Salem Sound Coastwatch

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Begun in 1991 as a watch-dog organization, Salem Sound Coastwatch (originally named Salem Sound 2000) has tried to improve Salem's ocean and shore quality. Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency through the state and by private donations, the group tackled the pollution problems from sewage, industrial waste, grease and heavy metals created in tanneries and other factories over the years. A federal study in the late 1980's found Salem Harbor one of the most polluted in the country.

According to their website, "Salem Sound Coastwatch is a non-profit coastal watershed organization that works with government agencies, businesses, other non-profit organizations and citizens from the communities of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Beverly, Danvers, Peabody, Salem, and Marblehead. We work to achieve this mission through municipal partnering, scientific investigation, education, and stewardship."

Some of the improvements in the last 20 years are:

  • The South Essex Sewerage District built a secondary wastewater treatment plant, finished in 1997.
  • Elimination of all unregulated discharge pipes.
  • More boats are on the water and the disposal of their waste is being better managed.
  • Smelt are back in the Crane and North rivers.
  • The sound is safe for swimming.


See Also

Vertical File in Salem Collection - Salem Harbor- Sound 2000

Salem Sound Coastwatch Official website

"Sound of Success; Coastwatch marks 20 years protecting Salem's waters" Salem News, Mar. 22, 2011

"Cleaning up Salem Sound" Salem Evening News, Mar. 1, 1995, p. 4-5

"A sound investment: Salem Sound 2000 is trying to clean up river beds" Salem Evening News, Dec. 18, 1997, p. C1

"Salem Sound 2000 study finds high levels of pollution in water" Salem Evening News, June 4, 1999, p. 1