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MRWC Hosts Merrimack River Cruises This Summer

Series of four evening outings raise funds for MRWC

Merrimack River Watershed Council is offering four river cruises this summer that will explore the wildlife, history, landmarks and lesser-known eddies and forgotten places of the lower Merrimack River.

Each of the tours — held once per month on Tuesdays — will motor through a different section of the river, guided by local experts who will educate and entertain with stories, information and insight meant to broaden knowledge and appreciation of the Mighty Merrimack – and no doubt along the way, surprise passengers with sightings of fascinating fish and fowl that inhabit the river.

All tours start at 5:30 p.m. and last two hours. In case of rain, the tours will be held the following Tuesday. Here is a list of the tours:

June 13:  Islands and Villages Tour. Cruise up river from Newburyport to Rocks Village in Haverhill. Local historian and author Dyke Hendrickson will share fascinating stories and points of interest along the voyage. Boat departs from Waterfront Park, Newburyport.

July 11: Haverhill History Tour. Cast off with Diane Dustin Itasaka of the Duston-Dustin Garrison House, and head downstream from downtown Haverhill to Rocks Village. Itasaka, a descendant of Hannah Duston, will highlight fascinating anecdotes from Haverhill’s long history as a Merrimack River waterfront community. Boat departs from the Municipal Dock, behind 100 Washington Street in downtown Haverhill.

August 8: Great Marsh and Plum Island Sound Tour. Motor down the Merrimack, then down the serpentine and shallow Plum Island River to explore the Great Marsh, home to over 300 species of birds. Massachusetts Audubon Ornithologist Sarah Courchesne will lead this naturalists’ tour of the lower Merrimack. Boat leaves from Waterfront Park, Newburyport.

September 12: Mouth of the River and Beyond Tour. Explore the mouth of the Merrimack and the beachy coast of Plum Island. Learn about the shifting sands, ancient geology, history and wildlife that make this area so beautiful and unique. And don’t be surprised if some spectacular ocean sealife makes an appearance.  Presentation by MRWC Education and Policy Specialist John Macone. Boat leaves from Waterfront Park, Newburyport.

Tickets are $60 per person per tour and registration is required, due to limited capacity on the boat. To register, visit, and click on the cruises that you would like to take. All tours will be conducted on Yankee Clipper Harbor Tours vessels.

The Tuesday Tours of the Merrimack are a fundraiser for the Merrimack River Watershed Council, a non-profit that works to make the Merrimack a cleaner and healthier river.

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