The Merrimack River Watershed Council (MRWC) has a lot going on this spring and we are inviting our members and friends to be a part of it. It's because of friends and members like you that we are able to forge new partnerships/relationships, gain awesome new members and create many new programs all aimed at the common goal: clean, safe drinking water and a river that's enjoyed by the people all wildlife that depend on it. We want to keep you informed of the ways YOU are making a difference!
Note from our Executive Director
Signs of spring are emerging and with new life comes new programs at MRWC. We are developing opportunities to engage you, our friends and members, in celebrating our river. This newsletter highlights one of these opportunities: a fun members night of beer-tasting and movie-watching in Nashua, NH; we hope you will join us!  
We're also working on the following:
  • Identifying locations for river buffer protection and restoration throughout our watershed with our USFS grant and partners;
  • Working with Methuen High Green Club in our RiverProtectors Program;
  • Developing educational material and prepping for spring trail-clearing, invasive plant removal, and planting at our bird sanctuary in Andover (funded by the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation);
  • Developing a 5-year strategic plan for MRWC;
  • Working with other river advocates to fight  the proposed KinderMorgan pipeline, and;
  • Wrapping up our river herring collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership on developing priority restoration actions for key east coast rivers. 


  • We need experienced trail-builders and paddlers to help lead our Trail Clearing, invasive plant removal, and native planting effort at our bird sanctuary in Andover, MA; 
  • We need trip-leaders to lead a trip or two for our Paddling Program this  summer;  
  • We need volunteers to assist with additional river cleanups in NH and MA; 
  • We need experienced rowers to help us plan a race at MerriFEST2015, Sat. Aug. 1st;
  • We need other volunteers to assist with games and other tasks at MerriFEST2105, on Sat. Aug. 1st, 11-3 at the Greater Lawrence Community Boathouse.  
To become a volunteer, to get  involved, to be enlightened, to be a part of fun and rewarding events, contact  Deanne Guardino, Director of Development to    let her know how you can help! Check out our upcoming events below.

Friday April 17th from 10AM - NOON
Earth Day River Cleanup
Merrimack River Watershed Council and Hanscom Air Force Base are cleaning up the headwaters of the Shawsheen River and its wetlands for Earth Day 2015. Hanscom AFB is having its Annual Earth Day River Cleanup and MRWC will be there working side-by-side with 6th and 7th graders, the AFB, and other volunteers on this Earth Day River Cleanup. The activities will include two workshops for learning about climate change, water cycle, weather affects, drinking water, and the river's eco-system. This event is sponsored by the 66th Air Base Group of Civil Engineering Environment Office and MRWC.

Saturday April 25th 9AM-12PM
Stormwater Faire
6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA

Come to this family-fun event with kid-friendly activities and demonstrations on how to prevent water pollution. MRWC will host a booth with a watershed game and arts/crafts, and info. Sponsored by Newburyport, Newbury, Rowley, and Salisbury.


Thursday May 7th - 6:30-9:00PM
Craft Beer Tasting Movie Night  (RSVP BY FRIDAY APRIL 24!)
Martha's Exchange Tavern, Nashua, NH
You will enjoy tasting 8 of Martha's craft beers, get to meet other MRWC members in a fun, relaxed setting, and view the film DamNation. This powerful film explores our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders, to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. When obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access.

DamNation opens big, on a birth, with the stirring words of Franklin D. Roosevelt at the dedication of Hoover Dam, and on a death, as the engineer at Elwha Dam powers down the turbine on its last day. DamNation stints neither the history nor the science of dams, and above all conveys experiences known so far to only a few, including the awe of watching a 30-pound salmon hurtling 20 feet into the air in a vain attempt to reach the spawning grounds that lie barricaded upriver. We witness the seismic power of a dam breaking apart and, once the river breaks free, the elation in a watching wild salmon - after a century of denied access - swimming their way home.

Call Deanne Guardino, Director of Development for more info at 978-655-4742 by 4/20/2015 or click here to RSVP via email.
Where?  Martha's Brewery Exchange -  185 Main St, Nashua, NH
Donation:  $35/pp (includes beer tasting, DamNation film, and light snacks)  
This is a fun trip with some quick water and suitable for beginners. It is a quiet, pretty stretch of the river. We will have lunch on the river and maybe go for a swim. A PFD and signed waiver will be required. Please register about a week before the event using this link: REGISTER HERE


Saturday - June 20  

Join us for a leisurely paddle on the Merrimack River starting in Chelmsford, MA. This is a joint event led by the NH-AMC Paddlers. You will be required to sign a liability waiver and you must wear a PFD on the trip. Register for the trip by contacting John Pilla. CONTACT JOHN
Saturday - July 11
Join us for a leisurely paddle on the Nashua River, a tributary to the Merrimack river. This is a joint event led by the NH-AMC Paddlers. You will be required to sign a liability waiver and you must wear a PFD on the trip. Register for the trip by contacting John Pilla. CONTACT JOHN 




Thanks to all those who attended and contributed to our annual meeting. It was a huge success. Become a member of MRWC and be a part of our river loving community.

Download and read our Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2014

Thanks to those who have already given so generously to the Annual Fund. It's because of your generous donations that we have made tremendous strides to reach our goal of $12,000 in this Annual Fund Drive, but we have landed short of the mark. It's not too late to reach that goal, though. Donate now to our Annual Fund. This fund helps to pay our operating costs, so please click the link below to donate now.


Caroly Shumway Ph.D., Executive Director