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Water: Nonpoint Source Success Stories

New Hampshire: Middle Brook

Stakeholders Cooperate to Control Sediment Inputs and Restore Navigability

Waterbody | Problem | Project Highlights | Results | Partners & Funding

Waterbody Improved

nh_circleBy the late 1990s navigation in Middle Brook canal was extremely difficult and the upper end of the canal was impassable due to sediment deposition and resulting shallow water depths. The sediments in the canal were largely attributed to runoff from eroding unpaved roadways, flooding caused by an undersized culvert, and erosion from a nearby boat ramp and beach. The canal was listed as impaired for secondary contact recreation on New Hampshire's 2004 303(d) list. To reduce erosion and sedimentation throughout the sub-watershed, the Balmoral Improvement Association (BIA) partnered with state and local agencies on stormwater management projects. BIA and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) also partnered on a successful dredging project to restore the canal to navigable depths. As a result, Middle Brook Canal is no longer impaired for secondary contact recreation, and DES removed the impairment from New Hampshire's 2006 303(d) list of impaired waters.


After several years of BMP installations, dredging, street sweeping, and public education efforts, Middle Brook Canal has been returned to a navigable channel which is no longer impaired by sedimentation/siltation. The dredging removed approximately 3,780 tons of sediment from the canal. Post-implementation surveys indicated that boaters could navigate the canal without difficulty. Secondary contact recreation was restored in the canal and the impairment was removed from NH's 2006 303(d) list; however, Middle Brook Canal remains listed for mercury.

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Partners and Funding

The work to restore recreational uses at Middle Brook Canal involved the cooperation of BIA, local residents, the town of Moultonborough, DES, and EPA. BIA funded and managed all of the erosion and sediment control projects, and also provided the required non-federal cash match through a coordinated fundraising effort with all 39 canal-front residents. DES provided technical assistance and administered the EPA section 319 grant that funded a portion of this project. The town continues to provide street sweeping for some of the area roads.

In 2003 EPA provided a $51,126 section 319 grant to dredge and restore the canal to navigable depths. BIA provided $51,057 in cash and in-kind match and completed the project in 2005. In 2001 BIA provided $23,000 for roadway runoff improvements, and $10,160 for the new boat ramp and no-wake signs. Funding and in-kind services continue to be provided by BIA and the town for ongoing road runoff maintenance activities. In addition, between 2000 and 2003 BIA provided $7,500 for milfoil treatment. 

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