Friday, January 31, 2014

Florida Vs. New York on Climate Change Policy

Activists in Miami protesting the lack of solid climate
change policy in Florida and the nation. Click for 'photo credit.
I've been doing some heavy reading to update my understanding of policy on climate change in Florida and New York for comparative purposes in teaching.  A brief summary of my findings is that very very little is being done in Florida while a great deal is being done in New York.

Let me summarize.  First Florida.  Under the previous governor of the state, Charlie Crist, Florida was moving in a positive direction on trying to understand how to improve state climate change policy.  Greenhouse gas inventories were conducted and the state charged a new department to manage climate change and energy issues.  This was similar to what other states, including large ones like California, were doing at the time.   This made a great deal of sense since Florida is incredibly vulnerable to subtle shifts in sea level.

When the current governor was elected, all of the climate change policy was dismantled.  The Governor famously said that he doesn't believe that climate is influenced by people and has sided with the climate change denial crowd.  He charged the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Adam Putnam, to manage the state's alternative energy programs which have not done very well in recent years.  I wrote about this here.  In addition, I couldn't find a public statement by the Secretary about his thoughts about climate change or climate change policy.

I did a search for any updated information about climate change policy on Florida's Department of Environmental Protection or Department of Agriculture sites and there isn't anything.  Go look for yourself.  The Department of Environmental Protection Page is here and the Department of Agriculture Webpage is here.  As an aside, as of this writing, the main topic on the Department of Agriculture (!) site is on Concealed Weapons Permits.

Based on my reading, very little has been going on in the state lately.  I've also spoken with many who work in state government and those who do contract work in the state.  According to them, there is an unspoken rule that the state cannot officially have anything in print in support of the science of climate change.

Climate change denialism is quickly fading as an accepted position.  Take a look at this poll of Republicans.  Most believe it is happening.  The national poll of all Americans shows even more understand what is going on with climate change.  Florida's official position on climate change seems about as fresh as an episode of The Golden Girls.

In contrast, just open this Website from the State of New York.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Moon Robot Says Sad Goodbye to Earth

Check out this story about the imminent demise of the Chinese moon robot, Yutu.  "Goodnight Earth.  Goodnight humanity."

What do you think about the anthropomorphic representations used in the press?  Are you creeped out or do you think it was just a bit of fun?
Click for photo credit.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Florida Bookshelf

Check out this Florida Bookshelf blog post.  It features a book by your's truly.  I'm adding the Florida Bookshelf blog to my blogroll on the right.

The Extinction of the Giant Sloth

Giant sloth fossils at the Natural History Museum at the University
of Florida in Gainesville.  Worth a visit!  Click for photo credit.
During last week's South America week, I wrote a post about sloths in the suburbs of Caracas.  I thought I would follow up with a brief post about the extinct giant sloth.

Many do not realize it, but giant sloths lived across North and South America and went extinct just a short while ago.  They weighed up to 4 tons and were approximately the same size as an elephant.  They were about 20 feet long.  As large vegetarians, they had few natural enemies.

They started to go extinct across the Americas when people first came into the continents across the Bering Land Bridge in the most recent Ice Age.  They were largely extinct on the continents about 10,000 years ago, although the last one in the Caribbean disappeared about 2,000 years ago (the Caribbean was the last area settled by humans in the Americas).  Some have claimed that they have seen them in the mountains of the Andes, although that is probably just a Bigfoot type of rumor.  The giant sloths didn't have a chance against the early settlers.  They were easy food and never developed defensive skills since they didn't really have any major predators.

Many fossils of this creature have been found in the Cenozoic rocks of Florida.  They were probably very common creatures throughout the continents, but due to the good preservation of fossils in Florida from the Cenozoic, we have learned much about them.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Joshua Tree National Park

Today I continue my series highlighting interesting open access Flickr photos of all 59 U.S. National Parks. In this post we go to Joshua Tree National Park in California. 

For more information about the park, click here. I'll run through all 59 National Parks in alphabetical order. If you have any photos that you would like to share from any national park that I could post, please send them along. Following the photos, you'll find links to previous On the Brink posts on the National Parks. Check them out to see the beauty of the U.S. National Parks as captured by visitors.

Click for photo credit.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Art and Sustainability

We will be exploring new territory this
year via a series of interviews on art
and sustainability.  Photo by Mario Gomez.
In the coming year, I will be doing a series of interviews with prominent artists who in some way are working on sustainability or environmental themes.  I reached out to a number of well-known artists and I am really excited about this series.  It follows up my series last year on religion and sustainability that proved to be so popular.  You can read those posts here, here, and here.

Why art and sustainability?

I cover mainly science and policy issues on this blog and don't delve too deeply into the humanities like literature, religion, and art.  I love these subjects, but I don't have an expertise in these areas.  That is why I think it is appropriate for others to speak about these topics in this space via the interview format.  Art often leads the way on cultural change and I think artists have an important voice in interpreting the "now" and in helping to transform thinking.  Like many of you, I have been deeply moved by art and admire the power of creative communication.

