Michael Simpson Leads New Hampshire EPA Study

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just awarded the New Hampshire Estuaries Project a $50,000 grant to study the potential effects of severe weather due to climate change on the New Hampshire seacoast’s Oyster River watershed. Antioch University New England faculty member and director of ANE’s resource management and conservation program, Michael Simpson, will serve as project director for the one-year pilot program.

The EPA funded six projects studying coastal estuaries throughout the U.S., two of which are in New England. According to the EPA, the six case studies will help local communities protect sensitive coastal ecosystems and economies in the future. The studies are the first step in the EPA’s Climate Ready Estuaries Project, which aims to build local ability to plan for and adapt to climate change.

Simpson will help identify road culverts and storm drains in the watershed area that could fail under extreme storm conditions and will complete a build-out analysis and economic impact analysis of the area. He will be working with ANE graduates Thomas Crosslin, MS ’05, who will manage geographic information system (GIS) and engineering analysis for the project and Latham Stack, MS ’01, who will manage climate change projections and downscale global climate models (GCM) to the watershed scale. Both are Antioch New England graduates, who now work on the west coast doing climate adaptation work. Current ANE environmental studies resource management and conservation graduate student Colin Lawson also is a team member.

Through the New Hampshire grant and five other grants awarded in Massachusetts, Florida, Delaware, North Carolina and San Francisco, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hopes to provide leadership and information to other coastal communities. EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Ira Leighton announced the estuaries-project award June 19. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services will provide administrative support.

See also the Union Leader‘s article.