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I live in Almaden expressway, which is commonly known to be a busy highway with lots of traffic. The area is located in San Jose in California State, right by the Oakright Mall. Almaden valley is a middle-class neighbourhood with a population of over 35000. The estate is in the south east of Los Gatos town; at the west is St. Teresa neighbourhood, while Coleman Avenue is on the southern ends of the Blossom Hills.
The neighbourhood lake is located in the park and offers a very good scenic view with forested slopes in the background. Ponds and lakes are habitats that are of great importance to humans as they provide water suitable for industrial, domestic and agricultural usage as well as source of food. Despite their crucial importance to humans, freshwater lakes have been influences severely by many anthropogenic disturbances. These have led to serious adverse effects on the function and functionality of the ecosystem. The city metropolis used the lake as a source of water in the past due to its freshness. However, as a result of illegal human activities, the surface elevation of the lake dropped significantly as the salinity of the water increased.
A study conducted in 2000 revealed that due to the biological, physical and geographical components of the lake, the consequences of increased reduction in the lake volume and level could be predicted with usual uncertainty. A significant impact was discovered in 1998 when the lake level began to drop exposing a large bridge at the shoreline. This served as a major breeding area for aquatic birds, but they were exposed to island predators like the coyotes who fed on their chicks and eggs, thus, disrupting the bird’s life cycle and breeding behaviour.
The biodiversity of ponds and lakes ecosystem is currently under threat by various human disturbances most of which include contamination, nutrient load, acidification and invasion of exotic species. Research shows acidification and heavy contamination may be less of a problem if proper methods of waste disposal are put in place.
However, the environment faces formidable threats such as global warming, endocrine disruption, ultraviolet radiation, and, more specific, the invasion of exotic species. Many lakes in the past were used as dumping grounds for industries and cities. Most of the inland lakes were the lifeblood of many residential places. These vast reservoirs were crucial for the health of many people, including the flora and fauna on all borders. Today, the major issues in the world are water quality and sustainability.
Negative Impact Facing the Lake Environment
(a) Growth of algae- algae has been continuously and steadily increasing with time. The growth trend has been increasing with a significant rate of 5% annually, and this is believed to reduce the size and amount of Phytoplankton in the lake due to a faster conversion rate of nitrogen to phosphorus. The two nutrients have become abundant in unnatural way due to human causes like fertilizer use, smoke and disposal of urban runoff.
(b) Sediment erosion- soil and sediment erosion occur naturally by wind and water, but recently were accelerated by human factors. Such activities like driving on dusty roads increase the rate of soil disturbance and erosion.
(c) Pollution happens primarily from the nearby urban neighbourhood around the lake. Pollution can take various forms like litter, nutrients, sediments, grease and oil, as well as pathogens. The lake faces an increased load of dissolved nutrients and fine sediment.
(d) Cultural eutrophication refers to acceleration of natural process of eutrophication through anthropogenic forces. These changes include such things as disturbance of watersheds from urbanisation and transport sector. 90% of all precipitation is provided by pavements, rooftops and the impervious surfaces.
(e) Change of food web: the lake species have been greatly affected by the intentional and other unintentional introduction of exotic species, which has made many communities of flora and fauna undergo significant changes. The food web changes have had a negative impact on food web clarity.
Resolution of the Problem
After a thoughtful analysis of the situation facing the lake, it is of great importance that the local authorities do some environmental justice to the neighbourhood. This ought to be the initial steps to fight pollution problems and save the aquatic life. There is an apparent contradiction in mobilising of community activities on the city to fight what they perceive as the new wave of attacking the most pollutant industries.
The environmental justice alliance was formed to help ensure that the new and existing industrial groups comply with water and air pollution limits. The activists vow to hold the public and environmental officials liable for the safeguard of the environment, children safety. The elderly is another group of people who are vulnerable to environmental intoxication and breathing of air intoxicated with heavy metallic components.
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Environmental justice entails ensuring there is equitable burden in environment by marginalised societies. This includes people with disabilities, minority communities, individuals with low economic status and people that lack political power. By supporting the principles of economic justice, we agree to the concept of working for zero waste. Environmental justice affirms that the earth is a sacred source of ecological unity, where all species are interdependent and the rights of their ecological coexistence must be respected. Environmental justice demands that major public policies are based on a mutual justice and respect for all and free from discrimination and bias. In addition, it demands the cessation of toxic and hazardous waste production and that all current and past producers to be held strictly liable for detoxification.
Strategies to Provide Healthy Environment Support
For there to be a healthy community, the environment needs to be healthy. This includes the neighbourhood, childcare centres schools, workplaces. Everyone needs the environment to be structured in a way that will help them to access food easily, thus, incorporating physical activities in their routine activities. Creating a healthy environment, therefore, requires that the parties concerned engage one another in development of sustainable atmosphere. The leaders of organisations and sectors are required to coordinate in a comprehensive manner in order to succeed in this effort.
The lake and the park can be used a good recreation ground and sport centre like skiing, swimming and boat racing. The water body provides an additional value to human by regulating the ecological components of the habitat and the environmental values. The sea breeze provides the environment with a natural way of temperature regulation that helps maintain climate at its optimum all year through. The lake can be made as a source of water to the municipality which can be used for irrigation, transport, industrial usage among others.
Issues of Environmental Justice in the Environment
The communities living around have come to understand the need for environmental protection for the benefit of the future generation. Environmental conservation has been one of the frontline strategies in abatement of the current situation. Community sensitisation has been emphasised greatly by such activities as by planting trees and educating the masses on the importance of a clean environment.
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Another thing is that the organisations that are highly regarded to have contributed to high degree of environmental polluting have been made liable for their consequences. Most of such organisation have come to terms with the situation and amount to the highest financiers of the detoxification programs
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