The Amy H Remley Foundation  
   
     
 

Urbanization

History

Following World War II, the need for housing, clothing, and food in many parts of the northern hemisphere, particularly Europe and Japan, was very great. By necessity, industrialization to satisfy these needs and to provide employment was rapid and intense affecting many parts of the United States. The reconstruction period encouraged shipping and air transportation developments to serve international trade links and foster an economic boom to meet the needs of those communities ravished by the war. An apparent abundant supply of fossil fuelsCarbon based remains of organic matter that has been geologically transformed into coal, oil and natural gas. Combustion of these substances releases large amounts of energy. Currently, humans are using fossil fuels to supply much of their energy needs. was tapped to fuel the transportation systems and facilitate chemical industries for agriculture and plastics products. Forests were leveled for shelter, paper and packaging materials, land was cleared for farms and housing; livestock increased their size, and all kinds of raw materials were acquired by western nations for their reconstruction efforts.

Slowly, shallow coastal zones of the northern hemisphere were progressively affected by this industrial expansion. Urbanization of industrial centers, to accommodate their increasing needs for workers, attracted people from the rural into the new urban areas. Reduced labour for farming activities was compensated by mechanization and increased use of chemical fertilizers, pesticidesA chemical that kills, controls, drives away, or modifies the behavior of pests., herbicides and algaecide. As people became more affluent, vacation travel from northern areas to the south and the purchase of second homes near the resort areas in the south, sponsored urbanization of the coastal regions.

Particularly in Florida, towns and cities expanded and new cities evolved to accommodate seasonal visitors and new residents. Later, in southern Florida extensive urbanization occurred in the coastal regions displacing traditional arable and forestry uses of the land. By the 1950s the impact of the changing demography became obvious as hotels and motels were built, together with the motorways encouraged by legislation under the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Seagrass vegetation, coralsmall, colonial, bottom-dwelling, marine animals that secrete external skeletons of calcium carbonate (calcite). The colonies they create with their skeletons can make enormous reef-complexes, such as the Florida Keys, the Australian Great Barrier Reef, and many coral islands in the Pacific Ocean, and other oceans. reefs, mangroves became seriously impaired.

Environmental Effects

Several complementary issues emerge from examining human effects on the natural aquifer and river ecosystemsa community of organisms, including humans, interacting with one another and the environment in which they live.. The conversion of wetlandsNatural land-use type that is covered by salt water or fresh water for some time period. This land type can be identified by the presence of particular plant species or characteristic conditions., forest and farm lands to open cast mines, roads, buildings and car parks has radically transformed the environment. Quantities of water in the impervious land surfaces has increased, slowing water flowing both across the aquifer and out of the springs into coastal river systems like Crystal River/Kings Bay. As more time is taken for any given body of water to flow across the aquifer, so more nutrientsAny food, chemical element or compound an organism requires to live, grow, or reproduce. filter into that water. The slower moving surface waters with increased nutrient levels allow algae to take hold more readily. Notwithstanding that waterfront of homes by some 150 canals and seemingly endless boat docks acting as breakwaters, slows water outflows further so algae concentrations build at will. With urban population increases, more nitrogen and phosphorous penetrates into the soils and porous rocks of watershed and springshed lands from fertilizers and detergents. The situation has worsened, day by day as more pollutantsSomething which contaminates (water, the air, etc.) with harmful or poisonous substances. and mineralComponent of rocks. A naturally occurring inorganic solid with a crystalline structure and a specific chemical composition. Over 2,000 types of minerals have been classified. trace elementsA molecule composed of one type of atom. Chemists have recognized or created 112 different types of elements. Two or more different elements form a compound. are added from increasing vehicular traffic, to increase the potency of the nutrient cocktail available to algae, enabling unrestrained explosive algal reproduction.

Following the dramatic increase in urbanization, dredging of shallow bays and cutting canals to waterfront new homes, also disrupted the ecologyThe study of the factors that influence the distribution and abundance of species. causing erosionTo wear away by the action of water, wind, or glacial ice. Removal of vegetation and trees can increase erosion of topsoil., siltationDeposits of fine sand, clay, or other material carried by running water and deposited as a sediment. Technically sediment whose particles are between clay and sand in size (typically 0.002 to 0.06 mm) and turbidity far removed from construction sites. Population increases led to sewage disposal issues compounding problems of domestic, farm and industry toxicPoisonous, a substance that reacts with specific cellular components to kill cells. runoffThe topographic flow of water from precipitation to stream channels located at lower elevations. Occurs when the infiltration capacity of an area's soil has been exceeded. It also refers to the water leaving an area of drainage. Also called overland flow.. In Florida, an 1880 – 1980 study documented an 80% loss of Seagrass meadows in Tampa Bay, due to decline in water qualityA term used to describe the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of water, usually in respect to its suitability for a particular purpose. from increased turbidity and toxicity associated with the influx of people into the area. In common with similar studies conducted elsewhere, a study in 1970 reported the same trends, on some parts of Biscayne Bay near Miami, due to sewage effluent and dredging. Continuing declines are still being reported which appear to be related to increased pollution by siltation and toxicity from heavy metalsMercury, lead, cadmium and nickel-highly toxic in very small quantities; can be fatal and bioaccumulate in environment-have cumulative effects in humans., agricultural chemicals, PCB, and detergents.

News and Views
News Items

November 30, 2013
On environment, shortsightedness costs Florida big.
Scott Maxwell, Taking Names.
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October 9, 2013
Fuel Cell Today analysis.
The Fuel Cell Industry Review 2013.
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September 25, 2013
Fuel Cell Today analysis.
The Potential for Fuel Cell Prime Power in Japan.
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August 1, 2013
Duke Energy to cancel proposed Levy County nuclear plant.
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May 22, 2013
Fuel Cell Today analysis.
Electrolysers for Renewable Energy Efficiency.
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March 13, 2013
Beyond Electricity: Using Renewables Effectively.
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September 24, 2012
Sewer Systems Legal Filing.
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February 1, 2012
Fuel Cell Today update.
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January 13, 2012
Sewer Agenda.
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December 23, 2011
Scientist: Water account overdrawn.
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Novemver 14, 2011
Submission to the Citrus County Commissioner, 14 November, 2011.
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