Wetland Preservation & Restoration
Wetland preservation is crucial to maintaining biodiversity, stabilization of climate and purifying surface water. Restoration efforts by the National Park Service for the The Great Marsh wetlands are underway. The goal is to diversify the ecosystem and improve water quality through the removal of non-historic buildings, seed collection, controlled burn to restore prairie, sand replenishment to reverse erosion.
River Fires and the Creation of the EPA
While it is still designated by the EPA as one of 43 contaminated sites in the Great Lakes Areas of Concern, we can thank the Cuyahoga River for being a catalyst for establishing the National Environmental Protection Agency (Jan 1, 1970) and Clean Water Act (1972). The river had caught of fire 13 times due to pollution, starting in 1868. It would be over 100 years before the Environmental Protection Agency would be proposed by Richard Nixon to regulate pollution.
Bryophites and the Tallgrass Prairie
Less than 4% of tallgrass prairie remains in the US, formerly 170 million acres. In part, for that 4%, we can thank the rocky soil in Kansas that prevented early farming. Bryophytes are both heavily disturbed by strip mining, and help restore prairie altered by strip mines. These little miracle plants are amazing.
Jack pines cleared in Wadena for potato farming for McDonald’s french fries
12,000 acres of pine forest were purchased by a North Dakota company to convert into potato crops. The clearing of this rare Minnesota forest impacts wildlife unique to the area and creates a possible water safety issue. Potato crops typically use heavy pesticides, a potential threat to a local aquifer and drinking water source. 42 square miles of Jack Pines were cleared, an area equivalent approximately to three cities combined, before the clearing was stopped by the Minnesota DNR.