Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fairwell and Adieu to You, Fair Spanish Ladies

I blame it on Jaws, but whenever I'm in a body of natural water, my flight response kicks in the second any fish or, let's face it, piece of seaweed comes anywhere near me. I also have an all-consuming fear of suspicious dark objects in the water, which usually turn out to be rocks. Well, it could have been a man-eater.

Despite my Spielberg-induced neurosis, I'm excited to report that, as a part of the effort to restore the Bronx River's ecosystem, the Parks Department's Natural Resources Group (NRG) has reintroduced two types of herring to the river.
The alewife and blue herring are diadromous fish, meaning that they live in salt water, but migrate to fresh water to spawn. The Bronx River, New York
City's only freshwater river, was prime spawning ground for the herring until access was compromised by the construction of several dams beginning in the 17th Century. (Just think what would happen to Park Slope if subway service was disbanded – adios triple-wide strollers.) The dams are here to stay, but NRG will be implementing fish ladders – which are exactly what they sound like – to allow passage over the dam so the herring can successfully get it on!

"Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water..."

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