Westhampton Ecosystem

As everyone went their own separate ways to explore the stream that leads into Westhampton Lake, I stayed behind and just watched the little waterfall and how the water was flowing.  Having just rained for days, the water was high and moving swiftly towards the lake.  The fluidity of the water itself was very calming to watch.  However, as I looked around and took in the full view of my surroundings there were other aspects that I had failed to notice.  A styrofoam cup followed the swirl of the water, cars on the street passed over the bridge, pipes, fences, and roadsign posts stood alongside trees, and rocks had been placed on the banks bordering the stream.  Although I was getting caught up in the beauty of pure nature in the form of flowing water, I could not help but find myself constantly picking out the aspects of my surroundings that were not pure and natural but were manmade.  I wondered how these objects that stuck out to me affected the resident species that were also a part of the ecosystem of the lake. There are many types of birds, fish, turtles, and mammals that live in and around the lake, not to mention all the trees and plant species that are affected by the pollution and manmade objects that are around our campus.  Something that really bothers me about our campus and the people that frequent the areas around the lake is the lack of respect for the natural world.  When the lake is dredged in the summer to clean it, there are all kinds of manmade treasures found on the bottom of the lake like bikes and garbage.  The pollution that ends up in the lake make it difficult for the inhabitants of the lake to live peacefully.  Somehow the natural world and the manmade world must be able to coexist without either of them threatening the other.

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