North River Commission


About the North River Protective Order

The North River Commission administers the North River Scenic Protectiver Act. The North River is the only Scenic Protected River in the State. 

The North River Commission was established by the Massachusetts Departments of Environmental Management (DEM) pursuant to the Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act, G.L.c.21, s. 17B and the North River Commission Act, c.367, s.62 of the Acts of 1978.

The Protective Order promotes public safety, health, and welfare. Its aim is to protect public and private property, wildlife, fresh and saltwater fisheries, and irreplaceable wild, scenic and recreational river resources. The Order protects the North River, as well as parts of associated tributaries in the towns of Scituate, Marshfield, Pembroke, Norwell, Hanover, and Hanson.

Here you will find FAQs about the North River Scenic and Recreational River Protective Order to help you understand the Protective Order.

About Us

The North River Commission has representatives and alternates from each town on the North River: Pembroke, Hanover, Norwell, Marshfield, Hanson, and Scituate. Each town’s Board of Selectmen designates its representatives for a term of three years, with no limit to the number of terms a person may serve. The following individuals now serve as representatives of the North River Commission

North River Commissioners

Marshfield - Maryanne Leonard, Chair

Marshfield Alternate - Christopher Head

Scituate - Joe Norton

Scituate Alternate - Adria Gallagher

Pembroke - Willard (Bill) Boulter

Pembroke Alternate - Gino Fellini

Hanover - Dan Jones

Hanover Alternate-  John O'Leary

Norwell - Tim Simpson

Norwell Alternate - Robert Molla

Hanson -Jennifer Heine

Hanson Alternate - Vacant


Gary Wolcott, Administrator


How Do I Know If I Need to Get a Permit?

The North River Protective Order jurisdiction is 300 feet from the natural banks (where the wetlands meet the uplands) of the North River. 

Contact the North River Commission Administrator to determine if you are within the area that requires review and permitting.

Office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9am -1pm in lower level Salmond School, 188 Broadway, Hanover.

Please call 781-659-7411 or

email North River Commission for questions pertaining to your project.

Downloadable Forms for Applicants:

Request for Determination  

Special Permit Application 



The Protective Order




2021 Meeting Schedule

FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions

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