Death in the Marsh, P#!

Tom Harris, Author Island Press $40 (259p) ISBN 978-1-55963-069-6
In 1984, Harris, an investigative reporter for the Sacramento Bee , began following up reports that selenium-tainted runoff, p.4 piped in from farms by a federal water project, was causing a startling number of malformations and deaths among the waterfowl of the Kesterton National Wildlife Refuge in California's San Joaquin Valley. Although toxic levels of this mineral occur worldwide, with damaging consequences, in the western United States use of selenium-rich fertilizers, animal feeds and industrial materials has exacerbated the problem. Harris recounts his eight-year odyssey through the West, collecting soil, water and vegetation samples and interviewing human victims of selenium poisoning. He chronicles the work of biologists and chemists on the sources and effects of the element and the persistent clash between farming and conservation interests. While he outlines possible solutions, Harris pessimistically notes the daunting effort required for implementation. This detailed, persuasive narrative further clarifies the need to discover and remedy environmental perils while we still have the power to do so. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Hardcover - 259 pages - 978-1-55963-070-2
Open Ebook - 266 pages - 978-1-61091-258-7
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