About Us

Who We Are

Blackstone River Watershed Council/Friends of the Blackstone is a Rhode Island non-profit organization dedicated to making the Blackstone River fishable and swimmable. Our programs are dedicated to protecting, preserving and enhancing the natural habitat of local river wildlife and creating recreational programs for the local residents to enjoy. We also work to connect people with the local and natural history of the river and its surrounding area.

BRWC/FOB is the organization officially designated under RI State law to represent the environmental interests of the Blackstone River and its watershed. All of our programs provide opportunities to volunteer, including cleanups, education and work with local municipalities to bring this great river and its surrounding watersheds back to its natural and majestic state.

Our Mission

The mission of BRWC/FOB is to restore, enhance and preserve the physical, historical and cultural integrity of the Blackstone River, its watershed and its eco-system, through public advocacy, education, recreation, stewardship and the promotion of our unique Blackstone Valley resource.

Our Board Members

President
John Marsland, President, is the founder of our organization, which started out as Friends of the Blackstone in 1990. He never ceases to amaze us with his energy, enthusiasm and…
Vice President
Michael M. Scalzi III, Vice President, is an avid weather enthusiast. He has a strong interest in American history particularly as it relates to the Blackstone River and the…
Treasurer
Eric Listenfelt, Treasurer, resides in Woonsocket RI and is a lifelong Blackstone Valley resident, having grown up in Central Falls and Lincoln. He works for Navigant Credit Union and…
Secretary
Suzanne Matta, Secretary, is a nature lover. She can be found removing fishing line from the river bank, helping turtles get to the water or turkeys cross the street. When…
Past President
Frank Matta, Past President, is an avid outdoor enthusiast who spent 2 years ‘hiking and camping’ in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne. His awareness of the plight of the Blackstone…
Director
Kevin Burns, Director, is one of the Valley Boys who is never afraid to get wet in order to tackle some of our most challenging cleanups. He is abundantly…
Director
Bob Charpentier, Director, has a quick wit and an unmatchable personality. He often comes up with great fundraising ideas that continue to help our program. He helps lead canoe paddles…
Director
Alice Clemente, Director, has a 40-year history of watershed and water supply advocacy in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She is more likely to be found in municipal and state…
Advisor
Edward Ferreira, Advisor, is Alice’s wingman (or is it the other way around?) when it comes to the Peterson/Puritan TAG project. His input and guidance are invaluable due to…
Director
Judy Hadley, Director, is devoted to all things BRWC/FOB. She takes amazing photos and can be counted on to be at many of our events. Judy also formulates and leads…
Director
Keith Hainley, Director, River Restoration Coordinator, has probably single-handedly helped to fill state landfills with more river trash that one could think imaginable. Nothing escapes him if it’s on or…
Director
John O'Brien, Director, is one of our newest directors.  Watch for John's bio coming soon.
Director
Ray Pado, Director, is liked by everyone. He dedicates countless hours to BRWC/FOB and takes on the most challenging projects such as the Pratt Dam yearly cleanup. He is the…
Director
Arthur Plitt, Director, is an advocate for people in our community and serves on several state and local organizations including the RI Governors Commission for Disabilities. He is a Reiki…
Director
Josh Pontbriant, Director, is one of our newest directors.  Watch for Josh's bio coming soon.
Director
Fred Rugo, Director, has been an advocate for clean water for 60 years. B.S Civil Engineer Univ of Vermont; Member Northern R.I. Chapter 737 Trout Unlimited; Past President Narragansett…
Director
Randy Tuomisto, Director, after working 36 years in the corporate world for Boston Scientific (medical device company), he decided to 'Follow his Bliss'.  As a pastionate steward of our…
Director
Nick Wentzell, Director, is one of our newest directors.  Watch for Nick's bio coming soon.