Volunteers and the Lake Sturgeon


(photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

The images and messages created by environmental organizations often use iconic and instantly recognizable species. Polar bears. Pandas. Wolves. Eagles or birds of prey. These species are often beloved and revered, and there are certainly good reasons for their status and their use as a conduit for environmental messages. On the other hand, there are thousands of other species that, while far less recognizable and beloved, still need our help. Numerous other species need protecting and preserving and volunteers are an essential part of this important work. This great story out of Michigan details how many volunteers of widely varying ages and demographic backgrounds work together to help protect the lake sturgeon. These aquatic animals have very long life spans and can grow to be rather enormous. They’re not necessarily cute and cuddly or what some might think of as “beautiful,” but they are an important and endangered species, one which is receiving  a measure of protection from a large group of dedicated volunteers. That protection may be paying off, or at least helping. According to National Geographic, the lake sturgeon, “has made something of a comeback. Strong efforts at righting environmental wrongs in the Great Lakes have improved conditions, and concentrated efforts to protect the fish have turned sturgeon into a spotlight species.”

If you’ve enjoyed the stories on this blog, check out my eBook, Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day



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