Deckers Creek – One of Many
I live in Morgantown, WV. It is mostly a college town and the local economy thrives off the college student business. The population of the city actually doubles in size during the fall and spring semesters. Aside from the traffic, it is a fairly nice place to live. Through the middle of the city runs the Monongahela River. The Monongahela joins the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River at Pittsburgh. Deckers creek is a tributary of the Monongahela which empties in my city, Morgantown.
The above photo shows Deckers creek looking very scenic and pretty. However, it has been contaminated by acid mine drainage and improper sewage disposal. This is a site which is often used for recreational activity such as fishing. A trail runs alongside it for runners and bikers to enjoy, and perhaps most importantly, the stream empties into the Monongahela. Based on a survey done by professors at West Virginia University’s Resource Management Department, the main problems associated with Deckers creek are: unnatural colors, odor, lack of aquatic life, trash, unsafe to swim, and high levels of acid. This is the water that leads into the water that is used for households and tap purposes. See below the photo of Deckers creek showing acid mine drainage.
Not pretty. While this may be one small stream, it leads into one very large river, and this river is responsible for supporting a wide variety of life, especially humans. Also, this is only one case which I am familiar with, but I don’t even know the probably vast majority of other streams across the country which are polluted and supporting life. I am hoping that these issues start to take precedence before we are unable to support life with this toxic substance we have turned our water into.
Note: I just wanted to write about this to bring awareness that these things affect so many different parties at once. It’s easy to look the other way with things like water pollution because they don’t have an immediate impact on our lives. We also derive short-term pleasure from the things that are polluting the water such as energy from coal.
Environmental pollution is similar to smoking. We are addicted to our pollution. Addicted to our consumption. We derive short-term pleasure from the act of slowly–and consciously–killing ourselves.