While on vacation in 1980, biologist Barbara Brennessel and her family came across an amazing sight: hundreds of small silver fish migrating from the Atlantic Ocean, across a channel connecting two ponds in the town of Wellfleet on Cape Cod. She later learned that these tiny river herring were important for the ecology and economy of the region and that volunteers were counting fewer and fewer fish migrating each year.
The Alewives' Tale describes the plight of alewives and blueback herring, two fish species that have similar life histories and are difficult to distinguish by sight. Collectively referred to as river herring, they have been economically important since colonial times as food, fertilizer, and bait. In recent years they have attracted much attention from environmentalists, especially as attempts are being made, on and beyond Cape Cod, to restore the rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, and estuaries that are crucial for their reproduction and survival.
Brennessel provides an overview of the biology of the fish—from fertilized eggs to large schools of adults that migrate in the Atlantic Ocean—while describing the habitats at different stages of their life history. She explores the causes of the dramatic decline of river herring since the mid-twentieth century and the various efforts to restore these iconic fish to the historic populations that treated many onlookers to spectacular inland migrations each spring.
Robert Thorson gives readers a Thoreau for the Anthropocene. The boatman and backyard naturalist was keenly aware of the way humans had altered the waterways and meadows of his beloved Concord River Valley. Yet he sought out for solace and pleasure those river sites most dramatically altered by human invention and intervention—for better and worse.
Entering the Watershed is the product of a two-year project established by the Pacific Rivers Council to develop new federal riverine protection and restoration policy alternatives. It recommends a comprehensive new approach to river protection based on principles of watershed dynamics, ecosystem function, and conservation biology -- a nationwide, strategic community- and ecosystem-based watershed restoration initiative. The book: describes in detail the existing level of damage to rivers and species analyzes flaws and gaps in existing policy provides the framework necessary to develop new policies outlines the scientific underpinnings and management strategies needed in new policy makes specific policy proposals
How to Save a River presents in a concise and readable format the wisdom gained from years of river protection campaigns across the United States. The book begins by defining general principles of action, including getting organized, planning a campaign, building public support, and putting a plan into action. It then provides detailed explanations of how to: form an organization and raise money develop coalitions with other groups plan a campaign and build public support cultivate the media and other powerful allies develop credible alternatives to damaging projects How to Save a River provides an important overview of the resource issues involved in river protection, and suggests sources for further investigation. Countless examples of successful river protection campaigns prove that ordinary citizens do have the power to create change when they know how to organize themselves.
"In Lifelines, Tim Palmer addresses the fate of our waterways. While proposals for gigantic federal dams are no longer common, and some of the worst pollution has been brought under control, myriad other concerns have appeared -- many of them more subtle and complex than the threats of the past.Palmer examines the alarming condition of rivers in today's world, reports on the success in restoring some of our most polluted streams and in stopping destructive dams, and builds the case for what must be done to avoid the collapse of riparian ecosystems and to reclaim qualities we cannot do without. He documents the needs for a new level of awareness and suggests ways to avert the plunder of our remaining river legacy.Lifelines offers a fresh perspective on: the values of natural rivers current threats to streams and possibilities for reform the continuing challenge of hydropower development water quality, instream flows, and riparian habitat ecosystem management and watershed protection the need for vision, hope, and action
Abby Phillips Metzger’s book of personal stories recounts a forgotten Oregon river, the Willamette, as it was before white settlement. Once a rich network of channels and sloughs, the Willamette today bears the scars of development and degradation.
Yet, through canoe trips and intimate explorations of the river, Metzger discovers glints of resiliency: a beaver trolling through a slough, native fish in quiet backwaters, and strong currents that carry undertones of the wild Willamette. Together with tales from farmers and scientists alike, these experiences lead Metzger to ask whether something scarred can fully heal, and whether a disjointed river can be whole again.
A story of re-discovery as told by a learner, Meander Scars will appeal to readers of literary nonfiction, river advocates, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts interested in sustaining healthy river systems for themselves, their children, and beyond.
Muskegon is a derivation of a Native American word meaning "river with marshes." Jeff Alexander examines the creation, uses of, devastation, and restoration of Michigan's historic and beautiful Muskegon River.
Four of the five Great Lakes touch Michigan's shores; the state's shoreline spans more than 4,500 miles, not to mention more than 11,000 inland lakes and a multitude of rivers. The Muskegon River, the state's second longest river, runs 227 miles and has the most diverse features of any of Michigan’s many rivers. The Muskegon rises from the center of the state, widens, and moves westward, passing through the Pere Marquette and AuSable State Forests. The river ultimately flows toward Lake Michigan, where it opens into Muskegon Lake, a 12 square-mile, broad harbor located between the Muskegon River and Lake Michigan.
Formed several thousand years ago, when the glaciers that created the Great Lakes receded, and later inhabited by Ottawa and Potawatomi Indians, the Muskegon River was used by French fur trappers in the 1600s. Rich in white pine, the area was developed during the turn-of-the-century lumber boom, and at one time Muskegon Lake boasted more than 47 sawmills. The Muskegon was ravaged following settlement by Europeans, when rivers and streams were used to transport logs to the newly developing cities. Dams on rivers and larger streams provided power for sawmills and grain milling, and later provided energy for generating electricity as technology advanced.
