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Clean River Project Invites Community to “Earth Day Awareness Rally” Launch of the Merrimack Riverkeepers Coalition

RALLY TO TAKE PLACE April 22nd, 11 am to 2 pm
G.A.R. Park in Haverhill, MA

On Sunday, April 22nd from 11 am to 2 pm at the G.A.R Park in Haverhill, MA, the Clean River Project is laying down its Merrimack River clean up tools and invite the community to a free, positive, informative and family-friendly “Earth Day Awareness” event.

At 11:00 am, speakers from watershed advocacy organizations from all over the Merrimack Valley will report on the state of river cleanup efforts and shed light on how public investment could ensure consistent and successful progress in keeping the Merrimack River and her tributaries clean and safe. Confirmed speakers include Rusty Russell, Executive Director of the Merrimack River Watershed Council, Justin Damon of the Shawsheen River Watershed, Asia Scudder with the Waterkeepers Alliance of Amesbury, Peter Doyle of the Powwow River Alliance, Julia Blatt from the Massachusetts River Alliance, Debo Brown community activist and Tom Duggan of the Valley Patriot. Other speakers invited but not yet confirmed are the EPA, and Groundwork Lawrence.

Beginning at 11 am and ending at 2 pm, Clean River Project and other local environmental nonprofits will have informational tables to educate the public, engage in conversation, and answer questions. Parents are encouraged to have their children bring posters with a positive message in support of cleaning the river and have judged for prizes.

The Ghostbusters Re-boot car complete with “Ghost girls” will be there and will be judging the poster contest.  Families can visit the Clean River Projects’ arts and crafts table to make posters if you don’t have one already, paint river rocks, and leave with a free plant. Members of the Destination Imagination Team that recently won the state competition will be on hand for questions about their experiences with us.

Volunteer sign-ups, a “Clean River Pledge”, and “Clean River Petition” will be distributed to give attendees the opportunity to voice their support, get engaged, and deliver a call to action requesting local leaders to make critical public investments that directly support and sustain Merrimack River cleanup. All attendees are encouraged to bring signs to show their support for river cleanup and public investment. The event is free and open to the public. This event is rain or shine. Bring umbrellas if there is rain!

The event also marks the launch of the “Merrimack Riverkeepers Coalition”, a network of organizations and citizens working together to raise awareness, spark community engagement, and continue to apply pressure on elected representatives and other government officials to invest in river and tributary cleanup.

With the fast-paced rise in population and increasing development that has moved into the Merrimack Valley there has been a critical increase in waterway pollution, severe encroachment of the surrounding watershed as well as an overwhelming surge in the number of needles found in relation to the opioid crisis. Now is the time for organizations and citizens of like minds to band together and elevate river cleanup to critical status.

The Clean River Project was launched in 2005 by Rocky Morrison and is dedicated to the cleaning and preservation of the Merrimack River. It relies primarily on volunteers, community fundraising, and public investments to fulfill its mission.

Since its start, the Merrimack riverbanks have gone from being totally covered with debris to be the beautiful beaches they once were over 100 years ago. Unfortunately, public investment for these efforts are insufficient to fund the magnitude of the job at hand. Clean River Project’s work cannot continue without the support of local towns and citizenry.

The Merrimack River is a 117-mile river and its watershed covers over 5,000 square miles from southern New Hampshire to northeastern Massachusetts. It is the fourth largest river basin in New England. It starts in Franklin, NH at the confluence of the Pemigewasset and Winnipesaukee rivers and flows through NH and MA towns until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean between the cities of Salisbury and Newburyport.

Nonprofit organizations that wish to table at the event or those who would like to volunteer should contact Clean River Project at helen@cleanriverproject.org or 978-857-6680. Due to budget constraints, Clean River Project is not able to provide tables and tents, but attendees are welcome to bring their own.

About the Clean River Project

Clean River Project Inc. is a non-profit organization founded by Rocky Morrison in 2005 dedicated to the cleaning and preservation of our nation’s rivers, lakes, and streams. Our mission is to clean, protect, and provide a safer water supply to the many cities and towns who rely heavily on this natural resource. We are committed to improving water quality by raising environmental awareness through education and prevention. To develop community-based projects and programs that reduce and recycle pollution, promote safe clean waterways and healthier drinking water. We shall create one collective voice in the future policy, planning and management of our water by fostering partnerships and working together with community leaders, area businesses, other organizations, federal, state, and local governments for healthy, safe, clean drinking water.

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is an author, host of the Paying Attention TV/Radio Program, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to valleypatriot@aol.com.

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