DiZoglio, Vargas Among ‘Valley Voyagers’ to Complete 4-Day Paddle to Raise Merrimack River Awareness
by Allison Corneau and Josiah Morrow, 97.9 WHAV Wavelengths
For the last four days, more than a dozen lawmakers and local leaders made Merrimack River awareness their mission as they kayaked and camped the entire length of the 117-mile waterway, stopping in Haverhill Saturday before wrapping up their trek in Plum Island.
Calling themselves the “Merrimack River Valley Voyagers,” the group—including state Sen. Diana DiZoglio, Reps. Linda Dean Campbell, Christina Minicucci and Andy Vargas—brought attention to environmental issues, economic development and recreational opportunities as they stopped along the way from the start of the river in Franklin, N.H. Kayaking 22- to 35- miles each day of the trip, participants also stopped in Concord, N.H. Manchester, N.H., Nashua, N.H., Lowell and Lawrence.
During Haverhill’s rest stop, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce President and paddler Dougan Sherwood reflected on what the group learned throughout the weekend.
“This is a very special river for any city or town it travels through and we’re very lucky that it travels right through our downtown. All of us who’ve been part of this journey are coming away with a new appreciation for how wonderful, special, complicated and fragile it is,” said Sherwood, who worked with Northern Essex Community College President Lane Glenn and Lawrence Partnership Executive Director Derek Mitchell to get the idea off the ground.