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The Unseen Consequences of Dumping Leaves in the River
Leaves and yard waste that are thoughtlessly blown or dumped into the waterways are now lying on the bottom of Norwalk harbor harbors decomposing and forming a black gooey paste that boaters know as Black Mayonnaise.

When black mayonnaise forms and becomes abundant enough to cover large areas for the harbor bottom, it discourages bottom-dwelling fish from spawning in that area. The Earthplace Harbor Watch (HW) has been collecting data for more than 20 years on the fish population in the harbor and an annual catch of 450 – 940 juvenile fish from the 1990’s is now down to 85-180 fish.

Although there may be other reasons responsible for the population decline such as effects of pesticides and medical waste, and other factors such as climate change and increased predation, the reduction of the local garbage patch should become a high priority. Loss of bottom fish opens a large hole in the food chain with unknown consequences as man struggles to manage commercial fisheries.

 
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EPA Talks River Cleanup Options - Environmentalists, sportsmen, and concerned residents attended a mini-workshop on the history of the Housatonic River, the health effects of the polychlorinated biphynels, PCBs, dumped into the river for decades by GE, and alternatives for cleanup.


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