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Re: E-M:/ Symbol for Clean water unanimously passes Senate, whilesubstantive laws and funding are being gutted

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

On Thu, 29 May 2003, Praxis wrote:

> Lotus grow best in a polluted setting.
>  its blossom. held well above the filth, muck,
> and corruption of life made of rotting vegetable and animal matter that
> it grows best in.
> >
As a botanist and wetland ecologist, I have to object to this portrayal of
both the American Lotus (which should not be confused with the completely
unrelated Asian lotuses), and its habitat.  "Muck" is, in fact, a natural
organic soil type, the result of incomplete decomposition of (mostly)
plant material as a result of waterlogging and lack of oxygen in the
sediment.  Praxis' characterization of decomposing organic materials as
"corruption of life" and these habitats as "filth" perpetuates outmoded
nineteenth-century stereotypes of wetlands, especially organic-soil
wetlands, as somehow unhealthy, "polluted", noxious, and disease-ridden.
These are the same misconceptions and fear-mongering being spread by the
groups and individuals who want to destroy Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
These are, in fact, healthy, normal, dynamic habitats, essential to the
health of the Great Lakes ecosystem, and no more polluted than any other
part of the Great Lakes!

	--Barb Madsen


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