The New England Sustainability Consortium (NEST)

Boat Loaded


Researchers from the natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, and the humanities are collaborating and combining their expertise to solve sustainability challenges. The multi-state NEST teams approach also benefits from the local knowledge and know-how of diverse stakeholders representing government, business and industry, and non-governmental organizations.

Two current projects include:


Safe Beaches and Shellfish

With the estimated annual value of coastal recreation at $20 billion nationally and $400 million in ME and NH, coastal closures represent a significant problem. As long-term trends indicate worsening coastal pollution, researchers in New Hampshire and Maine work to increase the safety of coastal beaches and shellfish beds that are threatened by bacterial pollution and other microbial pathogens. View NSF Press Release

The Future of Dams

Hydropower is a major source of renewable energy in New England with 50 dams scheduled for relicensing in the next decade. Dams can have adverse effects on coastal ecosystems and economies (fisheries). They provide recreational and water supply benefits for many communities but some pose safety and liability risks due to age and poor condition. New research collaborations happening between New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine can empower and strengthen connections between science and complex decisions.


Image: University of New Hampshire Oyster Research Program recycles shells to help restore oyster reefs in New Hampshires Great Bay. Credit: Rebecca Zeiber, NH Sea Grant