CASEY MERKLE


About
   
    Casey Merkle is a nature-culture-sustainability scholar from the Rhode Island School of Design, an educator, and artist. Her research dives into watery landscapes, bridging human perception and our representations of space. Casey has an MA in Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies from RISD, and a BA in Biology from Lawrence University.

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Mapping the Woonasquatucket River






Summer 2021
Mapping the Woonasquatucket River

See it in action in a storymap by Tidal Resonance


This piece is a counter-cartographic example of mapping the Woonasquatucket River.

The backdrop is the foundational Layer for this map, representing wetness of the water seeping into the surrounding land. This map uses paper made from algae collected at four distinct sites along the Woonasquatucket River. The light blue thread shows the route of the Woonasquatucket River in 2021. In dark blue, is the river’s path in 1939. Along this stretch of the Woonasquatucket is the Centerdale Manor. This site is located at 2072 and 2074 North Providence. It was polluted with dioxin, a chemical compound that is a byproduct of industrial practices, during the 1940s and 1970s. Dioxin is a dangerous chemical known to cause cancer, hormone interference, chloracne, and other health effects. The EPA strongly advises against any recreational use of the Woonasquatucket due to high levels of dioxin.
Centerdale Manor is the source area for clean up of this EPA superfund site. To stay up to date with the progress of this EPA superfund site, visit

https://wrwc.org/wp/what-we-do/restoration/centerdale-superfund-site/