Posted ago by Caroly Shumway




Lisa painting (2)

Painting by Lisa Anderson-Bisson
The Merrimack River Watershed Council’s Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, February 28th from 11:00AM – 1:00PM at Heritage State Park on 1 Jackson Street in Lawrence, MA. We are inviting all members, donors and volunteers to join us for a FREE brunch AND:
  • Annual highlightsBrian_Hotz_HeadShot_2013
  • A chance to bid on silent auction items
  • Board of Director/Officers elections
  • To help us honor our friend and colleague Joan Kulash, Executive Director of Jericho Road

Our guest speaker this year will be Brian Hotz, Vice President for Land Conservation for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, speaking on Prioritizing Land Conservation in the Merrimack Watershed. As Vice President for Land Conservation for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Brian’s primary responsibilities are to oversee the Forest Society’s Land Protection and Conservation Easement Stewardship Departments and implement strategic land protection initiatives. The Forest Society’s mission is to conserve land and other natural resources. Brian has a Masters in Science from the University of Wisconsin’s Land Resources Program and has worked at the Forest Society since 1998.

We would like to know how many of you will attend so please - RSVP HERE by February 20th.


Click Here to donate to our Annual Fund Drive

Dear Friends,This year is special. Special, because of members like you and because of members like you, we are working harder than ever before to protect our most valued assets along and around the Merrimack River. Special, because we appreciate our volunteers, members, board members and elected officers who have so generously offered their time, money, and talents so we can meet our goals. Special, because of people like Joan Kulash, Executive Director of Jericho Road,who works so hard to find us the ‘just right’ volunteers to help us meet those goals.That’s right, this year, we honor our dear friend and colleague Joan Kulash, for finding us the BEST volunteers. Volunteers that help us make our programs such tremendous successes; volunteers that have donated their time, talents and sometimes their money to help us reach out to you, clean our river, plan, organize and manage events; volunteers that have done whatever it takes to get the job done. We appreciate them all and we appreciate Aunty Joan for bringing them all to us.
Annual Fund Drive Update
thermometer_50 THANK YOU for the many generous contributions we have received so far! We have now reached 50% of our goal for this annual drive, but we are only half-way there! PLEASE contribute TODAY, to help us reach our goal for January.
Click Here to donate online NOW to help us reach our goal OR you can mail your check to:Merrimack River Watershed Council
60 Island Street, Suite 211E
Lawrence, MA 01840
Deanne Guardino,
Director of Development


Proposed Pipeline No Longer Runs Through Pine Island!

Posted ago by Josh Chase
Big pipeline news, and GREAT news for MRWC, our partners, people, and wildlife in the Merrimack watershed!The proposed Kinder Morgan lateral pipeline route was revised yesterday, Dec. 8th. See: The revisions take into account the considerable opposition raised by conservation groups throughout the state, including MRWC. Kudos to all who helped oppose the route! Your voices mattered!

As currently proposed, the route will no longer pass thru MRWC’s Pine Island or other conservation lands in Andover. The proposed route is also largely along existing utility corridors. The river crossing is been moved to along the power lines just downstream from Nickel Mine Brook in Dracut.While the MRWC still opposes the project as a whole from a climate change and energy-needs perspective, we are very happy about this alteration in the planned route, as well as the larger pipeline changes. The proposed change will lessen the impact to conservation lands, people, and wildlife, in the event that the pipeline does go forward.

River Cleanup at the Lowell Heritage State Park

Posted ago by Josh Chase

Twelve volunteers from UMass Lowell and Lowell High School’s Environmental Club came to Lowell Heritage State Park on the 18th of October and cleaned up 84 pounds of trash about 1/4th of a mile along the Merrimack River. With the guidance of Caroly Shumway, three seniors in the Environmental Health Program at UMass Lowell organized the river clean up.

River Clean up photo1The coordinators contacted Coastsweep, which is an organization that sends materials  to organizers to facilitate a river clean up. Coastsweep sends gloves, trash bags, data cards, and sign up sheets. Volunteers tally up the types of trash they pick up, and this data is sent back to Coastsweep. Coastsweep compiles the data, analyzes trends, and investigates sources of the pollution.

