New online map indicates Seacoast's dog-friendly beaches: Community news update

·6 min read

Seacoast Science Center creates map of dog-friendly beaches

Seacoast Science Center creates map of dog-friendly beaches to promote wildlife conservation. The map is a free resource to show dog owners where dogs are welcome and where their presence is restricted.
Seacoast Science Center creates map of dog-friendly beaches to promote wildlife conservation. The map is a free resource to show dog owners where dogs are welcome and where their presence is restricted.

RYE — Seacoast Science Center has announced the creation of a new digital resource for dog owners to help keep family pets as well as native wildlife species safe in the outdoor spaces they share. The new Dog-Friendly Beaches in New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts map is a free resource to show dog owners where dogs are welcome and where their presence is restricted. The map was researched and created by the Center’s Marine Mammal Rescue program and is available to all at

“As a federally designated marine mammal response agency, we have spent a lot of time on beaches in New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts over the past six years, and we often encounter curious dogs and humans getting too close to seals and other animals,” explained Brian Yurasits, SSC Marine Mammal Rescue Community Outreach Manager. “Seals are a protected species and they can be aggressive so it’s important for dogs and humans to give them wide berth. We love dogs and many on our team are dog owners, so we wanted to find a way to educate people about where dogs should and shouldn’t be, as well as what to do if they encounter a seal hauled out on the beach.”

Working in collaboration with all coastal municipalities at town, state, and federal levels, the SSC team developed the interactive ARC-GIS map to provide the most-accurate and comprehensive regulations for dog-owners. It’s a one-stop-shop for dog owners to help them plan where to go for walks and where dogs are restricted. Key information is provided for each beach from New Hampshire’s northern border down to Essex, Mass., so the map can also be a resource for people who don’t have pets.

“Though most beachgoers mean well, many don’t understand that their dogs can seriously injure marine mammals if they approach too closely, and vice versa,” Yurasits said. “We run into this issue at nearly every response we’re involved with, so we are happy to offer this comprehensive digital resource that people can consult before leaving home. Helping people and their pets share the shore in a respectful way is our primary goal with this new map.”

The Seacoast Science Center is a non-profit institution based in Rye dedicated to inspiring conservation and educating people of all ages about the wonders of the ocean. Seacoast Science Center’s Marine Mammal Rescue team responds to an average of 110 animals each year, though this year the team has already logged 129 responses. For more information on the Seacoast Science Center and the SSC Marine Mammal Rescue program, visit

Dover Professional Firefighters gives to DOVER400

DOVER – Dover400, a committee organizing Dover’s 400th Anniversary, has announced the Dover Professional Firefighters Association has donated $400 to support the festivities surrounding Dover’s 400th birthday in 2023.

During October’s Apple Harvest Day, the association designed Halloween-themed stickers for sale, donating $1 for every sticker sold to Dover 400 for its efforts in putting together the citywide celebration. “This is a creative way to bring community together during one of Dover’s most popular events - Apple Harvest Day,” said Kevin McEneaney, president of Dover400. “We are so grateful for the Association’s contribution to our fundraising efforts.”

The N.H. Professional Firefighters Association represents more than 2,000 active and retired professional firefighters and paramedics across the Granite State.

Thompson Endowment Fund awards $129K in grants

PORTSMOUTH – The Roger R. and Theresa S. Thompson Endowment Fund announces the awarding of $129,000 in grants to six non-profit organizations in New Hampshire and Maine with programs that benefit Seacoast residents.

Theresa Thompson established the endowment fund in memory of her husband Roger, to make a difference in the local community by rewarding six specific educational and charitable organizations whose work was having a positive local impact on the Seacoast communities of New Hampshire and Maine. It was important to her to retain local administration of the grants so that there was a direct connection between the Trustees and the organizations she believed were the best able to create a lasting legacy in the names of Roger R. and Theresa S. Thompson. Although the six organizations named in the fund are set, the Trustees determine each one’s eligibility for grants on an annual basis, reviewing not only their proposals but their achievements working with previous grant funds.

The Trustees of the Trust have approved grants for the following initiatives planned by the non-profits designated in the Trust:

Strawbery Banke Museum of Portsmouth for the design of a new Scholar-In-Residence program at the museum; Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, Dover, to enhance its Cochecosystem Nature Exhibit; Berwick Academy of Berwick Maine, to support the Thompson Scholars scholarship program for local youth.

In making the announcement, Managing Trustee Charles B. Doleac said, “As the pandemic continues to demonstrate the importance of local organizations and initiatives working to benefit the Seacoast community, the Roger R. and Theresa S. Thompson Endowment Fund trustees are pleased to recognize the work of the six Thompson Fund beneficiaries by awarding this year’s grants. Theresa Thompson chose the specific framework of the Fund because she believed it was critical to have local Trustees, who not only retained oversight of a fund benefitting local organizations but could foster an environment that trained future trustees for the fund, the beneficiaries and the community. The Thompson Fund also offers an example of how benefactors can retain local control and make a local impact.”

The distributions are not guaranteed and the non-profits named in the Trust must apply each year to be considered for the beneficiary awards that are paid from the income of the Roger R. and Theresa S. Thompson estate trust fund. To learn more about Thompson Fund beneficiaries and prior grant-funded initiatives, please visit and follow the Thompson Fund on Facebook.

‘Haunted Overload’ fundraiser benefits Pope Memorial Humane Society-Cocheco Valley

DOVER — For the 11th year in a row, Haunted Overload has teamed up with Pope Memorial Humane Society-Cocheco Valley (PMHS-CV) to present “Haunted Overload.” The Haunted Overload team is generously donating a portion of the proceeds from their ground-breaking attraction to support animals in need.

PMHS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 1984 in Dover, N.H. to serve the animal welfare needs of Strafford County, N.H. and Southern Maine. PMHS provides a transitional safe and loving home to more than 1,000 animals each year. Care and medical treatment is provided to every animal with help from the generous support of our community and events such as Haunted Overload, as PMHS-CV receives no federal or state funding.

PMHS-CV is honored to be partnered with Haunted Overload. On Nov. 13, Eric Lowther and the Haunted Overload team presented the shelter with another large check for $71,328 bringing their grand total of donations to PMHS-CV to $418,510 including a $50,000 donation to the capital campaign to build a new shelter. This money has been used to create a cat playroom in the new building and to support the care of animals for the past 10 years.

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Update: Seacoast Science Center, Dover400, Pope Memorial Humane Society

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting