By: State Rep. Linda Dean Campbell – 9-14
In my recent visits on and to the Merrimack River, I was impressed with the water quality. It is still amazing to me how far we have come from those years when the smell of the Merrimack River reminded us of how polluted it really was. I am also amazed at resiliency of nature, especially the capacity of rivers and lakes to recover quickly once the source of gross pollution is eliminated.
Local groups with their many dedicated volunteers that keep the importance of our River in focus are the Merrimack Watershed Council and the Clean River Project. The Watershed Council provides continual water testing among many other functions. The Clean River Project dedicates much of its time to removing trash from the shoreline of the river and removing large objects such as abandoned cars from the river. Cars eventually leak oil, gas, rusting metals, and decaying plastic chemicals. They also move down stream presenting safety concerns for those who use the River for recreation. Very recently, a group of with the Clean River Project identified eight cars close to shore in the City of Methuen.
To help and encourage the many watch groups who provide an invaluable service in monitoring the river, this session, the Legislature passed an important water infrastructure reform bill. Four years in the making, this bill provides for an 88 million dollar increase to the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust which provides funding for communities improving their water infrastructure systems. The legislation also provides 1.5 million dollars for grants to the Clean Energy Center to promote water technology industry innovation.
Thank you to all who promote and protect this great river in our backyard.
State Rep. Linda Dean Campbell represents the Cities of Methuen and Haverhill. She currently serves on the following Committees: Election Laws (Vice Chair), House Ways and Means (budget and appropriations) and Public Safety and Homeland Security. She was recently endorsed by the Massachusetts Sierra Club. 617.722.2305/Linda.Campbell@mahouse.gov