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Water Bodies in the Blackstone Valley

The Blackstone River Watershed is monitored by three main coalitions: 

The Blackstone Headwaters Coalition, PO Box 70688, Quinsig Village, Worcester, Ma.01607 508-753-6087, x24 coffin@mwisp.net The Blackstone River Watershed Association, 271 Oak St., Uxbridge, Ma. 01569 508-278-5200, brwa.ma@verizon.net Blackstone River Watershed Council, 175 Main St., Pawtucket, RI 02860, 401-724-2200, brwatershed@aol.com

 These organizations are composed of private, public organizations, businesses, citizens all concerned with the renaissance and health of the Blackstone River. The major projects include: Zap the Blackstone annual clean-ups and the goal of a fishable/swimmable river by 2015. Please join!

Who started the River Clean-up? When?

The Save Bay website monitors the Narragansett Bay in lower Rhode Island where the Blackstone River and its many tributaries, including the West River in Upton which begins at Grafton's Miscoe Brook, finally converges.

 How is your watershed doing based on these critters found in the water? You can check it out yourself.       River Valley History     Watershed Focus     EPA's WatershedInfo  ACEC Watersheds

USGS Blackstone Watershed Information   General Info

Blackstone Valley Basins    Watersheds Curriculum and Resources          GIS Training   Watershed Map   waterwatchonline.org

These organizations have organized to support water quality monitoring, proper land planning use if possible and events heralding revitalizing the River or preserving the tributaries:

 BR Watershed Association  (Who We Are = Blackstone River Watershed Association)

The Blackstone River Watershed Association was founded in 1976 to help restore, enhance and preserve the Blackstone River system and its watershed. The Blackstone River runs 33 miles from Worcester to Cumberland, RI (onto Providence is another 15 miles, although the River is then known as the Seekonk River and then the Providence River). The Blackstone River Watershed Association invites you to join towards their mission by calling 508-234-8797.

Friends of the Blackstone    Blackstone River Watershed Council     Blackstone Headwaters Coalition


In early October, a Water Treatment spill of sewerage of over 4 million gallons was released into the Blackstone River after years of herculean efforts from a broad range of activists have worked to clean up the River. 4 million gallons is equal to about 200 inground swimming pools in content. This devastating event was shocking to River advocates.

On December 4, 2003, a few activists, spearheaded by Audubon's Donna Williams met with Thomas Walsh, Director of the Treatment Plant. She reported that it was apparent that there was a disconnect of realizing the magnitude of impacts that this release triggered, both environmentally as well as economically. After further discussion and update to Mr. Walsh, a plan is secure that by 2009, the Treatment Plant will be totally failsafe with the electrical system, including backup power, being online far sooner. While this is not soon enough for River advocates and all residents within the Valley, the meeting was highly successful in engaging the Treatment Plant in becoming cognizant of the ripple effects that a release can trigger. These include the economic impacts to businesses along the River, tourism, recreational users and health and safety issues. 

A full understanding is now the baseline for recognizing the significance of the River to the Valley's revitalization in all areas. Zap the Blackstone, a yearly clean up event, is also working aggressively to create a Fishable/Swimmable Blackstone River by year 2015. This group needs everyone's support, so please consider  joining with the Blackstone Headwaters Coalition, the Blackstone River Watershed Association, the Audubon Society, the Heritage Corridor and the Blackstone River Watershed Council in making this goal a reality.  For a $15. donation, a pin is available to demonstrate your support. This money funds the effort. 

Save the Miscoe Watershed

The Save Miscoe Watershed nonprofit was started in early 2003 after several years of fighting against a very contentious 40B development whose density proposed was many, many times that allowed under Grafton's Smart Growth zoning principles. In addition, it potentially and significantly risks all the many criteria critical to sustainability of a very pristine Miscoe brook and watershed by proposing 456 units, then 264, then 192 and currently 76 sprawling homes on the uplands to the headwaters of the Miscoe watershed, designated as part of the Commonwealth's Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). This brook, a tributary to Upton's West River eventually joining the Blackstone River and onto the Narragansett Bay, is a coldwater fishery for native brook trout and a medium yield aquifer serving part of Grafton and Upton. All of this stands at risk, as does the Great Meadows, a diverse and nationally recognized diverse wildlife area downstream, along with Grafton's sole swimming location, Silver Lake. 

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