Washington (February 5, 2019) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Representatives Ann Kuster (NH-02) and Lori Trahan (MA-03) today introduced legislation to designate portions of the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire as scenic rivers under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The legislation would create a locally appointed advisory committee that works with state and federal agencies to protect values intrinsic to the river and directs the rivers to be managed in accordance with the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers Stewardship Plan, while preserving existing uses. 


“It has taken decades of work, but the Nashua River has gone from one of the country’s most polluted rivers to a distinguished model for river restoration,” said Senator Markey. “The residents who live nearby and benefit from the river’s health have dedicated their time and energy to this natural resource success story. This legislation continues that commitment by safeguarding this watershed, so that generations to come can canoe and fish in its waters and hike on its trails. This legislation will preserve the region’s specific ecological and historical values, building up our knowledge of the past and protecting important species into the future.”


“We are proud to be part of a community that shares the natural beauty and benefits of the Nashua River and its tributaries,” said Senator Warren. “Our legislation will help preserve, manage, and protect these irreplaceable rivers.”


“We have made tremendous progress in restoring the Nashua River to its original, natural state, but we need to protect the progress we’ve made so Granite Staters and tourists can continue to enjoy this beautiful, recreational waterway for years to come,” said Senator Shaheen. “This legislation will help our community preserve the Nashua River’s waters and wildlife, which benefits New Hampshire and the broader New England region.”  


“Thanks to the work of dedicated community leaders, the Nashua River has undergone a remarkable transformation into the pristine river we know today,” said Senator Hassan. “This legislation will help continue to protect this watershed so its beauty can be enjoyed by future generations.”


“Designating the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System is an important step toward safeguarding these beautiful resources and habitats for future generations,” said Rep. Kuster. “This designation enjoys broad, local support from conservation groups, regional planning commissions and individual towns that have a vested interest in protecting the river system for years to come.”


“Just a half century ago the Nashua River was considered among the most polluted in the country. This reality stood in stark contrast to the critical role the river, and the many other rivers that flow through Massachusetts’ Third Congressional District, played in the history and development of the many communities that line their banks,” said Rep. Trahan. “While great strides have been made over the years to remove pollution and conserve swaths of the region, there is still much work to be done. That is why I am proud to take up the mantle of my predecessor, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, by introducing this legislation along with my colleagues to designate the Nashua River as a wild and scenic river. This designation will enable additional preservation efforts while allowing this natural treasure to be enjoyed by generations to come.”


A copy of the legislation can be found HERE