NRWA founder Marion Stoddart, NRWA President Lucy Wallace, and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas discuss river protection on the banks of the Nashua River - Photo by Pam Gilfillan

Wild & Scenic Rivers: Protecting Outstanding Waterways

River segments included in Nashua River Wild & Scenic River Study ActAn effort is underway to explore whether sections of the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers could be designated as Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers.

The Nashua River Watershed Association brought the opportunity to explore such a designation to the attention of the communities through which these rivers flow: the Boards of Selectmen in Ayer, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Lancaster, Shirley, Pepperell, and Townsend all endorsed pursuing a Study.

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas filed the bill H.R. 5319, the "Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act".  To announce the introduction of the legislation, the Congresswoman held a press event at NRWA’s RiverResourceCenter in Groton. 

NRWA's Executive Director, Elizabeth Ainsley Campbell, submitted testimony in favor of HR 5319 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.

The National Park Service conducted a Reconnaissance Survey that confirmed "that the Nashua River and its tributaries have all the ingredients for a successful Wild and Scenic River Study: highly significant natural, cultural and recreational resources; capable and committed local partners; and local communities with a demonstrated track record of support for conservation of the River," said Jamie Fosburgh, the New England Team Leader for Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and Elizabeth Ainsley Campell, NRWA Executive Director, ready to testify in Washington, D.C. - Photo by Derek TorreyOn June 23, 2014, the bill passed unanimously in the U.S. House of Representatives.  It now awaits Senate approval.  NRWA will post updates on this page and our News page.

View Frequently Asked Questions about the proposed Nashua River Wild & Scenic River Study and designation.

For more information about the Wild & Scenic Rivers program and the potential Study of the Nashua and its tributaries, please contact Al Futterman, NRWA Land Programs Director, at (978) 448-0299, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .