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About the MRWC

Conserving the Merrimack River

The Merrimack River, at 117 miles in length, drains a watershed of 5,000 square miles that sustains a population of over 2.5 million, while furnishing drinking water to over 600,000 people. Home to more than 200 New Hampshire and Massachusetts communities, the Merrimack watershed provides major recreational opportunities, diverse fish and wildlife habitat, and stunning scenic beauty

Who we are

The Merrimack River Watershed Council is a 501©3 non-profit organization that aims to improve and conserve the Merrimack River watershed for people and wildlife through advocacy, education, recreation, and science. MRWC was founded in 1976 when the Merrimack was one of the ten most polluted rivers in the country, and the river turned green, or red, or orange, depending on the color dye that was used in the mills that day. Today, the waters are swimmable and fishable many days of the year, but rapid development, climate change, old dams, sewage overflows, and polluted stormwater runoff remain threats to the long-term future of this major water source and natural resource.

Why We Care

From the beginning, MRWC has seen our mission as a mandate to both protect the community from the dangers of contamination in the water, and to engage and educate residents in protecting and preserving this vital natural resource. Clean water, a healthy watershed, and public access are key to our regional economy and quality of life. The Merrimack and its tributaries attract tourists, provide recreational opportunities, help to stimulate the area’s economy, increase property values, and support fish and wildlife

How we get it done

1) Advocacy – We expose the problems, mobilize people and influence policy.
2) Education – we absorb and distill the most current science, policy, and recreation information to educate and engage the public.
3) Recreation– we facilitate and support outdoor recreation opportunities and public access on the river.
4) Science– we collect and provide sound, reliable data and analysis to inform policy makers and the public about the conditions of the Merrimack River.

Become a business partner

Your support makes a huge difference! You’ll join a dedicated team of local businesses committed to preserving the Merrimack Valley’s natural resources for generations to come. Join MRWC, renew your annual partnership, or make a donation today!
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