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
From bubbling spring-fed headwaters to quiet, marshy creeks and tannin-stained northern reaches, Wisconsin is home to 84,000 miles of streams. This guide is the ultimate companion for learning about the animals and plants in Wisconsin streams. A collaborative effort by dozens of biologists and ecologists, Field Guide toWisconsin Streams is accessible to anglers, teachers and students, amateur naturalists, and experienced scientists alike.
More than 1,000 images illustrate the species in this field guide. These images are augmented by detailed ecological and taxonomic notes, descriptions of look-alike species, and distribution maps. The guide identifies:
• more than 130 common plants
• all 120 fishes known to inhabit Wisconsin streams
• 8 crayfishes
• 50 mussels
• 10 amphibians
• 17 reptiles
• 70 families of insects
• other commonly found invertebrates.
Best Regional General Interest Books, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Best Regional General Interest Books, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
Rivers and streams supply our water and capture our imaginations. We seek the more pristine ones to fish or paddle, to hike along or simply sit and watch. But what is it we are seeing? What is essential about streams and rivers for us as humans?
In For the Love of Rivers, stream ecologist Kurt Fausch draws readers across the reflective surface of streams to view and ponder what is beneath, and how they work. While celebrating their beauty and mystery, he uses his many years of experience as a field biologist to explain the underlying science connecting these aquatic ecosystems to their streamside forests and the organisms found there—including humans.
For the Love of Rivers introduces readers to the life and work of Shigeru Nakano, a pioneering river ecologist who inspired other scientists around the world with his innovative research on stream-forest connections. Fausch takes readers along as he journeys to Japan, where he awakens to an unfamiliar culture, to Nakano, and his research.
Nakano’s life was abruptly ended in a tragic field accident, and his death was deeply mourned. Fausch joins Japanese and American colleagues to continue Nakano’s research legacy, learn everything they can about the effects that humans have on rivers, fish, and their intricate links with riparian zones, and share this knowledge with others.
More than a book about stream ecology, For the Love of Rivers is a celebration of the interconnectedness of life. It is an authoritative and accessible look at the science of rivers and streams, but it also ponders the larger questions of why rivers are important to humans, why it is in our nature to want to be near them, and what we can do now to ensure the future of these essential ecosystems.
Since 1996, The Hudson: An Illustrated Guide to the Living River has been an essential resource for understanding the full sweep of the great river's natural history and human heritage. This updated third edition includes the latest information about the ongoing fight against pollution and environmental damage to the river, plus vibrant new full-color illustrations showing the plants and wildlife that make this ecosystem so special.
This volume gives a detailed account of the Hudson River’s history, including the geological forces that created it, the various peoples who have lived on its banks, and the great works of art it has inspired. It also showcases the many species making a home on this waterway, including the Atlantic sturgeon, the bald eagle, the invasive zebra mussel, and the herons of New York Harbor. Combining both scientific and historical perspectives, this book demonstrates why the Hudson and its valley have been so central to the environmental movement.
As it charts the progress made towards restoring the river ecosystem and the effects of emerging threats like climate change, The Hudson identifies concrete ways that readers can help. To that end, royalties from the sale of this book will go to the non-profit environmental advocacy group Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc.
The Hudson River is one of the great rivers of the world. Not long ago, it was seriously threatened by pollution. Now it is coming back to life as a waterway where fish and birds can thrive again—a river valued once more by communities along its shores.
The sloop Clearwater, founded by folksinger Pete Seeger, has been at the vanguard of this river revival. The environmental education program on board the sloop has taught thousands of children and adults to love the river. Building on its achievements, The Hudson, brings a wealth of knowledge to a wider audience.
Covering the full sweep of the river’s natural history and human heritage, this book introduces readers to the river’s diversity of plants and wildlife, to the geological forces that created it, to the people who explored and settled its banks, to its enduring place in American history and art, and to the battles waged over its environmental preservation. This revised edition also includes new information on the importance of the Hudson’s watershed, the impacts of invasive species, and the latest data on the river’s toxic PCB contamination, as well as new scholarship on the river’s history.
In engaging illustrations, maps, and text––distilled from the best research on the Hudson’s habitat and history––this unique book invites you to explore the river yourself.
