Spofford Lake Association

Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act

The NH Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act (SWQPA), originally named the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act, sets forth requirements, restrictions, and guidelines on the maintenance of land adjacent to certain bodies of water. Our Spofford Lake is a NH Class A lake, and its shoreline is protected under these statutes. Property owners in the lake district should be aware of their responsibilities. With the adoption of SWQPA there have been changes in vegetative requirements, impervious surface limitations, and the permit process. This letter is written to help you answer questions regarding SWQPA, as well as interpret permit regulations and how to check on the status of existing projects with permits.


Detailed information on the act and your rights and responsibilities under the act can be found on the Internet. The Department of Environmental Services (DES) has a detailed presentation and fact sheets to assist you in understanding SWQPA and to give you valuable suggestions on protecting water quality. To access DES information you can go directly to their website at www.des.nh.gov.  Another option is to go to the Town of Chesterfield website at www.nhchesterfield.com . For specific links:


 “A Summary of the Standards-SWQPA”, http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wetlands/cspa/documents/summary_standards.pdf


“A Shoreland Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management”, (http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/publications/wd/documents/nhdes-wd-10-8.pdf)


“Frequently Asked Questions (about SWQPA)”, http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wetlands/cspa/categories/faq.htm


“Vegetation Maintenance within the Protected Shoreline”



“Checking on an Existing Permit”.   (http://www2.des.state.nh.us/OneStop/Wetlands_Permits_Results.aspx?FileNum=&Town=CHESTERFIELD&County=%&C_Type=%&Status=%&OName=&BDate=&EDate=&TaxMap=&WaterBody=%25&RBDate=&REDate= )


Facts to Know:


   The protected shoreline extends 250 feet landward.       

    Stormwater runoff can cause water quality decline and can be drastically     reduced by following simple, inexpensive suggestions outlined by DES.    

    No fertilizer or pesticide can be used within the first 25 feet of the shoreline.            Lime can be spread and is actually beneficial in lowering acidity.             

    Property owners, not hired professionals, are responsible for obtaining           permits for alteration of terrain and/or tree removal.