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26 July 2019

It’s a clumsy word, but one we don’t have in English… roughly “social and ecological management”… but one I ran across (and expect was made up) for a new model for environmental protection.

IPN (the national politechnical university) is working to preserve the last major wetland in the Valle de México, Laguna de Tecocomulco.  The “social” part is that it could become a revenue source if developed as a recreational center within the greater Metropolitan Mexico City area. The ecological part is easy to figure out… and, as for development, besides being the feeder to several aquifers in the region, it’s becoming clearer every day that that 500 years of “development” that sought to drain the naturally damp valle has economic consequences:  nobody wants to buy apartments in buildings that are sinking as the water table drops, nor to invest in regions where the sewers can no longer handle the runoff, nor does anyone really want invest in a region where the people are cleaning up floods when they’re not choking on carbon monoxide.

So… we need our lagoons.

The big threat is a surprising one… water lilies.  Although native to Veracuz and Tabasco state, both as “feral” ornamentals, and thanks to climate change, water lilies have been choking off the lagoon, turning what was a clear body of water into a swamp (hardly conducive to recreational activities) and requiring intervention.  The rater creative solution is aphids.  They love to eat water lilies, don’t live very long, and … this is a bit off the charts… make aphid farms a tourist attraction.  I have a little trouble seeing the viability of that, though I suppose there are stranger ways of capitalizing organic products… hey, ants eat aphids and ants eggs are Mexican caviar.  Where are the foodies and hipsters on this?

Jornada, “El IPN recupera el último humedal del Valle de México” (26 July 2019)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Esther Klein Buddenhagen permalink
    26 July 2019 7:53 pm

    Very interesting and hopeful. I bet a lot of kids would love aphid farms. EEewwwwww!!!!!

  2. norm permalink
    27 July 2019 6:20 pm

    The Maya raked them off, piled them on the banks and made fertilizer out of the rotting plants. They choked the life out of the ponds back then as well if they were not culled off. Just something I read about 40 years ago.

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