Chaos: Human-made Problem


without clear understanding of ramifications to nature and natural systems -is an action we humans have historically taken- only to later find chaos as an outcome.

Public Works Department workers tinkering with the flow of water in wetland system. Breaching dams engineered naturally by local beaver population.

I’m very concerned that chaos to nature caused by human tinkering could be a potential outcome in a small wetland area in my community.

I think that actions currently being taken by the city public works department could dramatically impact the ecology of wetland systems. These are some reasons why I believe a sustained practice of breaching dams within the watershed could set the stage for ecologic chaos:

  • areas that have typically been submerged are now mudflats;
  • ponds and pond-lets that provide habitat for fish and various beneficial mosquito-eating larvae are flushed out;
  • feeding areas and shelter for wetland birds like Great Egrets, Great Blue Heron, Belted Kingfishers, Virginia Rail, various ducks, and many others are compromised;
  • Painted Turtle habitat is disturbed (research underway to determine effect fluctuating surges of water could have on this species).
The results of Public Works tinkering. Could this be the scene for potential ecologic chaos?

Sudden and dramatic drops in water levels… will ecologic chaos be a result?

Weekly Photo Challenge: “chaos

9 thoughts on “Chaos: Human-made Problem

  1. Good reporting and questioning here, Jane, and lovely photos. We have fluctuating water levels here in our marshes due to tides and weather, but I’ve never thought to question the effect of that on various animal species. Our issue is the spread of Phragmites in these marshes, crowding out other species, collecting silt; and whether or not to intervene in their spread. The limiting factor there is both cost (extensive) and how either herbicides or burning would impact other species. Nothing ever stays the same for long, does it? Our environment remains in constant, and usually unpredictable flux and flow. Have you seen Di Caprio’s recent film, ‘Before the Flood?’ Now that is an excellent examination of the coming chaos climate change brings with it…. Hugs to you, Jane <3

  2. They are discovering that the “land reclamation” projects of the past are now causing problems around the S.F. Bay. There are several projects to restore the wetlands. Unfortunately for some areas there are now houses and these areas are subject to flooding during heavy rain. Brilliant, build houses on a flood plain. Wonder if the developers are now selling flood insurance?

  3. Sad. We’re seeing this over and over again everywhere. No one is farsighted enough to properly evaluate the ultimate outcomes of our actions, but that never seems to stop us from acting.

  4. I’ve dropped the ball on this… must pick it back up. I’m trying to get a meeting scheduled with city, ODFW, and interested citizens. Timing with the election outcome …. It’s all so overwhelming…

  5. Actually, that is becoming more of a reality with the new flood plain mapping projects mandated nationwide. In my city, many homes that were not in floodplains now are.

  6. I suspect our inundation with Reed Canary grass has the same effect and renders the same mediation/restoration problems as your Phragmites situation. I have not seen the movie… will put on my “to do” list.
    Hugs back to you Elizabeth. <3

  7. We all need hugs at the moment, and we all need to give them! Such a difficult time coming to terms with the events of this week. I’m especially concerned about all efforts for the environment and to halt climate change, etc. Ironic to see the ‘red’ states of the Southeastern US aflame with wildfires and drought this week… Hope you’re doing OK- Hugs to you, and to everyone in need of one this week! <3 <3 <3

  8. Attitudes toward the environment and climate change,etc…. YES those scream areas that petrify me about the policy change plans that have been shared by the in-coming administration. Coupled with planned changes that harm advances we’ve made in human rights issues.

    Hugs are a good start for sharing our fears. What will be the next steps to peacefully convince the president-elect to reconsider and see the diasterous results that loom in the not so distant future if he proceeds as planned?

    Here’s a thought- we’ve wondered to what point in the past he wants to take us back to make America great again? I suggest the 1970’s for the environments sake… As a starter.

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