New Hampshire

Protect Sawyer’s Beach in Rye, NH!

Victory | March 12 2019

Clean Water

The Surfrider NH chapter worked to ensure that no porta-potties could ever be placed at Sawyer's Beach in Rye.

The Surfrider Foundation New Hampshire Chapter scored a victory on 1/19/19 when they helped defeat a proposal to place a porta-potty at Sawyer's Beach in Rye

Grounds for opposition included:

  • The proposed location of the porta-potty would be on a permeable surface unlike the units located at Jenness State Beach (during construction) parking lot and Cable Road. While not ideal for placement at all, if approved, the porta-potty should be on pavement, far away from water points, and off the sand & rocks.
  • The proposed location of this facility may violate the town’s storm water and sanitary sewer use ordinances.
  • The porta-potty contains blue dye (usually non-toxic but even if deemed “environmentally friendly” or “biodegradable”is toxic to fish and should never go untreated), fragrance, biocides, and of course, human waste. A high tide, storm surge, or wind event will increase the likelihood of damage to the unit or contents to spill on to the ground and soil, dangerously close to both the eel pond and oceanfront. Damage to the shale pile occurred in the winter 2017-2018 season and, high tide events and storms occur in the summer season.
  • While we realize porta-potties are a nice convenience, there are currently enough facilities in the vicinity to Sawyer's Beach, making this request, given its negative environmental impacts and duplicative nature, unnecessary.
  • A porta-potty would attract more traffic along Rt 1A, collect trash in and around the unit, and be aesthetically unpleasing along this beautiful stretch of the coast. 

After the initial victory, the Beach Committee submitted article 35 that was then voted on at the March 12, 2019 Town Election. The article passed by a wide margin of 1209 to 404, meaning that no porta-potties will ever be able to be placed at Sawyer's Beach!!


The best way to support our work is to become a member of the Surfrider Foundation.

To get more directly involved in our efforts in New Hampshire, please give our chair a shout at You can also visit our NH Chapter Facebook page to see when our next meeting or event is, and come on out!!! We need you! The ocean needs you! Get involved today!

Clean Water

Everyone should have access to clean water to surf, swim and play in. The Surfrider Foundation is taking a multi-tiered approach to tackle ocean pollution problems. We are testing the waters for bacteria and toxins, raising public awareness and finding real solutions to ocean pollution; solutions that restore healthy watersheds, protect local water supplies and keep pollution from reaching the ocean.

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