Federal lawmakers introduced legislation Tuesday to protect stretches of three rivers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire by including them in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

The bill would grant scenic river status to the Nashua, Squannacook and Nissitissit Rivers, which wind for dozens of miles in Northern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. The bill would also create a local advisory committee that would work to ensure the waterways are preserved under a stewardship plan.

"It has taken decades of work, but the Nashua River has gone from one of the country's most polluted rivers to a distinguished model for river restoration," U.S. Sen. Edward Markey said. "The residents who live nearby and benefit from the river's health have dedicated their time and energy to this natural resource success story. This legislation continues that commitment by safeguarding this watershed, so that generations to come can canoe and fish in its waters and hike on its trails."

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan of Westford joined Markey in sponsoring the legislation, as did U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and U.S. Rep. Ann Kuster of New Hampshire.

The bill would cover a 27-mile segment of the Nashua River beginning in Lancaster and ending at the New Hampshire border, a 16-mile segment of the Squannacook River running from Townsend to where it joins the Nashua, and a 9.


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5-mile segment of the Nissitissit River between Brookline, New Hampshire and Pepperell, Massachusetts.