The Importance of Wastewater Infrastructure: Up [the] Creek (with a Paddle)

July 16, 2014 | General RCAP News

David Gessner highlights a recent trip he took down a local stream impacted by the overflow of untreated sewage in his essay in this month's OnEarth newsletter. The stream is famous for being the location where the TV show Dawson's Creek was shot.

This place teems with ospreys and oystercatchers and skimmers and herons of all stripes, and with ibises, which spend their days literally poking around, jabbing their crazy curved bills into the crab holes in the marsh muck. Today buffleheads, silly-looking ducks that fully earn their name, bob along the edge of the phragmites. The water is as flat and glassy as I’ve ever seen it, and looks as if you could crack it with a rock. We glide over ghostly oyster beds, which I can reach down and touch with my paddle. When we first moved here I was quick to claim a few for my own and bring them home to roast for dinner. No more. Last winter I went deep-sea fishing with my nephew and brother-in-law, and when we passed by this channel the captain said, unequivocally, “I’d never eat anything from these creeks.”