The Greater Haverhill Foundation has created and published a new nautical chart by NOAA , which provides safe travel on the Merrimack from the Atlantic to Harbor Place in downtown Haverhill.

The Greater Haverhill Foundation commissioned a privately funded 8-mile sonar bathymetric study of the Merrimack River from downtown Haverhill to Merrimac which has determined:

• There is a navigable channel from Newburyport to downtown Haverhill.

• The river has a tidal change of 4-5 feet at Haverhill.

• Based on the study’s confirmed channel location, river buoys have been repositioned and correctly located by NOAA and the USCG.

• GPS charts have been upgraded by NOAA on both ENC and RNC formats for navigating the Merrimack River to down town Haverhill.

This initiative was spearheaded by the Greater Haverhill Foundation to once again link the cities from Haverhill to Newburyport together by using the navigable portion of the Merrimack River. Key participants in this undertaking have been: Sen. Kathleen O’Connor-Ives, U.S. Congresswomen Nicki Tsongas, Rep. Andy Vargas and former Rep. Brian Dempsey. The River Access working committee has a dozen members that include representation from the city of Haverhill, Andrew Herlihy and Nate Robertson, and from Federal entities NOAA, USCG and ACOE.

Former Rep. Dempsey said: “The communities of the lower Merrimack River, ‘The River Cities,’ all have hidden gems and a wide variety of recreational opportunities. Current businesses will benefit and new economic tourism businesses will launch.”

According to Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini, “Providing safe and secure navigation up and down the Merrimack River will have a major positive economic impact on Haverhill, Amesbury, Merrimac, Groveland, West Newbury and Newburyport.”

The Greater Haverhill Foundation anticipates producing an updated “River Cities” brochure to highlight the recreational and tourist venues along the Merrimack River. The brochure will be sent out to all of the marinas along the river to encourage safe travel to downtown Haverhill. A boat parade is being discussed with the Crescent Yacht Club to be held during the 2018 boating season.