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Newburyporters: Take the Watershed Pledge

Newburyporters: Take the Watershed Pledge



Are you a Newburyport resident and are you interested in protecting the long-term health of your Merrimack River? Here’s a way to do it — take the Merrimack Watershed Pledge. 

As a loyal steward of the Merrimack River Watershed, I/we pledge to…

Commit to River-Friendly Lawn Care

  • Avoid pesticides and herbicides and/or use organic and eco-friendly products
  • Minimize use of fertilizers or use organic and eco-friendly treatments
  • Dispose of lawn clippings properly
  • Properly dispose of pet waste

Limit and Filter Runoff

  • Consider using rain barrels. Check the city’s program.
  • Plant rain gardens, trees, or other plants to aid filtration
  • Use gravel or other permeable surfaces rather than blacktop/cement
  • Use alternatives to road salt, such as sand

Care for Nearby Storm Drains

  • Don’t dump waste (especially petroleum products and paint) into storm drains
  • Remove leaves and other debris that block the flow of water
  • Help the public works department by shoveling out storm drains, if possible

Encourage Eco-Friendly Development Choices

  • Limit development on my street and along the waterfront
  • Look into renewable energy sources such as solar power. See the city’s website
  • Research and purchase energy-saving appliances

Reduce and Eliminate Waste and Litter

  • Properly dispose of all chemicals in city-approved collections
  • Do not litter
  • Eliminate the use of plastic bags
  • Recycle ALL items on the city approved list
  • Compost through the city or with my own composter: com

Educate My Peers On The Problem At Hand

  • Spread the word to my family, neighbors, or at my school and workplace.


Yes! I/we pledge to each other to save the Merrimack and will take as many of these actions as possible


This pledge was prepared by the 2017- 2018 middle school students of the River Valley Charter School (a regional public Montessori charter school). RVCS Students have been environmental stewards of our community since the school’s inception in 1999. In addition to this Pledge, these students have prepared artistic renderings that will be incorporated into storm drain markers and stencil warnings. This spring, they will install these next to roadway catch basins in hopes of educating the public that everything that enters the basins will end up in our rivers, streams, and beaches.

As part of the EPA’s NPDES MS4 Permit requirements, the City must manage its stormwater systems and make strides to keep our runoff as clean as possible before discharging into our watersheds. Public awareness and education are essential to achieving compliance with the MS4 Permit and preventing trash and toxins from polluting our waterways.

If your school or organization would like to get involved in a similar effort or has ideas on how to improve the quality of our waterways and need assistance from the City, please contact the Engineering Division of the Newburyport Department of Public Services at 978-465-4464, x1710 or visit the city’s website.