Friday 56 – Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore

risingThe Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.

This week’s quote is from Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush. I have an interesting dual review planned for this one, once I finish it. I read most of another climate change book (I stopped reading for reasons I will explain in the review) and I’ll be comparing the two.

All along the Eastern Seaboard, workers took shovels to swampy land, hoping to drain the sections prone to retaining water.

The Civilian Conservation Corps didn’t care that ditching would transform the hydrology of the entire ecosystem. The standing water in which mosquito larvae hatched was greatly reduced – and with it went hundreds of other species. Dragonflies and water beetles. Mummichogs and silversides. The seaside sparrow. The great egrets and white ibis. So, over a decade ago, the US Fish and Wildlife Service started plugging the ditches. They thought intervening in an already altered hydrological system might be able to return the marsh to a state of equilibrium. They thought they might be able to bring back the water beetles and wading birds. But, it turned out, layering one kind of human intervention on top of another only dragged the Sprague further from its starting point.

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