The Blackstone River Renewal
Thirty years ago, one of the most significant environmental events in our country’s history took place on our historic Blackstone River…
Over 10,000 volunteers, more than 500 businesses and scores of governmental and non-profit agencies staged a massive clean-up of the Blackstone River from south-central Massachusetts to Narragansett Bay on September 9, 1972. The Providence Journal Company was the lead agent responsible for coordinating and mobilizing this monumental effort termed Project ZAP! The ZAP! initiative was the threshold of three decades of environmental activism along the Blackstone River.
In 2000, the Corridor Commision and their partners held the Expedition 2000 and a new ZAP the Blackstone campaign was launched. To help coordinate this effort, the new Blackstone River Coalition was created.
The Blackstone River Coalition is made up of various organizations that are working to revitalize the Blackstone River and improve the health of the Blackstone River Watershed. These organizations include state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, municipalities, and businesses.
Everyone in the Coalition is working in different ways to improve the quality of the river, from grass-roots volunteers keeping the riverbanks free of debris to business owners recognizing the value of a clean river to successful commercial ventures. Government agencies are working with watershed groups to improve water quality and local educators are using the river as an outdoor classroom.
The Blackstone River Coalition is working to make the Blackstone River “Fishable and Swimmable by 2015”. You can join one of the environmental groups working to bring back the Blackstone and receive a limited edition Eastern Brook Trout Pin to show everyone you are part of the new ZAP! the Blackstone generation. For more information on the fishable/swimmable Blackstone River, click here.
Please click here to find out more about ZAP! the Blackstone, the Blackstone River Coalition, and what's happening along the River.
Did You Know?
Children as young as age six were hired to work in the textile mills of the Blackstone River Valley. These adolescent workers were employed by the Lonsdale Company, c. 1912. Photos such as this helped lead to the passage of child labor laws.