The U.S. Clean Water Act was inspired in part by the Blackstone River, which runs from Worcester, Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island. It was really the home of the industrial revolution in the U.S. because of the 500 foot drop in the River’s elevation between Worcester and Providence. It was dammed no less than 49 times along the way, to create water wheels and power for the many, many mills that began to populate the region in the early 1800’s. That was a long time ago of course and the mills have largely disappeared, chasing cheaper labor first to the south, and then globally. Meanwhile, the River, which was once known as the hardest working river in the U.S. became known as the most polluted. Keep in mind that the Clean Water Act was signed into law by a Republican President. There were other equally polluted rivers of course, but the Blackstone was up there.
Things can change. Out in the River, “rebranded” the Seekonk River at this location for some reason, just south of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, with the RiverTours Blackstone (highly recommended by the way, hit the link if you’re interested) we could see evidence of the change all around us……fish and lots of them. Hard to see at first because of the sand stirred up by the boat, and the fact that I didn’t have a polarizing lens with me to cut down the glare in the water, but they were there.
Their relative invisibility however, was also defensively useful. They were far from alone. The bird activity was intense and impressive. I’m not a bird photographer, but though I’d share a few examples.
The fish now face the challengers that they have always faced, as it should be (I’d include fishermen and women on that list as well, but not yet. You’re not supposed to eat fish from the River, yet.)
During these extraordinarily difficult times I think it’s very important to keep in mind a few successes. We can make things better, if we care to. The Blackstone River is getting cleaner.
Over this past six months I’ve been exploring a variety of ways of getting imagery out there in product form in a fashion that represents some of my thinking, beyond the single image. The first of these presents a series of images from the east coast of the U.S. on a topic soon to be of importance to everyone, the rising seas.
Click on the link here to download a pdf. You can view the pdf on either a tablet or a computer. Alas, the navigation buttons work only on a computer. However, on a tablet, you can just swipe. These images are also available as a folio with images and colophon, printed on archival matte paper, 8.5″ X 11″, boxed for $60.00. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Thanks.
Congressman Jim McGovern and colleagues did a nice job of nurturing hope and resistance at today’s March for Science held in Elm Park, Worcester, Massachusetts. I have studiously tried to avoid launching into rants on this blog in recent years, largely on doctor’s orders. But, as McGovern said, and I have to paraphrase rather than quote, if you asked me twenty years ago if I would have to help stage a march in favor of science some day, I’d say, ‘what are you, nuts?’ But here we are.It is worth reminding ourselves that the E.P.A. was created during the Nixon Presidency. You remember Nixon, the well loved republican. Oh, wait…. Even that guy, expletive deleted that he was, couldn’t hold a candle to our current expletive deleted. Trump’s efforts to lower the collective IQ and fire up the coal industry have left me feeling a sense of deja vu and I have finally figured out why. He’s building up an industry for which there is little or no market. It reminds me of the golden days of the U.S.S.R., which is probably no coincidence. In that centrally planned economy, they would crank out concrete that wasn’t ever going to be shipped anywhere. No customers. So we mine coal and further screw up an already vulnerable planet while the UK celebrates their first day of using no coal, anywhere, for anything. I would not call the UK a bastion of liberal thought. Perhaps they just know how to do business. But, here we are.
It was encouraging to join the assembly today. The weather was dreadful. There is a far bigger march taking place in Boston. No matter. Sometimes you just need to rant. Sorry doc.
I’m again participating in the Atelier Exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography.
Atelier 25 opens tonight and runs through March 31. I want to thank Meg Birnbaum and Amy Amy Rindskopf for leading the exhibition. My work is from the “Lost in the Water Project.”
Things have been a bit slow on the photography front as alas, I’m still fighting off the poison sumac and the various complications that resulted from that joyful experience. Things seem to be improving once again, so here is hoping. Meanwhile, I’m once again grateful to the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA. for the opportunity to show a few pieces of my work. The images below are hanging in the current Atelier exhibition, which runs until September 28. If you like photography and live in eastern or central Massachusetts, the Griffin is an incredible resource. The Atelier is lead by Meg Birnbaum who continues to be an inspiration and a guide. If you can’t make it…(click for a larger image). These are from the collection “Erosion” from Manteo along the Outer Banks of North Carolina.