|Minnesota River bridge, high clearance|
Photo by J. Harrington
One approach could be based on something like the Department of Transportation's ongoing work to minimize crashes between vehicles and wildlife. Conversely, some of the reports coming out of North Carolina make me wonder if our Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) and tailings basin design and management rules are overdue for revisions. Flooded animal operations and ash basins from Hurricane Matthew may leave lingering public health problems for North Carolina residents trying to recover from flooded property problems. Admittedly, Minnesota isn't in hurricane territory, but did Duluth and Rushford and other communities think they were in the path of the kind of floods they've experienced in the recent past? [NC CAFO update]
|Stillwater "lift" bridge, limited clearance|
Photo by J. Harrington
An example from the Trout Unlimited article should motivate us to take a careful look at the risks and savings potential we face.
"Little Schoharie Creek [in New York state] cut deeper into its streambed, prompting a project initially budgeted at $12.1 million that grew to exceed $20 million to fix the damage, while experts agree that appropriate emergency measures would have cost only $1.5 million using recommended actions."It may be a coincidence that the arrival of the TU magazine arrived within a few days of the state's consideration of a request from thousands of medical personnel to do a Health Impact Assessment on proposed copper-nickel-sulfide-hard-rock mining. I prefer to think it's due to serendipity. We can't well manage a new normal with old tools. Examples, like truths, are out there. Will we pay attention? Fewer, more intense storms will affect fish that have evolved to different stream flow patterns. They'll have to adapt or become evolutionary failures. So will we.
What's left is footage: the hours beforeCamille, 1969—hurricaneparties, palm trees leaningin the wind,fronds blown back,a woman's hair. Then after:the vacant lots,boats washed ashore, a swampwhere graves had been. I recallhow we huddled all night in our small house,moving between rooms,emptying pots filled with rain.The next day, our house—on its cinderblocks—seemed to floatin the flooded yard: no foundationbeneath us, nothing I could seetying us to the land.In the water, our reflectiontrembled,disappearedwhen I bent to touch it.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.