The Bronx River in New York was once an open culvert, more useful for transporting industrial waste to harbor fish. Today, thanks to the efforts of environmental groups and communities living in the 37 km flow area, the river is back to health.
This is what is called ecology of restoration. And the northern part of New York City, as elsewhere, this 80-year philosophy slowly passing into the political stream, taking into account climate change and modern life.
Opponents say we are not really capable of renovating degraded landscapes with their previous states. And that claims to have more destruction, since it generates the expectation that things can always be grouped. This problem is known as moral hazard.
If restoration is feasible, then what prevents mining companies from blowing mountains and repairing?
On the opposite side of the debate, pragmatists who believe that restoration efforts are more than evil. They do not care about moral hazard, nor do they claim that humans are able to recover the landscape exactly as they were before.
Aldo Leopold is an imposing figure in this field. Its 1949 Sand County Almanac, a history of the famous “land ethic”, which forces people to reconnect with nature, is one of the cornerstones of the environmental movement.
In the 1930s, he led the world’s first restoration project, the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, which established the basic ecology of modern restoration: reversing degraded environments in their pre-disturbance conditions.
The Wisconsin project aims to recreate the pre-colonial environment as it is south of Mendota Lakes and Wingra, grassland restaurant, savannahs, forests and wetlands.
While the goal of returning the clock remains, ecologists believe that restoration in other ways as well. Given the rapid advance of climate change, it may not be possible to be such new landscapes (how, for example, could the melting of Arctic ice melt?). A goal, however, is always complicated by dynamism Inherent in nature.
In this framework, theorized in part by William Jordan in his 2003 book Forest Sunflower, the historical state of the natural environment is more a guide to the goal. Instead of restoring the landscape to an earlier state, efforts should focus on changing our operative relationship and the destruction of nature.
After centuries of use as an outlet for industrial and residential waste, the river can not be returned to its pre-colonial state, filled with a thick forest along its shores. We can not simply crave Kensico Cross-Bronx prey or freeway.
However, it is possible to make healthy Bronx River. The Alliance has learned that the key to effective is local participation: to heal the river and to remain so, has greatly increased people’s lives.
And the safest way for people who think they have an interest in something that is acting on their behalf. West Farms and Hunts Point in Norwood and Williamsbridge, Bronx a network of volunteers involved in sensitization and education, oversees the bowels of the river and help repopulate with fish.
At about 7000 km, in the mountains south of the Carpathians, in the Romanian city of Armenis, Romania World Wildlife Fund and rewilding Europe were engaged in an effort to restore European bison in its historic range.