There is now an ambitious effort to restore and protect this mighty river's natural features in the face of encroaching urbanization and land development that threatens to turn this majestic waterway into a mirror image of the Grand River, Michigan's longest river and one of its most polluted.
The angler’s dream of fishing pristine waters in unspoiled country for sleek, healthy trout has turned fishing into a form of theater. It is a manufactured experience—much to the detriment of our rivers and streams. Americans’ love of trout has reached a level of fervor that borders on the religious. Federal and state agencies, as well as nongovernmental lobbying groups, invest billions of dollars on river restoration projects and fish-stocking programs. Yet, their decisions are based on faulty logic and risk destroying species they are tasked with protecting. River ecosystems are modified with engineered structures to improve fishing, native species that compete with trout are eradicated, and nonnative invasive game fish are indiscriminately introduced, genetically modified, and selectively bred to produce more appealing targets for anglers—including the freakishly contrived “golden trout.” The Quest for the Golden Trout is about looking at our nation’s rivers with a more critical eye—and asking more questions about both historic and current practices in fisheries management.
The conventional approach to river protection has focused on water quality and maintaining some "minimum" flow that was thought necessary to ensure the viability of a river. In recent years, however, scientific research has underscored the idea that the ecological health of a river system depends not on a minimum amount of water at any one time but on the naturally variable quantity and timing of flows throughout the year.
In Rivers for Life, leading water experts Sandra Postel and Brian Richter explain why restoring and preserving more natural river flows are key to sustaining freshwater biodiversity and healthy river systems, and describe innovative policies, scientific approaches, and management reforms for achieving those goals. Sandra Postel and Brian Richter: explain the value of healthy rivers to human and ecosystem health; describe the ecological processes that support river ecosystems and how they have been disrupted by dams, diversions, and other alterations; consider the scientific basis for determining how much water a river needs; examine new management paradigms focused on restoring flow patterns and sustaining ecological health; assess the policy options available for managing rivers and other freshwater systems; explore building blocks for better river governance.
Sandra Postel and Brian Richter offer case studies of river management from the United States (the San Pedro, Green, and Missouri), Australia (the Brisbane), and South Africa (the Sabie), along with numerous examples of new and innovative policy approaches that are being implemented in those and other countries.
Rivers for Life presents a global perspective on the challenges of managing water for people and nature, with a concise yet comprehensive overview of the relevant science, policy, and management issues. It presents exciting and inspirational information for anyone concerned with water policy, planning and management, river conservation, freshwater biodiversity, or related topics.
Tim Palmer weaves natural history into a comprehensive account of the complex problems that plague natural resource management throughout the West, as well as the practical solutions that are available.
Since the late 1960s, Oregon has been at the forefront of environmental protection in the United States. The state generally, and Portland in particular, continue to have strong “green” credentials well into the twenty-first century. Within this forty year period of progress, however, the health of the Willamette River has been a consistent blot on the record. Willamette River water pollution has not gone away—the problem has, in fact, gotten much more complex. James Hillegas-Elting’s book, Speaking for the River, provides a historical look at this dilemma.
Willamette River cleanup efforts between 1926 and 1975 centered on a struggle between abatement advocates and the two primary polluters in the watershed, the City of Portland and the pulp and paper industry. Beginning in 1926, clean streams advocates created ad hoc groups of public health experts, sanitary engineers, conservationists, sportsmen, and others to pressure Portland officials and industry representatives to cease polluting the river. By the late 1960s, these grassroots initiatives found political footholds at the state level. As governor between 1967 and 1975, Tom McCall took the issue of environmental protection personally, providing the charisma and leadership that was needed to finally make substantive progress toward cleaning the Willamette.
Speaking for the River is the first book to describe the historical roots of Willamette River pollution, providing important context for understanding the political, fiscal, and technological antecedents to the present-day conundrum. Hillegas-Elting’s contribution to the academic literature on environmental and urban history in Oregon will be welcomed by policy makers, environmentalists, and concerned citizens alike.
The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is one of the most important natural areas protection programs ever established at the federal level. It has resulted in the creation of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System -- a rich American legacy that includes many of our finest waterways. This book is the definitive resource on the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Topics covered include: the importance of protecting river ecosystems state and local protection systems the history of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System descriptions of each of the major rivers in the system how and why rivers are chosen for inclusion river management continuing threats to rivers what can be done to make the system more effective and more inclusive
The mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania provide the setting for the most popular whitewater in America: the Youghiogheny River at Ohiopyle. People from all over the nation come to run the rapids, while others simply enjoy the natural beauty of Ohiopyle State Park. But this Appalachian river has many faces as it flows from its source among the scattered mountain farms of western Maryland to its confluence with the Monongahela in the industrial outskirts of Pittsburgh. Though always a home to people who cherish their mountain roots, the region’s river offers recreation for millions of Americans.
By canoe, raft, van, and on foot, Tim Palmer explores the river from its highest spring to its industrial end. He writes about the people - afternoon visitors and eigth-generation natives - and about their pasts and their hopes, about the shaping of the land, and the land’s inevitable shaping of them.
The author chronicles the rise of the five Ohiopyle rafting companies that host 80,000 visitors each year and then takes the reader on one of these outfitted voyages. Finally, Palmer paddles beyond the Appalachians to the river’s urban end near Pittsburgh. Strip mining, land development, and recreation management are examined with a consciousness that asks, What will happen to this remarkable but threatened place?