"This is nature writing at its best." —E.O. Wilson
"Eloquent treatise...Landis's book is as much call to action as paean to mesmerizing molluscs." —Nature
"Rich, accurate, and moving." —New Scientist
"A lyrical love letter to the imperiled freshwater mussel." —Science
Abbie Gascho Landis first fell for freshwater mussels while submerged in an Alabama creek, her pregnant belly squeezed into a wetsuit. After an hour of fruitless scanning, a mussel materialized from the rocks—a little spectaclecase, herself pregnant, filtering the river water through a delicate body while her gills bulged with offspring. In that moment of connection, Landis became a mussel groupie, obsessed with learning more about the creatures’ hidden lives. She isn’t the only fanatic; the shy mollusks, so vital to the health of rivers around the world, have a way of inspiring unusual devotion.
In Immersion, Landis brings readers to a hotbed of mussel diversity, the American Southeast, to seek mussels where they eat, procreate, and, too often, perish. Accompanied often by her husband, a mussel scientist, and her young children, she learned to see mussels on the creekbed, to tell a spectaclecase from a pigtoe, and to worry what vanishing mussels—70 percent of North American species are imperiled—will mean for humans and wildlife alike. In Immersion, Landis shares this journey, traveling from perilous river surveys to dry streambeds and into laboratories where endangered mussels are raised one precious life at a time.
Mussels have much to teach us about the health of our watersheds if we step into the creek and take a closer look at their lives. In the tradition of writers like Terry Tempest Williams and Sy Montgomery, Landis gracefully chronicles these untold stories with a veterinarian’s careful eye and the curiosity of a naturalist. In turns joyful and sobering, Immersion is an invitation to see rivers from a mussel’s perspective, a celebration of the wild lives visible to those who learn to search.
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.
In a lyrical mix of natural science, history, and memoir, Melissa L. Sevigny ponders what it means to make a home in the American Southwest at a time when its most essential resource, water, is overexploited and undervalued. Mythical River takes the reader on a historical sojourn into the story of the Buenaventura, an imaginary river that led eighteenth- and nineteenth-century explorers, fur trappers, and emigrants astray for seventy-five years. This mythical river becomes a metaphor for our modern-day attempts to supply water to a growing population in the Colorado River Basin. Readers encounter a landscape literally remapped by the search for “new” water, where rivers flow uphill, dams and deep wells reshape geography, trees become intolerable competitors for water, and new technologies tap into clouds and oceans.
In contrast to this fantasy of abundance, Sevigny explores acts of restoration. From a dismantled dam in Arizona to an accidental wetland in Mexico, she examines how ecologists, engineers, politicians, and citizens have attempted to secure water for desert ecosystems. In a place scarred by conflict, she shows how recognizing the rights of rivers is a path toward water security. Ultimately, Sevigny writes a new map for the future of the American Southwest, a vision of a society that accepts the desert’s limits in exchange for an intimate relationship with the natural world.
A major contribution to the nascent anthropology of urban environments, Reigning the River illuminates the complexities of river restoration in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital and one of the fastest-growing cities in South Asia. In this rich ethnography, Anne M. Rademacher explores the ways that urban riverscape improvement involved multiple actors, each constructing ideals of restoration through contested histories and ideologies of belonging. She examines competing understandings of river restoration, particularly among bureaucrats in state and conservation-development agencies, cultural heritage activists, and advocates for the security of tens of thousands of rural-to-urban migrants settled along the exposed riverbed.
Rademacher conducted research during a volatile period in Nepal’s political history. As clashes between Maoist revolutionaries and the government intensified, the riverscape became a site of competing claims to a capital city that increasingly functioned as a last refuge from war-related violence. In this time of intense flux, efforts to ensure, create, or imagine ecological stability intersected with aspirations for political stability. Throughout her analysis, Rademacher emphasizes ecology as an important site of dislocation, entitlement, and cultural meaning.
In prehistoric times, the Santa Cruz River in what is now southern Arizona saw many ebbs, flows, and floods. It flowed on the surface, meandered across the floodplain, and occasionally carved deep channels or arroyos into valley fill. Groundwater was never far from the surface, in places outcropping to feed marshlands or ciénegas. In these wet places, arroyos would heal quickly as the river channel revegetated, the thriving vegetation trapped sediment, and the channel refilled. As readers of Requiem for the Santa Cruz learn, these aridland geomorphic processes also took place in the valley as Tucson grew from mud-walled village to modern metropolis, with one exception: historical water development and channel changes proceeded hand in glove, each taking turns reacting to the other, eventually lowering the water table and killing a unique habitat that can no longer recover or be restored.
