Little River Salt Marsh Restoration

Case Name:

Coakley Landfill NPL Site


United States of America

Restoration Types:

Habitat Enhancement


Affected DOI Resources:

Migratory Birds


coming soon



Project Description

The 156-acre Little River Salt Marsh is located along the border of the Towns of Hampton and North Hampton, New Hampshire. For many years, the only source of tidal influx was a 48-inch round culvert under Ocean Boulevard (NH Route 1A), where Little River flowed into the Gulf of Maine. The inadequate size of the culvert restricted the volume of water entering and leaving the marsh. This allowed Phragmites, purple loosestrife, and cattails to invade due to the lack of saltwater flooding the marsh on the incoming tides. Nearby homes also frequently flooded during heavy rains. In cooperation with the municipalities, NH Department of Transportation (NHDOT), and Rockingham County Conservation District (RCCD), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the New Hampshire Coastal Program replaced the culvert under Ocean Boulevard in 2000 with twin 6 x 12-foot box culverts to increase tidal flow into the Little River Salt Marsh. Additionally, an existing 42-inch culvert under Appledore Road was replaced with a 4 x 8-foot box culvert to improve tidal flow to the southern portion of the marsh. The University of New Hampshire (UNH) monitored conditions in the marsh prior to and following the replacement of the culverts.

Restoration Land Ownership

County or Municipal; Private

Parties Implementing Restoration

Natural Resource Conservation Service; New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service; Town of North Hampton, NH

DOI Project Representatives

Fish and Wildlife Service

Aerial view of the construction of the twin box culverts connecting the Little River Salt Marsh to the Gulf of Maine. , Credit: USFWS

Installation of the twin box culverts in October 2000. A cofferdam was built to provide a dry work area to install the pre-cast concrete sections., Credit: USFWS

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Restoration Documents

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