Great Blue Heron - photo by Bruce Vinal Jr.

NRWA Auction 2014

April 5, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
DoubleTree by Hilton Leominster

Online Auction 2014
March 20 thru April 4, 2014

It’s time for our biennial gala fundraising event, NRWA Auction 2014 to be held on Saturday evening, April 5th, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Leominster, MA. This is an opportunity for everyone to help support the vital work of the Nashua River Watershed Association in your community.

How can you help?

Great auctions need a great audience.  Plan to join us on April 5th, and bring your friends (tables seat 10)! Our festive evening includes dinner and a cash bar, a Live Auction, and a silent auction with hundreds of great items. Mix and mingle with old friends and new. Buy tickets online now, or call (978) 448-0299 to make your reservations.

Curious about what's been donated already?  Here's a sneak peek:

Vacation on Monhegan Island or Costa Rica-- Fine Wine -- Sawyer Canoe -- Patagonia Wear -- Red Sox Tickets -- Vintage Jewelry -- 19th Century French Walnut Blanket Chest -- Vacation at Lake Tahoe -- Summer Camp at Applewild -- Local Restaurant Gift Certificates -- and much, much more!  View the NRWA Auction 2014 catalogue.

Great auctions support a great cause.  Auction proceeds support the NRWA's land and water protection projects and environmental education programs in 32 communities in north central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.  

Get involved because you appreciate clean water or beautiful vistas …because you enjoy forested trails or good fishing …because your children loved their River Classroom® experience or you just want to leave a better world for the next generation.

If you have questions about Auction 2014, please contact Pam Gilfillan, NRWA Development Associate at (978) 448-0299, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

P.S. Be sure to participate in our Online Auction 2014 beginning on March 20th-- visit Online Auction 2014 now. A fun prelude to the gala event!

Thank you to our Auction 2014 Sponsors and Friends.

Briggs Photographics in Groton, MA
Can-Am Machinery in Fitchburg, MA
Catalano Companies
ISS in Shirley, MA
Nypro, Inc. of Clinton, MA
SeasonS at Calmore in Dunstable, MA


Charles and Anne Davis of Dunstable, MA
Charles and Margaret Elwood of Groton, MA
Enterprise Bank
Bob and Becky Pine of Groton, MA
Simonds International Corporation in Fitchburg, MA
Gretchen and Paul Walker of New Ipswich, NH
Nancy F. Washington, PC Certified Public Accountants in Harvard, MA
Joan Wotkowicz and Paul Sebring of Townsend, MA 


Nissitissit River - photo by Jane Metzger

Keeping Pharmaceuticals Out of Local Waterways

Nashua River Watershed Association is pleased with the participation by watershed towns in the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's annual Prescription Drug Take-Back Day held in fall 2013.  Most area Police Departments promoted the event, which resulted in approximately 975 pounds of prescription medications being collected in 17 towns in the Nashua River watershed (see chart below). Martha Morgan, NRWA Water Resources Director wants to thank all who participated and remind everyone, "Disposal through the collection sites protects the water supply by keeping drugs from being flushed down the toilet or drain."  



Participant Name



Ashburnham PD



Ashby PD



Ayer PD



Fitchburg PD



Gardner PD



Groton/Dunstable PD’s



Harvard Police



Holden PD



Lancaster PD



Lunenburg PD



Pepperell PD



Princeton PD



Rutland PD



Townsend PD



West Boylston PD



Westminster PD

*numbers in red are estimated
Data from U.S. Department of Justice

NRWA provided local pharmacists with information and flyers on the collection event that they were able to pass along to their customers and encourage them to bring unused medications to police departments (or other designated site) for disposal. Flyers were also distributed to town halls, senior centers, libraries and other public places. Increased outreach helped increase participation and resulted in the safe disposal of drugs, keeping them out of water ways. The Association will be working with communities to explore having permanent boxes installed in every community that will make disposal even more convenient.  

Massachusetts Environmental Trust logoPartial funding for this project was provided by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET). NRWA is grateful for MET's support and reminds the public that MET itself is supported through the sale of specialty environmental license plates which may be ordered through the Massachusetts RMV website.  


