For Marion Stoddard, Creating Hope is an Obligation

For Marion Stoddard, Creating Hope is an
Randolph T. Holhut, American

The hope and hard work of a sole, determined person helped
transform the Nashua River from a beautifully landscaped sewer to a
natural treasure, writes American Reporter
correspondent Randolph Holhut. Marion Stoddart moved to Groton,
Massachusetts in 1962, into a house that the ‘ecologically dead’
Nashua River slugged past. At the time, the Nashua was one of the
10 most polluted rivers in America: Its color changed daily, and
animals could walk across it on the paper pulp coating the top.
Stoddart was appalled — and impelled. She formed the Nashua River
Cleanup Committee, prompting a Clean Water Act in 1966 to quell
area mills’ dumping practices. In 1969, the Committee became the
Nashua River Watershed Association, creating a long-term plan to
keep the river and its surrounding banks clean. ‘We have to work
just as hard to maintain what we’ve achieved,’ Stoddard told Holhut
from their canoes on the Nashua, ‘and ever harder to make it
–Abbie Jarman
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