A Tale of Two Rivers

from by Benjamin R. Fuhrman

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In 1969, the Cuyahoga River famously caught fire. At times the most polluted river in America, it was then incapable of sustaining any life but algae. Its burning led to a "Time" article that helped launch the modern environmental movement, the Clean Water Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Though still polluted, the river is now clean enough to support wildlife and can now be used recreationally.

While it was also cleaned several times as a result of the Clean Water Act, the Flint River still maintains a dangerously high level of industrial pollution and chlorides from road salt that make it extremely corrosive. It is also a popular site to abandon vehicles, which leak oil and battery acid into the water supply. All of this makes the river's role in the Flint Water Crisis unsurprising, given that its corrosive water is flowing untreated through old pipes that leeched lead into the city's drinking water.

The two rivers flow throughout the movement, the Cuyahoga on the left channel, and the Flint on the right.

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from Concrete Oasis, released September 9, 2016

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about

Benjamin R. Fuhrman Lansing, Michigan

Benjamin R. Fuhrman is a composer based in Lansing, Michigan. He studied composition at Michigan State University with Ricardo Lorenz and Mark Sullivan, and violin performance at Hope College with Mihai Craioveanu.

his works have been performed throughout the world.

He is currently serving on the faculty at the MSU Community Music School, Mott Community College, and Oakland University.
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