Blackstone River Paddle Event
August 14 @ 1:30 pm - 7:00 pm
On Sunday, August 14th the public is invited to join the group of paddlers to complete the final segment of the trip. Boats will depart Festival Pier at 1:30. Following the paddle, food, drinks, a band, and guest speakers will celebrate the journey and the Blackstone and Seekonk Rivers. The event will be hosted by Narragansett Brewery and will start at 4:00.
The Blackstone River is a commons- a resource shared by the community, to be kept open and protected for future generations. 2022 is an exciting year for the Blackstone River- it marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act and ZAP the Blackstone, the Blackstone Watershed Collaborative was created to advance issues identified in the recently published Blackstone Needs Assessment, and various arts organizations including RISD and Counterform Studio are working to find creative ways to connect people to the river. This year presents an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the work that has been done in the past as well as the work that remains to create a vibrant, resilient and diverse future for the river. Addressing the current issues on the river will require both physical and social strategies, but more than anything, it will require solidarity, active stewardship and care.
As part of this effort to envision an interconnected future for the communities and ecosystems along the river, on August 11, 2022, a group will begin a 60 mile journey down the Blackstone River. The trip will be loosely modeled after the Expedition 2000 that inspired many people to get involved in work on the river. Building on the input received during community engagement events during the summer and the recently published Blackstone River Needs Assessment, the trip will connect community organizers, decision makers, artists and designers to reflect on the complex histories of the river and envision what a resilient, vibrant, and diverse future looks like for the river. Specific focus during the trip will be on climate change, aging dam infrastructure, water quality, access, and the diverse cultural narratives surrounding the river. To amplify the issues and leverage this opportunity, we will invite mayors, legislative representatives, community leaders, conservation commissioners, and the public to meet us during portions of the trip.