Save the Alewife Brook is an environmentalist group that is trying to eliminate sewage pollution and flooding in a little brook on the border of Arlington, Cambridge, and Somerville.
The brook is named after the herring that used to live there. There used to be so many herring living in this brook, that the Menotomy Indians lived right next it, at the confluence of the Mystic River.
In the 1800s, colonial settlers started piping their poop and industrial waste into the brook and the rain water and tides carried it away to the Boston Harbor. Unfortunately, the cities of Somerville and Cambridge haven’t stopped doing this. Yes, we now have a water treatment plant. But, if we get an inch of rain, the poop and industrial wastewater goes into the Alewife Brook.
The fish can no longer survive in this brook. And we get flooding in this part of town. The people who live near that brook get the sewage in their homes during big flood events.
Very few people know that this is happening because the story was green-washed by corporations and consultants in 2015.
But it IS still happening and it’s getting exponentially worse because of Climate Change.
We want to alert people to this problem in a funny and light-hearted way. We don’t want them to feel guilty about it or feel like they’re being attacked. We want to launch a kind of a silly and WTH-sort of campaign with cartoon characters, posted on flyers and various swag.
The campaign slogan would simply be:
“Please don’t flush when it rains.”
And then there would be some combination of creative characters involved:
a happy and helpful and not-so-smart toilet character
a round herring alewife fish character
a hooded merganser duck character
a wise great blue heron character
a cheerful and sweet rain drop character
The campaign will be humorous.
We want people to see the flyers and wonder, “what the hell?” and then have them go to our website for more info. Folks legit don’t know that this is happening.
We’d love to find a local artist who can do this work, someone from Arlington, Cambridge, Somerville, Belmont, Medford, or nearby. And we need it done quickly because we’re up against a fast-moving regulatory timeline with the EPA and MassDEP.
If you know an artist who can draw funny-looking characters, please have them email links to their artwork.