MANCHESTER — A commissioner for the Port of Manchester has been charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense for taking part in shoreline construction without a required state permit. According to an investigative report, Commissioner Jim Strode, 62, admitted that he was present when port workers, using heavy equipment, removed a log from the water near the port’s dock and placed it on the beach at Pomeroy Park. The incident occurred Dec. 4.
Because the port failed to obtain an HPA for the work, the project was not reviewed for potential damage to fish life, Waldbillig said in his report. At a minimum, the site should have been reviewed for the presence of eggs laid by forage fish, such as surf smelt, which could have been destroyed by the activity.“Shoreline modifications, such as this project constructed along the shoreline, can result in both direct and indirect losses of important habitats for marine fish, invertebrates and wildlife,” the report concludes.
Failure to obtain a hydraulic project approval is considered a gross misdemeanor with penalties of up to a year in jail, a $5,000 fine and requirements for restitution.