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Floods and Underdeveloped Areas



Here we sit, in our soggy chairs, with almost three times the normal rain for this time of year.  We know what effect it has on our moods - gloomy!  We know what effect it has on our health - no exercise!  We know what effect it has on our yards - unmown!  We know what effect it has on our streets - wet!  Thank goodness our pumping systems have been working, so we’re not being flooded out of our homes (New Orleanians, that is).

But what about nature?  What is going on in the marshes?  Mother Nature is more or less equipped to handle large quantities of water.  In fact, that is one of the great values of wetlands.  They are zones that are capable of holding large quantities of excess water and then slowly, effectively, absorbing it by soaking it into the ground or having the plants suck it up and “transpire” it into the air. The Nature Center operates this way for its neighborhood.  As water runs off lawns, driveways, and streets around the Nature Center during heavy rains, much of it finds its way to the Nature Center grounds.  Since the highest place at the Nature Center is twelve feet below sea level, this water collects at various places around the grounds.  As the Farrar Canal is lowered by the Sewage and Water Board pumps, the backwaters of the Nature Center drain into the canal and ultimately reach the lake via the pumps. All wetlands and other low vacant properties around the metro area function the same way.  To end on a positive note, one bonus of this extra influx of freshwater from above is that it flushes much organic material out into our coastal waterways, thus enriching the food chain with lagniappe energy and food.  This helps the food chains to strengthen and we will eventually reap the benefits of extra crabs and trout!  Another benefit is that the ever intruding saltwater will be pushed back - at least for a short period of time.

So don’t be too gloomy - just remember that all this rain has beneficial effects too!