Open Access (electronic)
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Ecology Is defined as "the study of how organisms interact with each other and their physical environment." Environmental conservation Is defined as "the rational use of the environment to provide the highest sustainable quality of living for humanity." The most important threat to our existence on earth today is that of global warming. The human activity that has the greatest effect on warming is the release of greenhouse gases such as C0 2 . For your research into this issue see the following Wikipedia articles Other factors include and . Can you think of others? The death of a lake or river is said to occur when it becomes so polluted that it can no longer support life (such as fish turtles crustaceans etc.). The most famous dead river is probably the Cuyahoga River in Ohio which actually caught on fire many times helping to spur the environmental movement in the late 1960s. Fires plagued the Cuyahoga beginning in 1936 when a spark from a blow torch ignited floating debris and oils. Fires erupted on the river several more times before June 22 1969 when a river fire captured the attention of Time magazine which described the Cuyahoga as the river that "oozes rather than flows" and in which a person "does not drown but decays." This event helped spur an avalanche of pollution control activities resulting in the Clean Water Act Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the creation of the federal and state Environmental Protection Agency. As a result large point sources of pollution on the Cuyahoga have received significant attention from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in recent decades. Water quality has improved and in recognition of this improvement the Cuyahoga River was designated as one of 14 American Heritage Rivers in 1998. Pollution remains however including nonpoint source problems Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) and stagnation due to water impounded by dams. For this reason the Environmental Protection Agency classified portions of the Cuyahoga River Watershed as one of 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern. File Phoxinus percnurus sachalinensis by OpenCage.jpg (1) Abundance of small fish present Image Mountain stream.jpg (2) Water visually clear and fresh smelling Image Pleasant Stream.JPG (3) Stream banks covered with vegetation down to water s edge. Image Kziv stream.JPG (4) Small amounts of green algae in water (light green in color) Image Typha latifolia 02 bgiu.jpg (5) Some aquatic plants present such as cattails arrow leaf or pickerel weed. Image Australsnturtle2.jpg (6) Turtles present in the stream Image Crayfish.jpg (7) Crayfish under stones in the stream Image Hagmolenbeek.jpg (8) Sandbars covered with growing weeds indicating relatively stable water level Image Algues eau douce.jpg (1) Large masses of blue green algae present (dark green in color) Image Norrköping the stream “Motala ström” without water 7.jpg (2) Scoured banks from high water level during storms Image Iron hydroxide precipitate in stream.jpg (3) Putrid smell of the water Image Pollution Tietê river.JPG (4) Detergent foam present Image Arroyo Ludueña 8.jpg (5) Trash sticking out of mud and sand bars along the stream Image PlumCreekMinnesota.jpg (6) Water loaded with silt Image Sivadeule travaux juin 2001Gabions.jpg (7) No aquatic insects or fish present Image Obvious water pollution.jpeg (8) Presence of raw sewage Image Oil sheen on pond.jpg (9) Presence of oil on the surface of the water Image Triturus vulgaris.jpg (10) No salamanders or frogs under rocks along stream bank Image Water pollution.jpg (11) Stores or small factories dumping their wastes into the stream In the United States environmental protection is managed by the government at all levels local state and federal. It will be much easier to contact local or state officials rather than federal officials. Check the phone directory under "Environmental Protection" or search the Internet to find contact information for the agency in your area. If you are having difficulty finding the government body responsible for this in your area try contacting a local paddling club or . These associations have a vested interest in clean rivers and streams (that s their playground!) and often organize river clean up projects. They will be able to get you on a project put you in touch with the most responsive government body and recommend local businesses that are responsive to environmental conservation. Once you have made contact with the local government they will be able to tell you how to get in touch with the solid waste management authority (if you don t know already). It could be that the government body you have been working with is the same one responsible for solid waste management. If this is the case you previous efforts with them will pay another dividend they will be eager to arrange a visit. You may also opt to contact the dump facility yourself and make arrangements for your visit. Again you have an opportunity to use the contact you established with the local government. In most municipalities the department responsible for the sewage plant is the same as the one responsible for the water plant. Make arrangement for both visits (see requirement 8) at the same time. Make sure to bring paper pencil and clipboards and let the plant manager know ahead of time what questions you will be asking so that they can prepare. See the answers to requirement 7 for more information. is a book written by Rachel Carson and published by Houghton Mifflin in September 1962. The book is widely credited with helping launch the environmental movement in the West. When Silent Spring was published Rachel Carson was already a well known writer on natural history but had not previously been a social critic. The book was widely read (especially after its selection by the Book of the Month Club and an endorsement by Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas) spending several weeks on the New York Times best seller list and inspired widespread public concerns with pesticides and pollution of the environment. Silent Spring facilitated the ban of the pesticide DDT in 1972 in the United States. The book documented detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment particularly on birds. Carson said that DDT had been found to cause thinner egg shells and result in reproductive problems and death. She also accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation and public officials of accepting industry claims uncritically. The book stated that uncontrolled pesticide use led to the deaths of not only animals especially birds but also humans. Its title was meant to evoke a spring season in which no bird songs could be heard because they had all died from pesticides. Its title was inspired by a poem by John Keats "La Belle Dame sans Merci" which contained the lines "The sedge is wither d from the lake And no birds sing." See the honor for information on this requirement.