Beaver swimming in Townsend Harbor, Townsend, MA - Photo by Kim King

Healthy Watersheds Foster Healthy Economies

The Nashua River Watershed Association has always recognized the vital link between a healthy environment and a healthy economy-- it's right in our mission statement.  We're pleased that businesses, governmental agencies, and individuals are increasingly realizing that protecting natural resources boosts our economy and helps us to create sustainable communities.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's report The Economic Benefits of Protecting Healthy Watersheds (EPA 841-N-12-004 April 2012) concludes that the "ecosystem services" provided by healthy intact watersheds are "necessary for our social and economic well-being."  Those ecosystem services include minimizing vulnerability and damages from natural disasters, reducing costs of drinking water treatment, cycling of nutrients and carbon storage, increasing property values, and providing recreational opportunities.  Read the full EPA report.

The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation produced a study that examined the value of jobs, tax revenues, and other economic impacts related to recreation, natural resource protection, and historic preservation.  This study, like the EPA's, discusses the value of ecosystem services and recreation both of which are enhanced by preserving a healthy watershed.  The study's Summary Findings (in 2011 dollars) are that the combined value of outdoor recreation, nature conservation and historic preservation add up to approximately 9.4 million jobs nationwide, $107 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues, and total economic activity (equivalent to GDP) of $1.06 trillion.  View NFWF study The Economics Associated with Outdoor Recreation, Natural Resources Conservation and Historic Preservation in the United States (Oct. 2011).

A third interesting article is "Paying for Nature" by Bryan Walsh published in Time magazine in February 21, 2011.  He states, "Many greens — and a growing chorus of corporate suits — are arguing that nature in its own right provides economically valuable services that underpin business."  At the end of the article, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris concludes that, "The economy and the environment are interdependent."  And as Walsh ends, "they're united by one color: green."  Read full Time article.

The NRWA has long enjoyed support from local businesses (see a list of our Business supporters).  We welcome this national movement toward broader partnerships between businesses, government, and conservation groups to reach our common goal of both a healthy economy and a healthy environment-- for the well-being of us all.


 Nissitissit River - Photo by Jane Metzger

Nashua River Wild & Scenic River Study Act Passed by House Committee

On August 1, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas announced that her “Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act” bill was approved by the full House Committee on Natural Resources.  The Committee recommends that the bill should be considered by the House of Representatives as a whole. 

NRWA's Executive Director, Elizabeth Ainsley Campbell, submitted testimony in favor of HR 5319, the “Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act”, and spoke at a legislative hearing held at the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C. by the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forest and Public Lands. She testified along with Massachusetts Congresswoman Tsongas, who introduced the legislation in May.

The legislation would authorize a three-year study of segments of the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers to explore their potential for designation as Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers. The Study Committee would consist of local stakeholders and would be supported by staff and funding from the National Park Service. The Study would focus on the natural, ecological, cultural, historic, scenic, and/or recreational assets of the river, and could be used to develop a river management plan. Following outreach from the NRWA, the eight communities in the proposed study area—Ayer, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Lancaster, Pepperell, Shirley, and Townsend—all endorsed the pursuit of this Study.

On May 2, 2012, by the banks of the Nashua River in Groton, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas unveiled her legislation.  “The Rivers of the Fifth District have helped to shape our history, culture, and economy for generations,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “The legislation that I am introducing recognizes the great role that the Nashua has played in contributing to our region and would help to keep the River clean, vibrant and easily accessible. Thanks to the work of the Nashua River Watershed Association, the Nashua has undergone a tremendous recovery and its designation as a Wild & Scenic River would enable additional preservation efforts while allowing this natural treasure to be enjoyed for many years to come.”

“The Nashua River Watershed Association is absolutely delighted that Congresswoman Tsongas is introducing the Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act,” said Elizabeth Ainsley Campbell, Executive Director Nashua River Watershed Association. “The Study provides a very significant opportunity for stakeholders to come together to develop a River Management Plan for these beautiful stretches of river that mean so much to our communities. Undertaking the Study as part of the Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers Program enables stakeholders to take advantage of expertise and funding that would otherwise be unavailable.”

If approved, the Nashua would join the Concord, Sudbury, and Assabet as rivers in the Fifth District that have been designated as Wild & Scenic. The Nashua is considered a strong candidate for this designation because the river previously ranked among the nation’s most polluted, and while significant progress has been made in cleaning up the river, threats to water quality from polluted runoff and biological diversity are still present. A 4.8 mile segment in Pepperell would be excluded from the study because of an existing hydro project that FERC is in the midst of permitting.

Tsongas is a member of the Natural Resources Committee in the House of Representatives and has worked to preserve and protect the rivers and waterways in the Fifth Congressional District. She hosts an annual ‘River Day’ to highlight the importance of the Rivers in the communities she represents and to recognize the organizations, volunteers and different levels of government working together to sustain and preserve the integrity of these resources.