Blackstone Parks Conservancy
The Seekonk river: current health and future. A briefing and Q&A with RI DEM Deputy Administrator Sue Kiernan


Organized by the Narragansett Boat Club, Co-sponsors:

  • Blackstone Parks Conservancy
  • Fox Point Neighborhood Association
  • Friends of India Point Park
  • Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
  • Providence Stormwater Innovation Center
  • Save the Bay
  • Seekonk Riverbank Revitalization Alliance

Wednesday, September 30th, 6:30-8 pm, by Zoom

The event is free and open to the public, and being held over Zoom. Please register here at, the Zoom link will be emailed to you two days before the event.

What is happening with the Seekonk? Thousands of people use the river and its shores, and with the pandemic, that number has skyrocketed. From India and Bold Points to the falls below Slater Mill in Pawtucket, the Seekonk is coming back to life, now rich with pogies (river herring), eels, osprey, cormorants, gulls, kayakers, fishers, scullers, birdwatchers, and the occasional seal. But with global and local temperatures rising rapidly, sewage nutrients and runoff from roads, lawns, farms, graveyards and golf courses in two states, the river teeters on a knife’s edge. What does the future hold for this place we value so much?

To gain some insight, join us on September 30th for a briefing by Sue Kiernan, Deputy Administrator in the Office of Water Resources of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Sue has 33 years working on protecting the upper Narragansett Bay. Some things we’ve asked her to talk about:

    • Long-term trends in water quality in the upper bay
    • Trends in fish kills
    • What the main sources of pollution are
    • Plastic waste
    • Wildlife trends
    • Status of the Phase 4 stormwater tunnel
    • Green infrastructure solutions and yard/farm approaches to improving water quality
    • The impact of sea level rise, temperature rise, and other consequences of a changing climate
    • Better boating access
    • Swimming in the Seekonk
    • How individuals and groups might help the Seekonk


6:30-6:35 pm: Welcome by Jamie Reavis, President of the Narragansett Boat Club

6:35-6:40 pm: Introduction of Sue Kiernan by Timmons Roberts, Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

6:40-7:00 pm: Presentation

7:00-7:45 pm: Q&A

7:45-8:00 pm: Discussion of next steps (if any) and wrap up