Authored by an esteemed group of scientists, Requiem for the Santa Cruz thoroughly documents this river—the premier example of historic arroyo cutting during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when large floodflows cut down through unconsolidated valley fill to form deep channels in the major valleys of the American Southwest. Each chapter provides a unique opportunity to chronicle the arroyo legacy, evaluate its causes, and consider its aftermath. Using more than a collective century of observations and collections, the authors reconstruct the circumstances of the river’s entrenchment and the groundwater mining that ultimately killed the marshlands, a veritable mesquite forest, and a birdwatcher's paradise.
Today, communities everywhere face this conundrum: do we manage ephemeral rivers through urban areas for flood control, or do we attempt to restore them to some previous state of perennial naturalness? Requiem for the Santa Cruz carefully explores the legacies of channel change, groundwater depletion, flood control, and nascent attempts at river restoration to give a long-term perspective on management of rivers in arid lands. Tied together by authors who have committed their life’s work to the study of aridland rivers, this book offers a touching and scientifically grounded requiem for the Santa Cruz and every southwestern river.
Despite nearly three decades of efforts intended to protect the nation's waters, and some success against certain forms of chemical and organic contamination, many of our nation's waterways continue to be seriously degraded. The call of the 1972 Clean Water Act -- "to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters" -- remains unanswered.
Restoring Life in Running Waters discusses freshwater ecosystems in the United States and the need for using biology to understand their present condition. The book makes a case for using indexes that integrate measurements of many biological attributes to assess and communicate environmental health. In a unique and innovative format, the authors present 37 premises and 7 myths that explore the theory and practice of biological monitoring and the use of multimetric indexes.
The book explains:
why biological monitoring and assessment are needed
the historical evolution of biological monitoring
how and why living systems give the best signals for diagnosing environmental degradation
what multimetric indexes do and why they are effective
how multimetric indexes can be used and common pitfalls to avoid in using them
why many criticisms of biological indexes are not valid
how the principles of biological monitoring and multimetric indexes can be expanded beyond aquatic systems to other environments
how information from indexes can be integrated into the regulatory and policy framework
Restoring Life in Running Waters provides practical and effective tools for managers and scientists seeking to understand the impact of human activities on natural systems and to determine proper action to remedy problems. It is an essential handbook for conservation biologists; agency personnel at all levels, including technical staff, policymakers, and program managers; and for anyone working to protect and restore the health of the nation's waters.
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.
Up on the River is John Madson’s loving and often hilarious tribute to the people, animal life, and places of the Upper Mississippi. Madson’s Upper Mississippi is the part “between the saints,” from St. Louis to St. Paul, and where for thirty years he explored the bright waters of the upper reaches of the mighty river itself as well as the tangled multitude of sloughs, cuts, and side channels that wander through its wooded islands and floodplain forests.
“Some of my best time on the River has been in the company of game wardens, biologists, commercial fishermen, clammers, trappers, hunters, and a smelly, mud-smeared coterie of river rats in general, and my views of the River are far more likely to reflect theirs than those of the transportation industry,” Madson writes of his thirty-year acquaintance with the Mississippi. Traveling mainly by canoe and johnboat, he tells of encounters between archetypal commercial fishermen and archetypal game wardens over hot fish chowder, fishing for crappies in the tops of submerged trees and for walleyes amid gale force winds, nesting and migrating herons and ducks and eagles, the histories of river logging and pearling and button making, and towboats and barges and the lives of the “ramstugenous” people who move freight on the river.
Learning about the Upper Mississippi via the wry tutelage of John Madson, who discovered that “whenever I am out on a river some of its freeness rubs off on me,” readers of this classic book will also come under the spell of this freeness.
Far from being the serene, natural streams of yore, modern rivers have been diverted, dammed, dumped in, and dried up, all in efforts to harness their power for human needs. But these rivers have also undergone environmental change. The old adage says you can’t step in the same river twice, and Ellen Wohl would agree—natural and synthetic change are so rapid on the world’s great waterways that rivers are transforming and disappearing right before our eyes.
A World of Rivers explores the confluence of human and environmental change on ten of the great rivers of the world. Ranging from the Murray-Darling in Australia and the Yellow River in China to Central Europe’s Danube and the United States’ Mississippi, the book journeys down the most important rivers in all corners of the globe. Wohl shows us how pollution, such as in the Ganges and in the Ob of Siberia, has affected biodiversity in the water. But rivers are also resilient, and Wohl stresses the importance of conservation and restoration to help reverse the effects of human carelessness and hubris.
What all these diverse rivers share is a critical role in shaping surrounding landscapes and biological communities, and Wohl’s book ultimately makes a strong case for the need to steward positive change in the world’s great rivers.