Ecopoetics Along Shorelines

WRITING IN THE FIELD

May 20, 2018
scwolek

The documentary “As Long As The Rivers Run” was filmed in the 1970s but the issues brought up are still happening today. The documentary covers both fishing and property rights and it should be noted that after the film, the 1974 Boldt decision (U.S. v. Washington) upheld many of these rights and “gave” Tribes half of harvestable fish in their “usual and accustomed” fishing areas. The civil disobedience actions referenced in the film likely had a huge influence on that decision. The fight continues today, however, as Tribes are getting less and less fish because of actions taken by non-Tribes.

May 20, 2018
scwolek

I’m a Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) and I’d like to talk about Figure 6. As you can see, Chinook salmon are being consumed at higher rates as time goes on and as our (us predators) populations recover. Us Steller sea lions do not want to be included with the California sea lions, who are erratic but overall eat more salmon. As the graphs show us, Steller sea lions don’t even bypass 1 million fish. This might seem like a lot but look at the orcas! Want to save Chinook salmon? Deal with the orcas and leave us pinnipeds alone.

May 6, 2018
scwolek

Not-yet-here and surplus overlap multiple times. Muñoz presents the idea of both concepts going against what they refer to as “straight time”—heterosexuality, capitalism, and the overall status quo. Herko’s eccentric performances represent excess and surplus, enemies of this straight time, the opposite of the not-yet-here timeline he might have pined for. The author cautions us against moralism and encourages us to think of his art as, “attempting to reach another time and place, a not-here and a not-now that is utopian.” This distinction would matter to a queer critique as others may simply dismiss Herko as a “childish” drug abuser.

April 22, 2018
scwolek

Society has often chosen environmental goals that don’t line up with our actions. In the Muckleshoot article, the Tribe points out that current restoration plans might not work even with proper funding and voluntary efforts. This is because we continue to pollute and destroy habitat. Even when we’re aware of the science (ex: issues with artificial lighting), we choose to ignore it. In fact, humans almost seem content with the fact that we’re drastically changing the planet, even if the impact is negative. As Alaimo writes,

“The hand-wringing confessions of human culpability appear coated with a veneer of species pride.”

April 14, 2018
scwolek

As Strayer points out, we must first define the term “boundary”.

If we use his classification system, we’re left with two major boundary types: “investigative” and “tangible”. Raichlen’s descriptions of waves represent tangible boundaries—they can be calculated with mathematics. These boundaries constantly change but most wave types remain largely predictable.

As seen in Sze’s work, investigative boundaries can be brought on by human development. What does this all mean? In order to sensibly work on shoreline projects, we need to first define the term “boundary” and determine whether or not the boundary in question is tangible (and therefore scientifically calculable).

April 3, 2018
scwolek

As Ortiz puts it,

“Language is more than just a functional mechanism.”

Writing isn’t simply a way to convey facts because different people will argue about what constitutes a “fact”. Writers are basing their writing on their own perceptions. I might write a piece on chameleon biology, focusing on current scientific knowledge and anatomy. Moore’s “To a Chameleon” is no less factual—she is just as accurate in her descriptions. Without a background in science, she clearly describes the lizard, its habitat, and how it feeds. We’re writing about the same animal based on our individual perceptions of the world.

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