Section 483-B:1

    483-B:1 Purpose. –
The general court finds that:
I. The shorelands of the state are among its most valuable and fragile natural resources and their protection is essential to maintain the integrity of public waters.
I-a. A natural woodland buffer, consisting of trees and other vegetation located in areas adjoining public waters, functions to intercept surface runoff, wastewater, subsurface flow, and deeper groundwater flows from upland sources and to remove or minimize the effects of nutrients, sediment, organic matter, pesticides, and other pollutants and to moderate the temperature of the near-shore waters.
I-b. Scientific evidence has confirmed that even small areas of impervious surface coverage can have deleterious impacts on water quality and the aesthetic beauty of our lakes and rivers if not properly contained or managed within each watershed. These impacts are known to reduce recreational opportunity, reduce property values, and pose human health risks.
II. The public waters of New Hampshire are valuable resources held in trust by the state. The state has an interest in protecting those waters and has the jurisdiction to control the use of the public waters and the adjacent shoreland for the greatest public benefit.
III. There is great concern throughout the state relating to the utilization, protection, restoration and preservation of shorelands because of their effect on state waters.
IV. Under current law the potential exists for uncoordinated, unplanned and piecemeal development along the state's shorelines, which could result in significant negative impacts on the public waters of New Hampshire.

Source. 1991, 303:1. 2002, 263:1. 2008, 171:15, eff. July 1, 2008.