The Merrimack River runs for roughly 60 miles through the heart of southern New Hampshire. Its floodplain (the basis for the IBA boundary) includes stretches of floodplain forest habitat, agricultural areas, and sandy riverside bluffs. The corridor is also home to three of the state's largest cities and extensive urban and suburban developement, especially in the southern portion. The future health of the river corridor ecosystem will probably be largely determined by the land and resource use decisions made by the residents of the Merrimack River Watershed.

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