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Re: E-M:/ Introduction and wetland questions

Enviro-Mich message from Barbara Jean Madsen <bjmadsen@biology.lsa.umich.edu>

Dear Mr. Riley,

	I agree with you that the seed bank from dredged or otherwise
"developed" wetlands is going to waste, and that it would be nice to find
some way to use that material elsewhere.  I also agree with your
observations that engineered wetlands are generally not as diverse as
natural wetlands, and that their sediments are generally poor in organic

	However, your suggestion for using old telephone books as a
material to be put in wetlands has a couple of problems.  First, if the
books are simply dumped in place, their density and structure will not
have the same hydrological characteristics as natural organic matter;
natural materials do not come in thick sections of parallel layers.  The
books would at least have to be shredded.  Second, their pH is likely to
be problematic.  Natural organic matter is slightly to very acidic; what
is the pH of telephone books? Third, the ink used to print the books may
contain toxic or otherwise harmful elements or compounds.

	Finally, you claim that telephone books are no longer being
recycled.  Maybe that's true wherever you live, but it's certainly not
true everywhere--they're still recycled in Ann Arbor, for example.  I
think the best solution to the telephone-book problem is simply to lobby
for continued, or renewed, recycling.  As for the wetlands, well, we still
need to work on those.  I hope you can find some efficient and effective
way to use those currently-trashed seed banks.

	--Barbara J. Madsen, Ann Arbor

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