Volunteers filled 6 trash bags which made up 84 pounds of trash! Some of their major findings included:

  • 211 bottle caps
  • 97 food wrappers
  • 57 cigarette butts
  • 52 plastic bottles
  • 41 glass bottles

Join Our Board!

Posted ago by Caroly Shumway

We are currently recruiting new Board members for 3+ open positions.  Board members are volunteers actively engaged in the oversight of our nonprofit. Board members use their passion and professional expertise to advance our mission to protect and improve the watershed for people and wildlife, and to help people enjoy the Merrimack River. We are seeking diverse, experienced people from MA or NH with expertise in  fundraising, finances, community/business engagement, river recreation (paddling, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking), or the environment. Meetings are held monthly in the evening. Preference will be given to individuals living in the Merrimack watershed with 5 or more years of experience or a graduate degree and 2 or more years of experience. Three-year commitment. Inquiries welcome.  Send your resume and cover letter to or call 978-655-4742.



Posted ago by Caroly Shumway




For 37 years, The Merrimack River Watershed Council has worked to make the river cleaner, and taught kids to inspire the next generation of river heroes. The Merrimack River has come a long way since the industrial era; it is now cleaner than it has been in years. Bald eagles have returned, and shellfishing has opened at Joppa Flats, Newburyport for the first time in 80 years!  More people are swimming, boating, and fishing the river than ever.

BUT We need YOUR help. We can’t do our education or testing efforts without funds. Talk is cheap; ACTION isn’t!

Here are some EASY ways for you to help support our efforts.

1. JOIN iGive. What is iGIVE?  YiGive.comou can support the MRWC for FREE every time you shop online at any of 1070 stores. Just sign up for a FREE IGIVE account! I hope you’ll give it a try. Go to: to sign up today!

2.  SUPPORT OUR ANNUAL FUND. Consider a gift of $100 or more to Merrimack River Watershed Council’s 2014 Annual Fund Campaign. Why give to the Annual Fund?  The Annual Fund raises unrestricted dollars to cover immediate operational needs.  In 2014, your donations will sponsor hands-on environmental education programs for children and adults and critical water testing in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Donations are tax-deductible and can be made by check or online at Annual fund donations are a gift above and beyond your membership.Please give generously to this annual appeal. Your support helps us protect and improve the river for people and wildlife, now and for future generations.

Birds of the Merrimack. Photos courtesy of Craig Gibson.

Posted ago by Caroly Shumway


Posted ago by Caroly Shumway

Merrifest 2014

Posted ago by Caroly Shumway

 Merrifestflyer2014final with sponsors24web

Merrifest Event Flyer!
Artists Wanted!
Application to Participate in Art Show
Application to Be a Vendor at Merrifest2014!
Become A Sponsor of Merrifest2014!
Food Vendors Wanted!
Application to Volunteer at Merrifest2014!


Sponsored By











Corporate Sponsors                             Business Sponsors

Enterprise logo

Normandeau Logo aihorsleywittenlogo_notext



Paddle Trip in the Merrimack River

Posted ago by Caroly Shumway
05 Paul (2)
05 Paul (2)
01 first landmark- the Route 111 bridge (2)
01 first landmark- the Route 111 bridge (2)
03 Approaching the old bridge abutments (2)
03 Approaching the old bridge abutments (2)
18 Bald Eagle (2)
18 Bald Eagle (2)
20 Bald Eagle (2)
20 Bald Eagle (2)
22 Bald Eagle (2)
22 Bald Eagle (2)
23 Bald Eagle (2)
23 Bald Eagle (2)


Posted ago by Caroly Shumway






This Saturday, Oct. 13th, the Merrimack River Watershed Council received a Certificate  of Special Congressional Recognition from  Congresswoman Niki Tsongas “for our continued dedication and commitment to cleaning and monitoring the Merrrimack River, and for educating the public about the importance of this wonderful natural resource.

We participated in Congresswoman Tsongas’ 6th River Day, after finishing our river cleanup in Newburyport in collaboration with the Boat Camp Nature School. The cleanup was part of CoastSweep.

Other nonprofits who received the recognition included Friends of the Bradford Rail Trail, whose newly established trail marked the ceremony.

Many thanks to Congresswoman Tsongas for her continued dedication to the Merrimack River, and to those who helped in the River Cleanup (some of our volunteers are shown below)!