Environment Blog

A new breed of environmentalism

January 9, 2008

When we think of environmentalism we tend to think of the preservation of pristine tracts of land far removed from civilization or of “green living” where we try to minimize the environmental impact of our daily urban existence.

However, there seems to be a paradigm shift in the approach to environmentalism, where environmentalists are now trying to restore bits of land and water to their natural condition–within cities.

For example in New York there is a effort underway to restore the Bronx River, which was used as dumping ground for sewage and industrial waste in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In the borough of Brooklyn people are looking at ways to “restore” a man-made waterway known as the Gowanus Canal.

And in Maryland people are trying to restore the Anacostia River, which flows through Washington D.C., and has been used as a raw sewage dump.

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Discussion

1 Comment

Marlene says:

Our urban wetland areas were contorted and developed in an industrial erea–primarily because of their transportation advantages. Now industrial brownfields at the water’s edge, we look to re-development at a time of global warming that will bring rising seas.

If we no longer can use these places for their transportation advantages, then it is time we engineer these re-developed water front lands with the goal of putting them back into service of nature–storm water management, CO2 control, habitat for protection of life.

Is it time for some Federal Waterfront/wetlands policy? What of the local civic structures and waterfront policy? Is the Army Corp useful for addressing these issues?

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