The Streams of Time: the History of Channelization in Dane County's Riparian Systems and the Hope for Healing
MetadataShow full item record
Water is, and likely will always be, both a celebrated and fervently contested natural resource. Rivers have been both a basis for development of civilization and a victim of that development. Dane County, Wisconsin is no different, with streams both near cities and in the midst of farmlands whose natural bends and meanders have been forced off their natural course by the pressures imposed by urbanization and irrigation. This study defines the timeline of channelization in and the threats this poses to the ecological health of Dane County’s stream systems from 1836 to 2013. The 10 streams that were investigated all faced varying levels of channelization, despite their different lengths and settings within the county, exemplifying that waterway alterations have known no bounds in the past. However, actions taken by several organizations and government officials indicate that there is hope for the healing of these damaged systems.