Innovative Lab Cleans Blackstone River Naturally

Cleanup of RI’s Blackstone River Superfund Site Proposed
Blackstone River at Pawtucket, RI looking upstream. Photo/NOAA The heads of a few dozen turtles bob up from the waters surrounding a floating island along a verdant stretch of Rhode Island’s Blackstone River. Five years ago, this expanse beside the Blackstone Canal and below the Fisherville Pond Dam was a dead zone, devoid of aquatic life and vegetation.

But thanks to an experimental Living Systems Laboratory built in 2013 on the former site of the historic Fisherville Mill, 10,000 gallons of water are cleaned daily of the contaminants that once choked all living matter. By reintroducing the biological diversity once part of the ecosystem, the operation is restoring vitality to the river at a pace a thousand times faster than nature.

In addition, owner and developer Gene Bernat hopes it will offer an unparalleled education on our relationship with our environment.

Read more about how Living Systems Laboratory is cleaning up the Blackstone Canal naturally.