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Our Vanishing Wilderness

The Chain of Life

Original broadcast date: November 29th, 1970

This was the final episode in the series, and is more of an overview of the issues. Is the public outcry against environmental abuses bringing any results? This episode tries to answer this question with a look at some new trends toward more intelligent use of natural resources.

Loss of wetlands
In this episode, they state that “tens of thousands of acres of marshland have been wiped out during the past decade”: in Massachusetts, about 20% of the original wetlands, in Connecticut, around 50%, and in New York State, around 30%.
These numbers have increased dramatically in the ensuing 40 years. According to the NOAA, Connecticut has lost around 74% of its original marsh (and that’s from 1990s figures). Massachusett’s loss has grown to 28%–less than other states–because of a Wetlands Protection Act. New York State’s loss has ballooned to 60%, due to increased development and a weakened Clean Water Act.

Besides the wetlands threatened by development, rising sea levels may change the ecosystems that remain even further, increasing salinity and water levels.

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