Image - "Drop" by dan
For quite some time now, I have been noting my feelings regarding the potential behaviours of waterways, such as lakes, rivers, and sea, including my feelings about unusual tidal events, disturbed seas, and beaching of live and dead sea/lake life.
As we have all witnessed till now, there have been many of these water disturbances happening all over the planet. And, seemingly happening at an curious rate and number.
The Earth is a living entity, and man as he lives on this planet is at the mercy of nature. But the planet is also at the mercy of the choices of mankind.
So what do we see?
From small fish to larger creatures abandoning their usual preferred life giving environments and washing up on shores; deep sea creatures leaving the sanctity of their unseen environs to languishing in shallow waters or ending their existence on beaches and lake/river banks, totally displaced from where nature intended them to be.
From lakes, once maintaining a natural balance and only altering such when Mother Nature decided to redesign their composition and volume; to rivers which once flowed freely as nature intended, to some being forever strangled by being poisoned or parched dry, as their flows are dammed, diverted or polluted almost beyond repair.
The direction of the flow of water can be changed by man or by nature. But the consequences by the former can be catastrophic to nature as the natural balances necessary for flora and fauna to thrive and survive can be tipped almost irreparably. Species migrate or die off; the environment can degenerate to a wasteland; opportunistic bacteria and weather events (including fire, flood and famine) can further erode what is left struggling to hang on to an existence. Even other wildlife, perhaps considered a ‘pest’ or not usual inhabitants to a region, can venture into these realms to further disrupt the natural order of things.
Sea water can encroach on fresh waterways when either man or nature creates an event where land waters are deprived of volume or subterranean structures are damaged. Takeaway the natural flow of fresh water from the land, which may normally flow from the lands to the sea, and the sea will naturally fill the void, causing all sorts of issues with salination in regions dependent on fresh water. To remove such, to restabilise the environs which rely on fresh water may be a major challenge. Flooding rains can create fresh flows to flush the contaminated system and create the outflow volume needed to keep at bay the unwanted inflow of sea water.
Underwater volcanic activity has warmed parts of the seas, possibly causing die-offs and migrations of some sea life. When ones environment becomes toxic with natural gases (products of undersea activity) and disturbed by the rumblings of earthquakes, it becomes apparent that another less disturbing environment or even the relinquishing of one’s ability to survive may be the only option.
"Grizzly Hunting For Salmon"
by Rosemary Ratcliff
The polluting of waterways has a similar effect on the biology/ecology of not only the waterway, but the lands adjacent to such. Pollution can take away vital elements which sustain the life of the flora and fauna (and people) which depend on its sustenance. The positive chemical composition, which sustains a natural balance, can be challenged, altered or destroyed by ‘negative’ contraindicated chemicals (naturally or unnaturally created) which encroach on it.
Denuding the landscape exposes the soils to erosion, and when flooding rains occur, can wash away vital nutrients and volume of the soils we depend upon to grow crops; animal habitats and so on.
Once freshwater supplies are contaminated, as humans, we need to search out other sources of fresh water to survive and try to repair the damage. The rest of nature has to learn to adapt, migrate or die off. Alternatively, man has to then derive fresh water (usually diverted from another naturally occurring flow of water or ship it in from somewhere) from another source to regenerate or maintain that environment and sustain their own needs. This, too, can then have a negative effect on the environment from which the water was drawn.
Another consequence of water ‘pollution’ (natural or manmade) is the poorer health (sometimes poisoning) of the food supply we depend on. The toxicity of the flesh (which we want to consume) of many fish has decreased our usual food source. When you think about it, when we may find our sea food sources are compromised, that natural order of the food chain in the oceans may be altered to.
Of course, through drought, water can be scarce and impact negatively on many communities as well as the natural environment. Lakes and rivers used as fresh water sources can become less acceptable for drinking water as the composition of the water itself is less palatable or affected by opportunistic (or naturally occurring) increased bacteria.
Nature, allowed through its own ways of repair, can right its self-created imbalances. Man, on the other hand, battles with nature to right ‘his’ own wrongs.
On another train of thought, the sea currents, heating and cooling cycles and earthly activity (earthquakes, cyclones etc.) have impacted, and will continue to do so, many communities and coastlines. Extreme tides, tsunamis (of varying degrees) and other water disturbances are causing various issues currently. The devastation and shock of the Japanese tsunami, for example, has left many, around the world, on edge about potential sea changes.
The many earthquakes in sea beds and on or near coastlines have many looking out for potential sea changes. Undersea and ‘coastal’ volcanic activity has many more ‘tuned in’ to potential sea level disturbances too. More and more reporting of possible hazards, such as potential sea shelf, underwater volcanic and plate subduction, strike/slip (and so on) activity has aroused much curiosity, interest and obviously concern for many communities who may be living near the sea or on islands.
So I hope that we, as caretakers of our beautiful planet and guardians of its living creatures, can maintain all we can and are doing to protect and preserve this source vital to our existence – water. Its purity is imperative, as is its importance to the cycle of life.
I hope that ‘we’ can correct the errors of some of our ways to ensure we don’t ‘damage’ that is such beyond repair.
I hope that lessons learnt can be the catalyst to new ideas as to how we manage this precious resource and not ignorantly cause an issue which, after the fact, we see we have made a tremendous mistake for humanity and nature.
As for the sea, mostly what ‘she’ delivers to us is out of our control. When nature has its way, we can only be aware, pre-warned and prepare for what may be. Sometimes we are left with disasters to recover from and sometimes we are left in awe of her power and ability to transform our lives. What we remove from the sea to subsist, we must be grateful for and respect what is left.
This post is not meant to be a 'sermon' ;) Just a conversation.
I hope for peace and safety for all.