The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan EganThe Great Lakes--Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, and Superior--hold 20 percent of the world's supply of surface fresh water and provide sustenance, work, and recreation for tens of millions of Americans. But they are under threat as never before, and their problems are spreading across the continent. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is prize-winning reporter Dan Egan's compulsively readable portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come.
Call Number: QH104.5.G7 E43 2018
The Aliens among Us by Leslie AnthonyA thoughtful, accessible look at the rapidly growing issue of invasive plants, animals, and microbes around the globe with a focus on the scientific issues and ecological, health, and other challenges From an award-winning adventure and science journalist comes an eye-opening exploration of a burgeoning environmental phenomenon and the science coalescing around it. Leslie Anthony leads readers on adventures physical and philosophical as he explores how and why invasive species are hijacking ecosystems around the globe. Weaving science, travel, history, and humor with diverse examples to chart and describe the phases of species invasion and human response, Anthony introduces field researchers and managers who seek to understand the biological, social, and economic aspects of this complex issue, and whose work collectively suggests the emergence of a global shadow economy centered on invasives. With tales of pythons in the Everglades, Asian carp and lamprey in the Great Lakes, Japanese knotweed seemingly everywhere, and the invasive organisms we don't see--pathogens and microbes such as the Zika virus--this book rivets attention on a new ecological reality. ]]>
Call Number: QH353 .A58 2017
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson; Linda Lear (Introduction by); Edward O. Wilson (Afterword by)The classic that launched the environmental movement Rarely does a single book alter the course of history, but Rachel Carson's Silent Spring did exactly that. The outrcrythat followed its publication in 1962 forced the banning of DDT and spurred the revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson's passionate concern for the future of our planet reverberated powerfully throughout the world, and her eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. This is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century. The introduction, by the acclaimed biographer Linda Lear, tells the story of Carson's courageous defense of her truths in the face of a ruthless assault form the chemical industry following the publication of Silent Spring and before her untimely death.
Rivers Lost, Rivers Regained by Martin Knoll (Editor); Uwe Lubken (Editor); Dieter Schott (Editor)Many cities across the globe are rediscovering their rivers. After decades or even centuries of environmental decline and cultural neglect, waterfronts have been vamped up and become focal points of urban life again; hidden and covered streams have been daylighted while restoration projects have returned urban rivers in many places to a supposedly more natural state. This volume traces the complex and winding history of how cities have appropriated, lost, and regained their rivers. But rather than telling a linear story of progress, the chapters of this book highlight the ambivalence of these developments.The four sections in Rivers Lost, Rivers Regained discuss how cities have gained control and exerted power over rivers and waterways far upstream and downstream; how rivers and floodplains in cityscapes have been transformed by urbanization and industrialization; how urban rivers have been represented in cultural manifestations, such as novels and songs; and how more recent strategies work to redefine and recreate the place of the river within the urban setting. At the nexus between environmental, urban, and water histories, Rivers Lost, Rivers Regained points out how the urban-river relationship can serve as a prime vantage point to analyze fundamental issues of modern environmental attitudes and practices.
Publication Date: 2017
The Once and Future Great Lakes Country by John L. RileyNorth America's Great Lakes country has experienced centuries of upheaval. Its landscapes are utterly changed from what they were five hundred years ago. The region's superabundant fish and wildlife and its magnificent forests and prairies astonished European newcomers who called it an earthly paradise but then ushered in an era of disease, warfare, resource depletion, and land development that transformed it forever. The Once and Future Great Lakes Country is a history of environmental change in the Great Lakes region, looking as far back as the last ice age, and also reflecting on modern trajectories of change, many of them positive. John Riley chronicles how the region serves as a continental crossroads, one that experienced massive declines in its wildlife and native plants in the centuries after European contact, and has begun to see increased nature protection and re-wilding in recent decades. Yet climate change, globalization, invasive species, and urban sprawl are today exerting new pressures on the region’s ecology. Covering a vast geography encompassing two Canadian provinces and nine American states, The Once and Future Great Lakes Country provides both a detailed ecological history and a broad panorama of this vast region. It blends the voices of early visitors with the hopes of citizens now.
Great Lake Villains on the MoveWho’s catching whom? (S. Hillebrand/USFWS)
Imagine 40-pound fish taking over a lake, and stealing food from smaller species. It may sound like a horror flick, but the threat of Asian carp is real—and breeding populations exist in rivers near the Great Lakes.
Kristy Meyer, managing director of the Ohio Environmental Council, says the situation’s scary for her state, in part, because Lake Erie is known for fishing.
“Lake Erie in Ohio generates a $12.9 billion revenue for the state of Ohio in tourism and travel, supports over 119,000 jobs, so all of that’s at stake if Asian carp were to get into Lake Erie,” she explains.
Meyer says prevention means assessing and possibly cutting off entry points throughout the ecosystem. It’s time to put a halt to Asian carp—before they invade the Great Lakes.
Some Big Fish to Fry in Midwestern RiversBighead and silver carp can grow up to four feet long and gobble up food that native fish rely on. These invasive fish are in the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois rivers. And if they get into the Great Lakes, they could do enormous damage.
John Dettmers, of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, says one strategy for keeping these massive carp out of the lakes is to find a place for them on our plates. The fish are considered a delicacy in Asia, but have never really caught on as food in the states. Dettmers thinks chefs and marketers could change that.
“Being able to find ways that people can enjoy the fish would be a great way to reduce the risk of big head and silver carp getting into the Great Lakes,” says Dettmers.
Going Against the FlowChicago’s going against the flow…again. More than a century ago, the direction of the Chicago River was reversed to move the city’s wastewater away from Lake Michigan. The river has since flowed into a canal instead, and then on to the Mississippi.
Joel Brammeier Asian carp meeting
The Alliance’s Joel Brammeier gives the lowdown on the threat of Asian carp. (Lloyd DeGrane/Alliance for the Great Lakes)
So, what’s the big deal? Joel Brammeier of the Alliance for the Great Lakes explains the consequences like so: “You can actually have fish swim back and forth between the Great Lakes and Mississippi river in a way that they never could in a natural environment.”
And as a result, he explains, giant Asian carp could invade the lakes and change the ecosystem.
Blocking off the canal and restoring the original flow of the Chicago River would reduce the threat. But first, the city must improve water quality so pollution isn’t carried from the river to the lake.
Can the Chicago River Change Its Ways (Again)?ore than a hundred years ago, pipes spewed sewage and factory waste directly into the Chicago River, which flowed into Lake Michigan, the city’s source of drinking water. Not surprisingly, waterborne diseases ran rampant.
Chicago’s solution was as mind-boggling as its problem—to reverse the flow of the river and dig a canal so it empties instead into the Mississippi.
The legacy of this artificial connection is a Pandora’s Box of expensive problems, including the threat of invasive species like Asian Carp entering the Great Lakes.
So today, many people believe it’s time to put a barrier back between the Mississippi River and Great Lakes. And that means cleaning up the water enough to re-reverse the Chicago River.