The Merrimack River in Lawrence, Massachusetts. (Wikimedia Photo)

Volunteers with the nonprofit environmental group Clean River Project have seen a huge increase in the number of syringes found in Massachusetts’ Merrimack River. And, according to an article on, the problem has grown into a serious health hazard for anyone using the river or walking along its banks.

“It’s pretty scary to be out on the river as you don’t know what might be coming your way,” said Rocky Morrison, president of the Clean River Project.

Volunteers collected more than 1,000 syringes from the river last year, and Morrison says more are out there.

The increase in syringes found in the river correlates with the explosion of heroin and opiate use in the region.

Morrison wants towns along the river to fight the problem by hiring personnel, stationing custom designed pontoon boats at strategic locations and purchasing 25 floating trash containment booms.

Read about the alarming number of syringes being found in Massachusetts’ Merrimack River.