What we’re doing is working collaboratively to win the Campaign for a Fishable/Swimmable Blackstone River.
Campaign for a fishable-swimmable Blackstone River
In order to marshall the resources to actually clean up the Blackstone River, in 2003 the Blackstone River Coalition launched the Campaign for a Fishable/Swimmable Blackstone River.
To build a roadmap for the Campaign, the BRC is working with federal, state and local agencies, as well as non-profit organizations, academic institutions and businesses to create a bi-state watershed action plan.
To improve water quality to achieve a fishable/swimmable Blackstone River, the Campaign focuses on the following:
- Tackling stormwater and polluted runoff and reducing pollutants washed into the waterways and lowering the volume of stormwater flowing into waterways.
- Implementing more stringent limits on nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates at wastewater treatment plants
- Protecting undeveloped areas, restoring wetlands and riparian areas, protecting cold water fishery streams, encouraging Low Impact Development strategies such as reducing impervious surfaces, increasing infiltration, and planting native species.
- Restoring flow by methods such as:
- breach or remove appropriate dams
- establish fish passages for anadromous species at the four lower-most dams
- Continuing to build a system of river access points to increase opportunities for fishing, canoeing and enjoying passive recreation
Education and outreach
- Developing programs to increase watershed awareness and appreciation and encouraging active stewardship
A two-tiered campaign:
The grassroots level
- Watershed-wide Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program
- Homeowner’s Guide to Protecting Water Quality in the Blackstone River Watershed — eight fact sheets about reducing impacts from lawns, cars, pets, dishwashers, rooftop runnoff, household hazardous waste and impervious surfaces to waterways.
- Horse Owner’s Guide to Protecting Water Quality in the Blackstone Valley
- Small Farm Owner’s Guide to Protecting Water Quality in the Blackstone Valley
- Rain Gardens help to collect the roof runoff, enhance your landscaping, and infiltrate to ground water.
The business level
- Business owners can join the “In Business for the Blackstone” Program.
Federal, state and local environmental agencies are working collaboratively to help reach our goal of a fishable/swimmable Blackstone River.
- US Environmental Protection Agency
- Army Corps of Engineers
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- US Geological Survey, National Park Service
- Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
- Rhode Island Department of Transportation
- Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
- Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game
- Local town governments