The Merrimack River is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in America. During the 19th century, mills in cities such as Manchester, New Hampshire, and Lowell, Massachusetts, harnessed the power of the river to become the largest manufacturing plants in the world. Like many rivers in America, the Merrimack was heavily polluted as a result of industrial growth. But, thanks to the Clean Water Act of 1972, the Merrimack has been cleaned up considerably over the last 50 years. Remarkably, more than 80 percent of the Merrimack watershed is still undeveloped and largely forested. However, in 2016, it was named one of the most endangered rivers in the United States by the nonprofit American Rivers.
Hosted by conservationist and New Hampshire native Leah Hart, the documentary spotlights the threats the river and the watershed face now and in the future. From water treatment professionals to river guides to community builders, Hart interviews people who know what's at stake if towns and communities don’t work together to protect the river and the forests that surround it. It’s through these compelling interviews and Jerry Monkman’s visually stunning cinematography that viewers will come to appreciate the often forgotten resources the Merrimack provides thousands of people every day and why it’s so important to protect them.