Our Estuaries Story…
Our estuaries have declined due to stress and are losing resilience to sustain themselves in the face of growing pressures. There are a number of contributing factors to consider; some are due to human activity while others are the result of natural processes beyond our immediate control. We must continue to work collaboratively to make our estuaries more resilient to the changes they are experiencing now, and those to come. To explore what makes our estuaries complex and interesting places along with data from our 23 indicators on the health of the Great Bay and Hampton-Seabrook estuaries, scroll down to view more on the pressures facing our system, the conditions of critical resources and water quality, and our management/social responses to these issues.
STRESS & RESILIENCE
Resilience: The capacity of an ecosystem to absorb repeated disturbances or shocks and adapt to change without continually degrading and fundamentally switching to an alternative stable state.
Driving warming waters, sea-level rise, more extreme storms, coastal acidification, and more.
Increasing populations impact our environment in many ways including demand for resources, loss of open space, and increased pollution.
Changes in the natural landscape for commercial, residential, and industrial purposes impact our environment. How we make those changes makes all the difference.
The ecosystem stressors above and others will continue. Focusing on resilience means pro-actively looking for ways to strengthen our ecosystem so that, when these stressors occur, our estuaries are better able to resist and recover from disturbance. Learn more in “The Big Picture.”
To help monitor the changes and stresses in the estuary, the Partnership collects over 1 million data points annually that we combine into a series of indicators that are organized into Pressure, Condition and Response.
Pressure indicators measure some of the key human stresses on our estuaries.
Condition indicators measure the current state of the conditions in our estuaries.
Response indicators track some key actions we are taking to restore our estuaries.
Social indicators measure the social landscape that could impact environmental indicators.