Center for Ecosystem Restoration

Beyond Conservation

Dedicated to the restoration of America's ecosystems and communities.

Contact Us!
Thomas Ardito, Director

Center for Ecosystem Restoration
P.O. Box 476
Saunderstown, R.I. 02874

(401) 575-6109

A project of
Earth Island Institute

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Restoring Ecosystems and Communities

Center for Ecosystem Restoration is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the natural environment in order to improve the quality of life for communities, large and small.Removing Pawtuxet Falls Dam

CER works to build and support community-based partnerships engaged in positive environmental transformation. We believe that every child deserves a clean and healthy environment in which to play and grow.  And we believe that environmental restoration -- in the broadest sense -- offers a path toward economic prosperity for individual communities and for America.

Restoring Roger Williams Park PondsDuring the 19th and 20th centuries, we transformed our environment on a vast scale.  We converted endless tracts of forest and prairie into farmland, becoming the breadbasket of the world.  We built railroads, bridges, canals and highways, creating the most mobile society on earth.  We dammed virtually every river and stream, powering our factories and making the deserts bloom.  Our industrial centers helped win World War II, then rebuilt Europe in its aftermath.

These developments led America to become the most prosperous and powerful country in world history—but they were not without costs.  Air and water pollution, urban decay, declining fisheries, brownfields—these are just a few of the impacts of our transformation, the flip side of American progress.

Today, new tools are available to address many of these impacts.  There’s no silver bullet—but we can restore lost environmental functions and values, rectifying some of the damage that’s been done and improving our communities’ quality of life.  By removing obsolete dams, we can bring back lost fisheries.  By restoring shorelines, we can reduce flooding and clean up coastal waters.  By improving urban housing and developing parks and greenways, we can foster liveable communities in formerly blighted areas.


Center for Ecosystem Restoration was founded on the premise that the 21st century demands a new approach to American environmentalism.  This idea--and ideal--is captured by our motto: beyond conservation.  We are dedicated to using new tools and technologies -- coupled with the power of partnership and advocacy -- to restore the American environment, for ourselves and future generations.

Today, with the country mired in a period slow economic growth and high unemployment, CER’s mission is more important than ever.  Environmental restoration is home-grown sustainable economic development—employing engineering firms, construction companies, scientists and managers—all American.  Our projects are public-private partnerships in which governmental and corporate investments produce improvements for communities, local economies, and our natural heritage. There’s no better way to put America back to work, while creating a worthwhile legacy for our children, than in restoring our lands and waters—from sea to shining sea.

Now’s the time to get to work.  Please join us!

Please Join Us!

Join the Center for Ecosystem Restoration in our work of revitalizing New England's communities and ecosystems with a secure, tax-deductable donation through our fiscal sponsor, Earth Island Institute.  Every dollar donated goes directly toward projects that make a real difference in improving our lands, waters, and communities!

Click here to donate today!