The small shark has been tossed up in the surf and was beached, still alive, but tangled in the driftwood and kelp. Carefully keeping away from the toothy business end, I picked it up and set it in a tiny rivulet. It wriggled its way back into the surf and out to sea.
For the first time in almost 35 yrs. Karen and I recently indulged ourselves with a mid-winter, warm climate vacation. It was heartening to see that other parts of the world hold many of the same values concerning the preservation of a healthy planet, as we do in southwest Wisconsin.
For example, dedicated volunteers work to eradicate harmful invasive species so that an ecologically stable landscape can flourish. Another small group of volunteers partner with the local coast guard to promote the development of a stable colony of endangered birds. These efforts remind us of effective groups such as Trout Unlimited and the Driftless Area Land Conservancy (to name just two) right here in our own backyard.
We were also impressed with efforts to educate visitors about local plants and animals. Teaching aids explain how specific species suffer when human waste and sprawl encroaches. A hardworking woman who enlists help from school children and volunteers maintains a small, modestly equipped aquarium. Her efforts echo the work of the many “eco-champions” we have right here in Iowa County. It was heartening to see the good work our global “preservation partners” carry out.
Some of the practices we experienced that are not so common here could be emulated.
- It’s still a mystery to me why dual flush toilets aren’t installed routinely – half a tank flush for #1 and a full tank flush for #2.
- Small solar powered lights in cabins provide sufficient illumination for camping needs.
- Dedicated bike lanes provide a multitude of positive benefits.