Re: RE: NANFA-L-- The myth of restoration?
Fri, 06 May 2005 10:45:22 -0500

Todd is right in that education about nature is the key to getting
people concerned for what we are doing to nature. As an educator, I've
been working (so far in my mind, mainly) with what I am doing wrong
such that the lessons that I want people to take from me are not
catching. One key I've noticed, and some others said this first: If
it's not on television, it doesn't exist, so far as most of the public
is concerned.

I know we have some naysayers who post on this list some. I don't know
whether those persons are NANFA members or are people who are
registered to post. But despite those naysayers, this is about fish.
Fish constitute a resource that is both essential in its own right, and
is symptomatic of the larger harm that we do.

Even people who are concerned often fail because of inadequate
education about the problems. My community, Edmond, Oklahoma has a
storm water control ordinance, that requires retention and water
quality standards to meet EPA requirements. Wal-Mart has gotten
control of a large parcel of land adjacent to a small reservoir that is
owned by a neighborhood association. WalMart plans to build
a "Supercenter" with all the parking and oil change facility and garden
center that is a part of that. Lots of objection to the place going
in, and despite that a substantial tract of Cross-Timbers woodland (a
particular type of oak-hickory forest characteristic of S. Central tall-
grass prairie region in Texas and Oklahoma) would be decimated, the
city approved the facility. Wal-Mart snowed the city concerning its
planned storm-water retention facility without a single piece of data
from an outside, independent organization as to whether it works or
not. Basically, its a big underground tank that has baffles in it. It
fills up, and then overflows into the creek once its full. That's it.
The city accepted the manufacturer's and WalMart's assurances regarding
its efficacy.

Again, I know there are naysayers. However, does the membership of
NANFA value native fishes? I am willing to take action, in the public
arena, to educate concerning the problems. First, with Todd's
approach -- but we have to get people hooked. It may take money. I'll
put up some (I'm not rich, I work for a living). But let's get busy on
the public.

Putting up a national fish nomination will be one step. I'll ask the
membership -- if we nominate a national fish, may I as a leader on the
national fish issue, use that nomination as a forum on environmental
quality for fish?

Dave McNeely

"Where are we going?" "I don't know, are we there yet?"

----- Original Message -----
From: "Crail, Todd" <tcrail-in-UTNet.UToledo.Edu>
Date: Thursday, May 5, 2005 5:57 pm
Subject: RE: NANFA-L-- The myth of restoration?

> It's frustrating. It drives you mad. It engages my Tourettes
> Module on a regular basis :) I'm sure you're just venting... but
> make sure you keep it in perspective, and I guess we need to
> remind each other of this from time to time.
> Everyone else present today probably thought there was nothing "IN
> THAT". As soon as there's algae and some mud, a McDonalds or
> Walmart bag wraped around a stick in the channel from the last
> flash... It's "dead" to them. Some of the things I might say:
> "Look-in-the red and blue of the red shiners and the intense
> green, orange and blue of the green sunfish..."
> "Look-in-the bluegill sunfish... You've all caught one of these
> fishing, haven't you...? Have any of you eaten bluegill sunfish?"
> "Feel the tubercules on the creek chub that come out when they're
> spawning.... They're like fish fingers to know where each other is
> at."
> "Feel the bumpy soft lips of the sucker's mouth that lets him feel
> his way through the sand like fingers and catch bugs..."
> It all starts with someone realizing there's "something living in
> there".
> Only then, will we begin to have enough social momentum to make
> changes-in-the "parking lot level".
> They probably don't even realize the parking lot drains into the
> stream... And what a great place to start telling them, with that
> nice new nature center back drop that someone cared enough about
> nature to build.
> Heck... Start talking about those plants they've restored there
> and how those unique plants could also be in islands of a parking
> lot, remediating our petroleum spoils before it gets to the stream.
> Take it and RUN! :)
> Todd
> The Madness (tm)
> It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
> ________________________________
> From: on behalf of Dave Neely
> When you're constrained by only having access to a bit of
> downstream area
> along a creek, how can you expect to make any meaningful
> restoration to a
> stream channel? Yeah, you might be able to stabilize the banks a
> little, but
> only if you can get stuff growing between storm events. Even if
> you do,
> what's the point of having perfectly Rosgen-balanced channels when
> yourwater chemistry is totally screwed up? How do you fix water
> chemistry when
> 50% of your upstream watershed is impervious surfaces - shopping
> malls,highways, and asphalt parking lots? Seven species is a lot
> when you consider
> this stream probably gets a 20 degree temp shock with every
> midsummer storm
> event. We managed to do a fun little show for a couple of school
> groups who
> happened to be touring the grounds, but I'm just depressed and a
> littleangry. The contrast between the really nice nature center
> and the crappy
> stream was just too stark. Systems like this aren't going to get
> fixed on a
> timescale that's reasonable to any of us, and certainly not on the
> mythological EPA "swimmable waters" timescale.
> Sorry to be so down. One thing's for sure - playing in that
> cesspool today
> will certainly make me appreciate the crystal streams of the
> 'Zarks next
> month that much more...
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