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North River Walk & Talk—Ecology, History and the Future
September 23 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Once called the Blue Danube of Salem, the ecologically important tidal North River provides the largest source of fresh water to Salem Sound. Originally lovely and wide, flowing through forests and meadows, the river was transformed by both the industrial revolution and urban development. Polluting tanneries lined the banks. The railroad came along and narrowed the banks with fill. Land pressures from urban development brought more fill and channelization of the river. Today, flooding and sea level rise pose new challenges.
As we walk, we’ll look at the river in a historical context–showing how and where the river changed over time, how and why decisions were made affecting the river (which thankfully no longer stinks to high heaven or runs red or blue!) and efforts to turn this impaired waterway back into a thriving ecosystem. We’ll look at amazing photographs from the old days and learn how the revolutionary war almost started on the banks of the North River. We’ll visit newly created rain gardens that are helping protect the river for American eel and rainbow smelt. Bring your questions and stories. Participants should be able to walk approximately one mile.