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The Promise of Restoration: Potluck, Movie, and Q&A with Activist

  • On Wednesday, June 5, join SKLT and the Narrow River Land Trust as we host Marion Stoddart, a citizen leader committed to a lifetime of grass roots organizing and coalition building for positive social and environmental change. In the early 1960s, Marion Stoddart was a Massachusetts housewife and mother of three who decided to take on the impossible - cleaning up the Nashua River, which ran through her town and was then one of the most polluted rivers in America. During her years of tenacious advocacy, Marion organized a massive citizen effort to rescue the river. She lobbied successfully for legislation, including the landmark Massachusetts Clean Waters Act. Continuing that record of success, she petitioned the Federal government for millions of dollars of promised funds to fight the pollution—and won. Her dramatic success in mobilizing the community showed people that change was possible, even though they’d lost hope. Today, thanks to the efforts of Marion and the Nashua River Watershed Association (the non-profit she founded), the river is clean and restored. Yet, as Marion says, “The work will never be done. We will always need stewards and watchdogs to safeguard the health of the river for people and wildlife.” The program will include a showing of the documentary film “Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000 (2010)” followed by a question and answer session with Marion. The vintage footage in the film will resonate with many who recall the pollution of the Saugatucket River and inspire those of us who strive to restore and protect the rivers and watersheds in our community. It will be held at the Barn, 17 Matunuck Beach Road. Potluck begins at 6pm; video/Q&A at 7pm. Free and open to the public, reservations encouraged, space is limited. Please RSVP at http://sklt.org/events-calendar/