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
Our mission is to improve and conserve the Merrimack River watershed for
people and wildlife through advocacy, education, recreation, and science
MRWC was founded over four decades ago when the Merrimack was one of the ten most polluted rivers in the country. Today, the waters are swimmable and fishable many days of the year. But rapid housing development, unneeded dams, sewage overflows, polluted stormwater runoff, and toxins remain a threat to the long-term future of this major water source and natural resource.
• Work with legislators, public officials, and other non-profits to address threats to the
Merrimack and its watershed
• Educate the public about issues affecting the health of the river
• Engage our river communities in protecting the Merrimack watershed through special
events, public forums, and social media
• Promote public access to, and enjoyment of, the Merrimack and its tributaries and nearby
Specific areas of focus include:
• Combined sewer overflows (CSOs)
• Climate change resiliency
• Stormwater management and education
• Sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs)
• Riparian (riverside) forest preservation
• Fish and wildlife habitat enhancement and monitoring
• Invasive species removal
• River and riverside trash cleanup
• Group kayaking and canoeing trips
• Educational events focusing on the ecology and history of the Merrimack River and
its many communities
• Hikes and walks in local green spaces
Please check this website and our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds for the latest news and events.
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.
There's lots to do! First, please join us as a member if you have not already done so, or make a donation. Then, get informed and bring the family -- all year long we sponsor talks about local history, fishing, gardening and more. Lace up your boots or jump in a kayak -- we love to work with volunteers on river clean-ups, tree planting projects, and invasive plant removal, among other activities.
More? Support land conservation in your community, plant a rain garden, install a rain barrel, or contact your local representatives about water quality issues that matter to you. OR: if you are from Newburyport (or even if you aren't), please take the Watershed Pledge, developed by our friends at the River Valley Charter School.
Need ideas? Say hello by emailing [email protected], and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We'd love to hear from you!