A late January excursion to the Sterling State Park to find piles of ice resulted in finding numerous geese on a sandy iced shore. Not necessarily what I was looking for, but peaceful nonetheless. This is the thick of the season for migrating geese, which populate much of the area in and around the western basin of Lake Erie.
Had a nice long chat today with some folks about all the environmental stressors in this region – the legacy contamination, Sulphur dioxide emissions, the bioaccumulation of pollutants in fish, fish stock depletion, cluster siting of heavy industry, etc. etc. The list goes on and on, and human society managed to do all this in less than a few hundred years. One woman talked about her days of youth spent fishing near LaSalle, how the waters were teeming with fish and you hardly even had to bait a hook to catch one within minutes. Fish nets would be full to the brim, with hardly any effort. Those days are now gone, and it makes one wonder what exactly do we think we are accomplishing as a human species? What are we doing? Such a rich, luscious region that is so incredibly important to the ecosystem and bioregion as natural habitat for a diverse array of species, including ourselves. We burn gold to derive pennies.
I hope that we will find a way to restore this region in the long term. While there are many people working diligently to push for stronger environmental stewardship, we are at a critical time in history when long standing protections are eroding quickly, and time is of the essence. It is up to each of us to be vocal advocates for environmental health and quality, as well as for smart energy policies that promote (non-polluting!) renewable energy. Take the time to call your elected officials, or go to their next café hour and share with them your concerns. Public officials need citizens to hold them to account, and to forefront what concerns the public the most. It might not seem like much, but a phone call or even a hand written letter (who does that anymore??) is always nice to receive.
So I call on you, my fellow citizens, to stand up for health and environment, and find common cause in protecting the Lake Erie community, whether flora, fauna or human.
We are all in this together.