The Friends of the Berwick Riverfront is foregoing a formal meeting in December but is keeping in contact and moving things forward for a busy January and February.
Here is what we’re working on- preparing a presentation for the selectmen in January. We will explain our plan and ask for permission to delve further into researching costs associated with installing a boat ramp. If permission is obtained, we will gather quotes for ramp materials and repairing/replacing the Water Department building on Rochester Street for future use. Our #1 goal is to have an access point completed by June 1st for everyone to use.
The big picture is having not only a boat access point, but a large garage-type storage building to house canoes/kayaks that will be available for rent. The access point will be the launch spot for a River Cleanup Day and Canoe/Kayak Race on the Salmon Falls River. In the distant future we are exploring obtaining other waterfront sites for picnic and parking areas. We are keeping sustainability at the forefront of our minds, having just attended a Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative meeting.
At the Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative meeting we learned that the Salmon Falls River is the highest ranked for vulnerability according to a US Forest Service 2009 report. The vulnerability ranking is due to the large amount of undeveloped forested riverside land that is privately held. The Salmon Falls River’s water quality is good right now, with a high amount of tannins. The folks on the Sustainability Committee are looking into doing surface water sampling to obtain a baseline. We can then monitor any changes in water quality for better or worse and correlate it to development/changes in town.
The City of Somersworth is working on their boat access point at the former Mast Point Dam on Salmon Falls Road. They are creating walking trails and picnic areas as well. We hope to work hand in hand with Somersworth in our efforts on the river.
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