While the entire post was an excellent synopsis of our current
conundrum, this portion was part that I feel I have something to
I live in Toledo, Ohio at the western end of Lake Erie. You wouldn't
believe the numbers of mayflies. Piles, upon piles of them. If we get
an onshore wind during the hatch, you can't see the lawns or pavement
adjacent to street lights or business signage. And then the stink
ensues... Of course, I'm grinning ear to ear. But as for a large
population of my fellow Toledoans, the general sentiment is "Can't we
spray for these or something?" I guess it's another fault of ecology
not coming packaged neatly in seranwrap. I've also seen different
species pop up out of streams further away, which is kind of
A question... Dave, it seems you approach the unmentionable topics of
how much we've trashed frequently, perhaps your career allows you to do
so. I live in Corporate America and I find that by bringing things up
and pointing them out, people become disconcerted once they see "the
truth" and then go on consumerish binges only a recent lottery winner
could rival. I tend to just keep my mouth shut at "pool parties"
because I found I'm not exactly viewed as much of a distinguished guest,
let alone being singled out as "the weird guy"...
I have found that by showing people what "not screwed up" looks like,
they're a bit more receptive (we're fortunate to have a TNC Oak Savanna,
Sand Barrens, Mesic and Wet Prarie preserve here) to listen to how they
might change their gardens, their habits, get their hands a little bit
But back to the pool party conversation... How do you folks handle this?
The tendency for me is to shake a fist at "you cursed gobies, goldfish,
loostrife, etc etc". But I'd prefer to make more friends of nature than
selfishly solicit my disgust. And even more so, I'd hate to create even
more complacency in people who otherwise are receptive to lower impact
living in our society. Any insights on how to better approach a
conversation like this?
And I'm okay with being the weird guy. I think that's a given. ;)
From: Dave Neely
Anyway, this guy also mentioned some work that he's involved in on Lake
- the work done in the 80s and 90s to clean up the lake has made some
progress, helped to some degree by zebra mussels, that have moved metals
DDT into the sediments (where folks had hoped they'd stay!). Water
in the lake has improved to the point that the burrowing mayflies
(Hexagenia, Ephemera, and others) have come back in large numbers.
These guys used to form a critical link in the food chain! But wait...
little guys are now doing the same thing as the gizzard shad I mentioned
earlier - moving toxins and metals out of the sediment, and putting it
the form of a little tasty treat that walleye, perch, and steelhead love
munch on. In other words, the progress we thought we made over the past
years in the Great Lakes has been a facade- we haven't really removed
toxins from the environment, we've just covered them over with a bit of
sediment and hoped they'd go away.
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