Protection of the Messina Property

Case Name:


United States of America

Restoration Types:



Affected DOI Resources:

Migratory Birds


coming soon



Project Description

The South Municipal Wellfield Superfund Site is located in Peterborough, New Hampshire. The site includes the New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Inc. (NHBB) manufacturing facility and surrounding upland and wetland habitats. In 1983, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated the area a Superfund Site after discovering a plume of contaminated groundwater extending from under the NHBB facility. Subsequent sampling revealed that approximately one acre of wetland adjacent to the NHBB facility was contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and metals. Wetland-based migratory birds were adversely affected due to the loss of prey/habitat degradation resulting from contamination. In a 1995 settlement with NHBB, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) received $95,000 to implement wetland habitat restoration. The USFWS chose to help the Town of Peterborough purchase 40 acres of imminently-threatened upland habitat bordering the Contoocook River and adjacent wetlands. Protection of this land prevented construction of a 12-lot subdivision, including the loss of 0.25 acre of wetland resulting from road construction activities. Furthermore, the effort protected the river and more than 36 acres of adjacent wetlands from adverse effects associated with upland development. In addition, the USFWS joined the Town in an effort to raise the additional funds ($110,000) needed to complete the project. Overwhelming local support resulted in donations totaling nearly $70,000. A $40,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) allowed the purchase to move forward.

Restoration Land Ownership

County or Municipal

Parties Implementing Restoration

Town of Peterborough, New Hampshire

DOI Project Representatives

Fish and Wildlife Service

More than 40 acres of habitat bordering the Contoocook River were protected as part of the restoration effort., Credit: S. Corwin

Numerous vernal pools on the protected property provide habitat for amphibians and reptiles., Credit: FWS

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Restoration Documents

Document NameDocument Date
No records to display.

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New England Ecological Services Field Office

Concord, NH | (603) 223-2541 |

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