During our nature walk last Saturday (I'd hardly call it a collection :) an
interesting topic came up. We were discussing stream sedimentation and all
the horrors that humanity has placed on the particular body of water were
standing in. The Maumee runs all the way from Indianapolis to Toledo at Lake
Erie, so along it's path are many many places of contamination, including a
vast spanse of "plow it to the creek/drainage ditch edge" fields. We were
both shaking a fist (or finger :) of indignation at the Industrialists and
Farmers for gunking out all the high water quality critters in pursuit of
money or lifestyle (which I holler at farmers much less because no one ever
really told them back in the day how riparian areas would benefit them).
But, as "educated" area naturalists (I say that with a grin), we realized that
the Maumee was the singular drainage for a vast swamp (The Great Black Swamp)
and it's recorded that the water was never clear in human history here. In
fact it was nearly black with all the tannins leaching out of the swamp. So
perhaps we should take a more dignant approach, take some time to do some
research, make an educated decision and then see if we should still stand in
the middle of that river and shake our fists or not.
Does tannic turbidity (tanninisity I guess :) have a direct correlation to
decrease potential water body members? Mussels, fishes, insect larve etc?
I've been on rivers up in northern Ontario that had the same tannic look, and
I'd say they were pretty high quality by the plant species I saw. But I never
did get in and seine or anything. So I really don't know.
Anyone have any insight on this so we can put this to rest? :)
Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.
- Obi Wan Kenobi
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