The Alliance of Climate and Environmental Stewards (ACES) has launched a survey to gain insights into the experiences of recreational and commercial users of the Merrimack River. This general survey has been developed to support the ongoing efforts of multiple municipalities, state and federal officials, organizations, agencies, and the public in their quest for a river that is healthy for all users. ACES’ survey will gather data needed to present a comprehensive picture of the importance of the Merrimack’s water quality supported by public opinion and directed at influencing needed focus.
The Merrimack River drains a watershed of 5,000 square miles that sustains over 2.5 million citizens, supplies drinking water to 600,000 Merrimack Valley residents, and provides major recreational opportunities, diverse fish and wildlife habitat, and stunning scenic beauty to more than 200 New Hampshire and Massachusetts communities.
Recently, there has been heightened concern for the health of the Merrimack Riverdue to the long-term effects of industrialization, population growth, combined sewer overflows, increased upland runoff, and a variety of point and nonpoint source pollutants including plastics debris. In 2016, the Merrimack was listed as one of America’s 10 most endangered rivers by the American Rivers Association, following a previous ranking by the US Forest Service as the nation’s most threatened river due to forest lands development, as the fourth most threatened due to water quality issues, and as the seventh due to loss of habitat for at risk species. The conditions that led to these designations still exist.
For the past 2+ years ACES has been to support the efforts of the Merrimack Water District Commission, the Merrimack River Watershed Council, the Society for Protection of NH Forests, the media, and others in raising community, state, and federal awareness of the urgency for a clean, safe Merrimack River.
Previously, in 2019/2020, ACES conducted a successful pilot survey of Master Level Rowers on the Merrimack, requesting their observations and thoughts on the state of the health of the river. The results of that survey are available on the ACES website by visiting: aces-alliance.org/post/merrimack-river-study-rowing-community.
The 2021 General Survey of recreational and commercial users of the Merrimack River can be accessed by visiting: aces-alliance.org/post/merrimack-river-users-survey
Any individual is welcome to take the survey: rowers, boaters, kayakers, birding enthusiasts, landowners, restaurant owners, marinas, tour boat operators and others. are welcome to complete the survey. The perspective of each person is uniquely important.
ACES is a not-for-profit dedicated to stewardship and collaboration for proactive action to positively impact our planet’s climate and environment’s health.
To learn more about The Alliance of Climate and Environmental Stewards visit: www.aces-alliance.org