Latest News


On January 31st, the DES held a webinar concerning the newly released “Cyanobacteria Plan: A Statewide Strategy”.

If you were unable to attend the webinar, it is posted at

Should you have any questions, please contact:

Tracie Sales
Rivers and Lakes Programs Administrator
Rivers and Lakes Management and Protection Programs
Watershed Management Bureau, Water Division
NH Department of Environmental Services
29 Hazen Drive,  P.O. Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-2959


US Department of Agriculture Rural Development - Together America Prospers


USDA and EPA Strengthen Partnership to Improve Access to Modern and Affordable Wastewater Infrastructure for People in Rural America

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Farah Ahmad today announced that USDA is strengthening its partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a network of 25 organizations to help people in rural and underserved communities access affordable, modern and safe wastewater infrastructure.

The actions being announced today further the continued collaborations between both agencies to revitalize the nation’s wastewater infrastructure, improve water quality and protect the health of people living in rural areas.

“Decentralized wastewater systems are an integral component of our nation’s wastewater infrastructure, especially in rural areas where centralized treatment is often too expensive or unavailable,” Ahmad said. “USDA is committed to doing everything we can to ensure every family in America has access to modern, reliable wastewater infrastructure. That’s why we are strengthening our partnership with EPA to help historically underserved communities identify and pursue federal funding opportunities to address their wastewater needs. These efforts have enormous impact because when we invest in rural infrastructure, we invest in the livelihoods and health of people in rural America.”

To learn more, read full NEWS RELEASE.


Planning Lunches at Noon (PLAN) Monthly Webinar Series

The NH Office of Planning and Development (OPD) conducts monthly webinar series every third Thursday from 12 pm to 1 pm concerning various planning and zoning topics. To view upcoming webinars, click here.
Registration is required. All sessions are recorded and later published on their website and YouTube channel.
The webinar is a joint collaboration of NHOPD, NHMA, and the Regional Planning Commissions represented by Southern NH Planning Commission.

For assistance or if you have any questions, please e-mail


Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC)

The NBRC has announced $43.6 million in new awards. Of that, nearly $20 million is from the Catalyst Program competition stemming from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Use these links to view the Press Release and the NH Award Recipients, including the GALA Community Center (grant administered by LRPC's Tracey Secula), the Lakes Region Model Railroad Museum (grant coached by LRPC's Executive Director Jeffrey Hayes) and Town of Gilford - Foam Recycling Project (grant application submitted by LRPC's Matthew Rose).

State Ten Year Plan on Transportation

Proposed Lakes Region Projects in 2023 - 2032 Ten Year Plan

The purpose of the State's Ten Year Plan is to develop and implement a plan allowing New Hampshire to fully participate in federally supported transportation improvement projects as well as to outline projects and programs funded with State transportation dollars. View list of projects.


The US Department of Agriculture has recently published its Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Impact Report for Vermont and New Hampshire. This document contains information on projects by counties as well as program reports on housing, water & environment, community, business & cooperative, and electric & telecom.
Through its wide variety of programs, USDA Rural Development works with municipalities, businesses, regional development corporations, institutions of higher education, non-profit entities, and agricultural producers as well as rural residents in an effort to strengthen communities, increase quality of life, and expand local economies.
Click here to view the full report.


Broadband Technical Assistance Program: USDA Offers New Funding to Promote the Expansion of High-Speed Internet in Rural Areas.

$20 million in Technical Assistance Funding is Available to Plan High-Speed Internet Projects in Rural Communities.
Click here to read the April 17, 2023 press release.


Congratulations to our 2022 Preservation Achievement Award Winners!

Nine rescue, rehabilitation, and revitalization projects and two outstanding leaders of the preservation movement were unveiled on May 3. The 2022 Preservation Alliance's Preservation Achievement Award winners include the preservation of rare and iconic properties, stewardship of community assets and gathering places, and community development successes.

"It is wonderful for us to have the opportunity to honor people who are making a difference in communities across the state," said Nicholas Mitchell, Chairman of the Preservation Alliance Board of Directors. "These are the kinds of places we can't imagine New Hampshire without," said Jennifer Goodman, Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance, "and we hope these awards help inspire more preservation activity."

Click here to learn more.

The Planning Board in New Hampshire: A Handbook for Local Officials (updated 2021)
The Board of Adjustment in New Hampshire: A Handbook for Local Officials (updated 2021)

2021 editions of the Office of Strategic Initiatives's (OSI) handbooks for Planning and Zoning Boards are now available. Designed to serve as introductions to the organization, powers, duties, and procedures of Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Adjustment in New Hampshire, these guides will acquaint board members and others with the basic board responsibilities of each and suggest procedures by which the work of the boards can be carried out in a fair and effective manner.

Visit the OSI website where you can view additional planning and zoning publications.


USDA Launches Resource Guide on Building a Recreation Economy

July 2020 — USDA has launched a Recreation Economy Resource Guide to provide rural community leaders and economic development practitioners a complete list of programs at Rural Development, Forest Service, and National Institute for Food and Agriculture that can be used to support recreational economies in rural America. 

The guide addresses key factors necessary to build a sustainable recreational economy including natural resource management, conservation activities, infrastructure investment, business development and more.

New Hampshire Broadband Impact Survey

State of New Hampshire
Social Distancing Broadband Impact

Take the Survey to help the State identify gaps in residential Internet connectivity.

State Ten Year Plan on Transportation

Proposed Lakes Region Projects in 2021-2030 Ten Year Plan

The purpose of the State's Ten Year Plan is to develop and implement a plan allowing New Hampshire to fully participate in federally supported transportation improvement projects as well as to outline projects and programs funded with State transportation dollars. View list of projects.

A resource for farmers and municipal decision makers


Headwaters Economics Toolset

Economic Profile System

In 2017 we were introduced to the Headwaters Economics Toolset. Using these report generators you can download socioeconomic reports of communities, counties, and states, including aggregations and comparisons. The Economic Profile System (EPS) uses federal data sources, including the Bureaus of Economic Analysis, Census, & others. EPS is also known as the Human Dimensions Toolkit by the Forest Service. Try it yourself here.

We'd like to thank
UNH Cooperative Extension for providing us reports for all of the towns in the Lakes Region. Click the links below to view the reports. They will also be available on the towns' pages.

Please note: This information changes frequently. These reports were generated on July 14, 2017. For more up-to-date information, please use the tool to generate your own reports.

Alexandria Hebron
Alton Hill
Andover Holderness
Ashland Laconia
Barnstead Meredith
Belmont Moultonborough
Bridgewater New Hampton
Bristol Northfield
Center Harbor Ossipee
Danbury Sanbornton
Effingham Sandwich
Franklin Tamworth
Freedom Tilton
Gilford Tuftonboro
Gilmanton Wolfeboro