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.
The 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-655-4742.
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? You 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: http://iGive.com/welcome/warmwelcome.cfm?c=61689&m=836489 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 www.merrimack.org. 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.
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)!