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Every year, hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage overflow from sewage treatment facilities, directly into the Merrimack River, subjecting the downstream communities of Amesbury, Newburyport, and Salisbury to significant health risks. This problem is only projected to worsen as climate change increases the frequency of the heavy rainstorms that often drive these combined sewer overflows. Beyond sewage, PFAS (toxic “forever chemicals” flowing from industrial sites and landfills), pollutants in stormwater runoff, and solid waste, are all contributing to the declining health of this vital river and the communities and wildlife that rely upon and interact with it.


To protect the health of this shared and treasured resource, Amber will advocate for:

  • Providing residents and river visitors with access to real-time information on bacteria levels in the river

  • Ensuring that federal and state funding supports swift upgrades to sewage treatment plants to prevent combined sewer overflows, with long-term climate resiliency in mind

  • Providing state environmental agencies with the resources they need to effectively facilitate research, assessment, permitting, implementation, compliance assistance, and enforcement of responsible practices

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