is funded in part by NHDES, NHF&G, and the Samuel P. Hunt Foundation. The brook supports one of the state’s highest quality populations of self-sustaining wild brook trout as well as a variety of other wildlife. The habitat supporting wild brook trout in McQuesten Brook is disconnected by the three obsolete dam structures that are in disrepair. The first phase of restoration plan implementation involves reestablishing connectivity through McQuesten Pond to McQuesten Brook by removing two dams in the pond and one on the brook.
Last year’s clean up brought an impressive turnout of volunteers ranging from school-aged kids to adults. One of the youngest participants made a disappointing discovery when removing trash from a section the brook downstream of South Main Street. Six, dead brook trout were found trapped in debris and tires that had blocked access for the fish to safely pass through one of the dam structures. NHF&G personnel examined the fish on site and back in their laboratory to determine possible causes for their untimely death. Fisheries Biologist Benjamin Nugent reported, “There were no signs of trauma including bruising, predator wounds, and cuts, and that all of the brook trout appeared to have died very shortly before they were recovered.” Ben encouraged future cleanup efforts to remove litter and the small cement dam that barricaded the fish preventing them from moving freely. When asked about the value of the annual trash clean up events in the McQuesten Brook watershed, Steve Landry, Merrimack Watershed Supervisor, NHDES added, “Although we knew the population of wild brook trout existed in McQuesten Brook, we had no idea they were getting trapped in debris and dying until one of the trash clean up volunteers spotted the dead trout last year.” Steve said that, “the discovery of dead brook trout during last year’s cleanup lead to the New Hampshire Rivers Council initiative to remove the obsolete dams in the watershed and a subsequent grant award from NHDES to partially fund that ongoing effort.” “The results of these annual clean-up efforts are impressive,” said Michele L. Tremblay, President, New Hampshire Rivers Council, “Each year there is less trash in the river and more people are rolling up their sleeves and getting involved.”
The Rivers Council plans on improving stream conditions by educating residents and business owners on stormwater runoff and the impact it has on stream quality and the aquatic life within it. Stormwater and its runoff can include chemicals, sediments, nutrients, and toxins that are washed into McQuesten Brook after rainfall, snow melt, or from lawns, car washing and other activities. Pollution carried by stormwater runoff can be reduced by decreasing road salt application, fertilizer, and the size of parking lots, by installing infiltration systems such as rain gardens and rain barrels, or tree box filters. Of course, removing the shopping carts, automobile seats and bumpers, washing machines, giant aquariums, and other random trash from the watershed will help too. If you would like to do your part and join the clean up mission, please visit www.nhrivers.org/mcquesten-brook to sign up. Plan on arriving at the kiosk at Wolfe Park at 8:30 AM on June 5, 2013 and be sure to wear long sleeved shirts, pants, hat, and boots. Waders or hip boots are encouraged. Gloves, trash bags, and light refreshments will be provided.
About the New Hampshire Rivers Council The New Hampshire Rivers Council is committed to the conservation and ecologically sound management of New Hampshire’s rivers, watersheds, and related natural resources. The New Hampshire Rivers Council is the only statewide conservation organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of New Hampshire’s rivers. Over twenty years ago, the organization was established as the New Hampshire Rivers campaign to create and pass the Rivers Management and Protection Act. Since then the Council has worked to educate the public about the value of the state’s rivers, designate rivers in the state’s protection program, and advocate for strong public policies and wise management of New Hampshire river resources. For further information, please visit www.NHRivers.org.
About River Network For twenty years, River Network has provided organizational, technical, and networking assistance to people working for watershed protection at the local, state, and regional levels. In addition, River Network serves as a catalyst and coordinator for major projects, such as this one, that require national leadership and collaboration among widely separated organizations and agencies. With more than 700 partner groups in all 50 states and beyond, River Network is helping build a powerful new watershed protection movement in the United States. To learn more about River Network, visit www.rivernetwork.org.
About Anheuser-Busch Anheuser-Busch and its employees build on a legacy of corporate social responsibility by focusing on three key areas: promoting alcohol responsibility, preserving and protecting the environment and supporting local communities. In the past three decades, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers have committed more than $875 million in national advertising campaigns and community-based programs to encourage responsible drinking and prevent underage drinking and drunk driving. Anheuser-Busch reduced total water use at its breweries by 34 percent in the last three years and the company has been a leading aluminum recycler for more than thirty years. Since 1997, Anheuser-Busch and its Foundation have invested in local communities through donations of nearly $475 million to charitable organizations. The company also has provided more than 70 million cans of drinking water to people impacted by natural and other disasters since 1988. Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch, the leading American brewer, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer, and continues to operate under the Anheuser-Busch name and logo. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.