By Thomas Babcock
Similar to "Toxic Legacy," this is a story detailing how human industries can have a negative influence on surrounding wildlife. In this case, there appears to be a strong connection between a mulch and compost site with the die-off of several hundred fish. The town of Tuxedo paid a $25,000 fine to get the municipal facility to comply with state regulations, according to a report on WNYC radio.
This is a disappointing story for obvious reasons, but it is also unfortunate because this takes place in a patch of land that was reserved by the state of New York in the 1990s. It was protected in attempt to keep the Ramapo River clean because it is a major water source for New York and New Jersey. This story provides a strong example of just how delicate our ecosystem is. Literally, all it takes is one facility, one barrel of toxins, or even one person to mess up the environment for many organisms. In this case, a polluted water supply could also mean health risks for the human population. Unfortunately, environmental damage is very easy to cause and painfully long to restore.
While "Toxic Legacy" was a blatant case of negligence, this case is still debatable on whether the proper precautions were taken or not. I’ll hold out hope that this facility will work to change its ways, if they are in fact the culprits to the fish die-off. If they are, it will be much harder to hide the sudden flush of dying fish, unlike the Ramapough Indians, who took many years to develop their plague of sicknesses.