The Portsmouth Severodvinsk Connection (PSC) is committed to enhancing relations support and mutual understanding between the regions of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Severodvinsk, Russia through cooperative exchanges of people and ideas in the areas of education, environment, social services, shipyard redevelopment, business and culture.
The PSC was founded as a non-profit organization in 1994 after Josh Handler of the Moscow Greenpeace office visited Severodvinsk in 1990. When he met Macy Morse of Portsmouth, NH at a Moscow conference in the early 90's he told her about Severodvinsk and they discussed the idea of setting up a connection and maybe an exchange between the two submarine cities. This happened in 1994 when the first citizens delegation visited Portsmouth followed by a reciprocal visit of Portsmouth citizens to Severodvinsk in 1995 when formal papers were signed. Exchanges included environmentalists, shipyard officials, educators, journalists, city officials, etc and have continued since that time.
Portsmouth and Severodvinsk residents are linked by history (Cold War submarine shipyards) and geography (both are seacoast regions with nearby natural resources of river, forest and ocean.) As exchanges continued through he 90's friendships developed and a foundation was laid for more in depth exchange in this decade.
Some of the issues discussed in the exchanges included sustainable development of natural resources and establishing democratic and legal institutions.
In 1996 the PSC received a $25,000 grant from the EPA to bring Severodvinsk officials and journalists to Portsmouth to discuss water quality issues. Although the original PSC intention of supporting shipyard conversion to peacetime activity remained, we branched out into other areas of interest including education, health, environment and media.