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Merrimack River has become a soiled waterway

If you’re not anti-sewage, can you call yourself a ‘steward’ of our rivers?

Re “Pollution plagues the mighy Merrimack” (Page A1, Nov. 18): It is shocking to me that a group that calls itself the Massachusetts Coalition for Water Resources Stewardship would oppose a bill that requires notification to municipalities and abutters when raw sewage is discharged into our rivers. One would think that a basic level of “stewardship” of a river would be preventing fecal matter from entering it. The bill does not even require the problem to be fixed; it’s merely about notification — talk about a low bar.

Notification is the first step to building support for the significant investments necessary to fix the problem. While the Charles River is much cleaner than the Merrimack, we still have combined sewer overflows into the Charles as well. I think that regardless of one’s political affiliation, we can all agree that keeping poop out of our rivers is a worthy use of tax dollars.


Emily Norton

Executive director

Charles River Watershed Association


We should not soil our public resources

I read David Abel’s story with ongoing sorrow for Massachusetts rivers. The Merrimack is a beautiful public resource that should not be so badly soiled. As a frequent paddler on the Upper Mystic River, I encounter similar issues. In letters to the State House, I usually comment that if people want flush toilets, they should be willing to pay for them.

Thank you for your continued efforts to alert Massachusetts residents to the poor health of their rivers.

Michael Ripple