Friday, February 5, 2010

Notes of interest worth some of your weekend

Recycling, simplified. One of the most frustrating thing about river clean-up is that, by nature, every chunk of trash in the water was utterly preventable pollution. (Especially the floatables!) That said, you’ll understand why I appreciate a website that was forwarded to me by friend Scott Bretey. The site is called “” It turns the task of recycling—even hard-to-recycle items, like electronics—into a more easy, convenient task. You type in the trash you’d like to recycle, along with your zip code, and it takes you to the most convenient options. Thanks for sharing, Scott!

Some pages of Mississippi River history. I stumbled across an interesting blog entry this week, a product (and project) of the Pennsylvania Historical Society. (Click here to take a look.) It gives us an idea of how young this part of the country really is, and how crude (but effective) early methods of measuring flooding and flow really were. I shared the link with my brother Kevin earlier, who happens to live in PA, and who has recently been studying some history about railroad crossings over the great river. In a response, he wrote that he enjoyed “…the subtlety of the colors in these old lithographs. And though they are just basic landscapes, there is something romantic about them. [It] was not that long ago at all that this continent was largely unexplored and unmapped. Compared to most of the world, we are a young nation still.”

Another story on river and habitat management. From the Deseret News, regarding the restoration of sand bars through artificial flooding. Gosh, I have to wonder whether human intervention is the more the source of the solution… or the problem. (I’m just sayin.’) Click here for more. I appreciate the work of the USGS. But long range problems like those being experienced now on the Colorado River and it’s tributaries… are precisely the kind of thing we should be very careful about the dams, dikes, levees and developments are built in the first place. I’m not here to judge… only to suggest great care in future development decisions which could alter where a river wants to go.

Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow. I’ve been watching progress as water is again released from the Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River in California. Here’s a story from an ABC affiliate KFSN-TV in Fresno about the resumption of flows earlier this week.

© 2010 Mike D. Anderson, St. Michael, MN. All rights reserved.

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