Michelle Nijhuis’s article “The Parks of Tomorrow” discusses the way scientists have attempted to maintain the Assateague Island National Seashore. Nijhuis lists the multiple laws and tactics used to preserve the seashore as unimpaired.
Nijhuis states that although there were laws placed to ensure the seashore was further unimpaired, they did not address “the reality of human-caused climate change” because doing so was political and therefore off-limits for Park Services (134). This assessment of the Park Services leads to the articles point of the seashore maintaining a beautiful appearance but an unhealthy environment.
What's was one of the human-caused climate changes affecting the seashore that stood out to you most? Briefly explain why.
Responses from other reading group participants:
"This was interesting and ultimately pretty unsettling with me because we are taught from a young age trees are pretty much ancient beings and live just about forever. What is going to happen if the lifespan of a human starts to surpass the life expectancy of a tree?" --Natasha H.
"Something that stood out to me was that the budget for this issue is still the same as it was 10 years ago. This made me upset because it is obviously an important issue and not only does it not get the attention that it deserves, it doesn't get the funds either." Dayejah C.
"I particularly made comparisons between the way in which we currently label food as 'organic' and the law on page 132, that said '...to leave park scenery and wildlife 'unimpaired for the enjoyment...' However, the author noted that the law did not define 'unimpaired.' Therefore, there was constant battle over the land because developers wanted to create new pieces for Assateague. This is an important point because it is not about the climate change and the science, but about law reform. People abuse the wording of laws and will try to use the unexplained and ambiguous definitions for their own benefit, just like in slapping the word organic on food that may not be 'organic.'" --Joshua J.