August 5, 2021
Two years ago, the Water/Stormwater Division of the Portsmouth Department of Public Works introduced “Blue, the Happy Fish” as a mascot for its efforts to educate the public about increasing their water use efficiency and protecting Portsmouth’s water resources. An annual series of messages encourages the public to “Think Blue” when it comes to lawn care, leaf collection, proper disposal of household hazardous waste and pet waste. With 2,572 licensed dogs in Portsmouth, encouraging owners to pick up after their dogs helps to keep pet waste from polluting the environment with extra nitrogen that encourages algae blooms.
A new 90-second video, “Dog Park Debacle,” produced by DPW Stormwater and Water Quality GIS Specialist Phoebe Rafferty and summer associate Daniel Okuniewicz delivers those educational messages with humor and a few guest stars, including City Attorney Bob Sullivan and his dog, Panda.
The video provided the opportunity to launch a new “Think Blue Portsmouth NH” page on Instagram. The video is also now posted on the Stormwater “Think Blue” page on the City website. Additional video content is in the works.
More than 71 percent of the land surrounding the watershed is private property, and as such, the efforts of landowners to reduce pollution and adopt more efficient practices for conserving water and to understand how stormwater runoff impacts the watershed are critical to the health of the City’s drinking water sources, waterways and the Great Bay estuary.