Dead Christmas Trees Sleep With the FishesBy Michael Frank on January 7th, 2013
Last week on trash day, expired Christmas trees slumped in front of nearly every house on our street and it was hard not to feel a tinge of guilt. Some 30 million trees are cut down for the holidays every year, and most end up as mulch or land fills. But a very cool program in Lake Havasu is turning hundreds of them into artificial reefs that are nurturing fish and other critters. Begun in 1992, the trees are sunk in 42 coves and cover 875 acres (at its launch, it was the largest such program in the country). As they decompose, they create a skin of moss and algae over PVC pipes, concrete, and cinder block skeletons built by biologists, providing organic material the feeds and shelters fish. Damming the Colorado River cut the natural downstream flow of trees and grasses and such, turning the lake into a water desert. But the Christmas tree effort has reversed course. “Before this, the lake was basically dead,” said the president of a local fishing group. “Now…the fishing is just outstanding.” Via LA Times.
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