Swamps Can Protect Against Climate Change, If We Only Let Them – The New Yorker

by | Jun 27, 2022 | Climate Change

One authority on water, William Mitsch, has suggested that if ten per cent of the old Black Swamp soils were allowed to become wetlands again they would cleanse the runoff, yet Ohioans remain powerfully anti-wetland. Even private efforts to restore small wetland areas are met with neighbors’ complaints about noisy frogs and fears of flooding. Still, despite all odds, there exists the Black Swamp Conservancy, a land trust that oversees twenty-one thousand acres of wetlands. Hundreds of active Black Swamp Conservancy members are doing their best to restore and protect remnants of this great swamp. Can they persevere?My mother’s favorite book when she was a teen-ager, in the nineteen-twenties, was one that she loved for its swamp setting, Gene Stratton Porter’s “A Girl of the Limberlost.” The Limberlost Swamp is in northeast Indiana, forty miles west of the Great Black Swamp. Porter’s home was near the Limberlost, which, though small at thirteen thousand acres, was still a diverse and complex system of streams and ponds eventually draining into the Wabash River. The Limberlost was made up of timber, reeds, sphagnum moss, orchids, sundew, pitcher plants, and grasses that nurtured great crowds of waterbirds and migratory birds, snakes, frogs and other amphibians, deer, muskrat and beaver, mink, and an encyclopedia o …

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