Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Did the Midland flood stir up contaminants that could hurt wildlife?

The flood that was caused by heavy rains and the failure of two dams near Midland caused property damage far downstream. But the long term damage might be in the contamination of wildlife.
Paddling a kayak through the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, you can see that it's been flooded. But, for the most part, that's OK. It's a flood plain. It's supposed to flood here rather than in cities downstream.
This refuge is a stopover for migratory birds.
The Cass, the Tittabawassee, the Flint, and the Shiawassee rivers all come together around this 10,000 acres.
“We probably, on average, get about fifty thousand waterfowl,” said Pam Repp, manager of the refuge. Most of those birds have already made the stop in the spring as they headed north.
“We have Canada geese, blue wing teal, green wing teal. We have a lot of wood ducks. Wood ducks do nest here. We support most of the flyway," Repp explained.
That flyway is the Eastern portion of the Mississippi flyway of birds migrating between the southern U.S. and Canada.

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