Annual Heartbreak

The urban wetland that Mark and I have been so lovingly documenting (see also here and see here for a satellite picture) is about to disappear.

The big machines were out this morning beginning their anual scooping of the dirt, cleaning it out to bare concrete. As a journalist by both inclination and profession, I can of course make the argument for the other side in this: the boys at the flood control authority have a mandate to prepare the city for a 100-year-flood, so they have an engineering design specification for the channel’s capacity. The dirt that piles up at the bottom, enabling the lovely wetland, reduces that capacity.

But that knowledge made the plaintive cries of three killdeer this morning, standing helplessly on the concrete bank as their home was bulldozed, no less heartbreaking.