I am writing this introduction to the series to invite you to suggest artists I should include in the series.  If you know of any artists you think I should interview, please send me some details and contact information.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Implications of Junk Science

Click for photo credit.
I was hanging out with a friend of mine recently and we had an interesting conversation.  My friend doesn't have a college education, but is pretty smart.  He watches lots of what most would consider good television:  History Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, etc.  So I was surprised when our conversation turned into one about aliens, predictions for the future, and other odd things.  He had succumbed to the influence of junk science.  I've written about junk science several times on this blog and it seems to be a trend for me.  I most recently wrote about it here.

Well, it turns out my friend was binge watching Ancient Aliens on the History Channel.  You would think that the History Channel would have, you know, real history.  Instead, they, and other "good" channels, are showing silly programming like Ancient Aliens.  I find these kinds of programs offensive for a number of reasons, but I particularly find these ancient alien types of programs offensive to past cultures.  The front photo for the program on History Channel's Website is of Easter Island statues. This implies that the prehistoric Easter Island culture couldn't have possibly made those statues or had a reasonable reason to build them.  It must have been aliens!  Lazy science and reasoning.  From yes, the History Channel.

It would be all fun and games if the shows didn't come off like real documentaries and if they were under another network, say "Fake History Channel" or something like that.  But their very presence on networks that seem like viable educational outlets gives this junk science elevated platforms that make people believe that this stuff is real.

So my very smart friend was taken in by the stuff shown on Ancient Aliens.  If he was taken in, there are many many more out there in the same situation.  The implications of this are pretty strong.  It is hard enough to get people to pay attention to real science and history when the reputation of the field is tainted by junk.



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Torres del Paine National Park

To close out South America week, (check out other South America week posts here, here, here, here, and here), I thought I would share with you some beautiful open access photos from Flickr of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.  It is one of the southernmost national parks in the world and has plains, mountains, glaciers, and an abundance of wildlife.

For more information on the park, click here.

Click for photo credit.

Monday, January 20, 2014

US Brazil Sustainability Partnership

Rio de Janeiro.  Click for photo credit.
It's South America week here at On the Brink.  I'm on the continent and I thought I would share some sustainability stories of interest to On the Brink readers from this region.  So far I've written about sustainability planning in the oil industry in Venezuela, problems with gold mining in Guyana, and oil spill troubles in Trinidad and Tobago.  I also did a little bit of sloth blogging from the suburbs of Caracas.  Today, we go to Brazil to take a look at the U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability.

Brazil has long been of interest to those of us who study sustainability.  This country has been innovative in many ways.  For example, it has moved heavily into sugar as a source of energy and use tremendous amounts of ethanol.

However, today, I thought I would share with you a US/Brazilian partnership on urban sustainability.  The program focuses on developing sustainability policy around two cities, Rio de Janeiro and Philadelphia.  Take a look at some of the programs here.

Philadelphia.  Click for photo credit.
The program is an interesting example of a comprehensive approach to sustainability.  The effort focuses on the following sectors:  waste management; water quality and water management; transportation, air quality, and streets; energy efficiency and renewable energy; communities and social programs; public outreach and public participation; funding and innovative finance strategies; local, state, and national policy.  If you drill down into any of these topics you'll find a great deal of information about the types of efforts underway at the city, state, or national level as part of these initiatives.

This is a great example of how gentle competition and cooperation can drive innovation in sustainability initiatives.  What is happening in your community to encourage positive change?  Is your city or state partnering with another in your country or other country to do comparative analysis?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Sloth Blogging

We ran into this beautiful creature on the road near Mario's house in El Hatillo in suburban Caracas.  It was in the road and after a quick photo op, we put him back in a tree.  It's a nice way to take a break from more serious sustainability South America blogging I am doing for On the Brink South America Week.  These sloths are found in some suburban areas of Caracas.
What a face!

Mario's brother holding the sloth before he put it back on a tree.  Photo also includes Mario looking on and their niece.  These animals are very gentle, but the claws can do serious damage.  They are good at holding onto trees and also crushing bones.  That is why they have to be picked up from the back.  This is a very small sloth for the area.  Like pandas, they have a restrictive diet and are found only where particular trees grow.
A view of Caracas from El Volcan in the suburbs.




Saturday, January 18, 2014

Trinidad and Tobago Deals with Massive Oil Spill

An oil refinery in Trinidad.  Click for photo credit.
It's South America week here at On the Brink.  I'm traveling here this week so I thought I would write some updates on what is on the minds of those concerned with sustainability in this region.  So far I've written about sustainability planning in the oil industry in Venezuela and problems with gold mining in Guyana.  Today we head just off the coast of South America to the country of Trinidad and Tobago which is dealing with the aftermath of huge oil spills that occurred over the last month.

Trinidad and Tobago is located off the coast of Venezuela.  It is sometimes classified as a Caribbean country and sometimes as a South American nation.  It has an abundance of energy resources including oil and natural gas.  In addition, it has many industries associated with this energy wealth including oil refining, petrochemical plants, and steel manufacturing.  With such huge energy resources, it also has tremendous risks for pollution.  As an island nation, it is particularly vulnerable to pollution problems, particularly oil spills.

Many in Trinidad are concerned over the impact of the
oil spill on tourism.  It hosts one of the most spectacular
Carnival celebrations in the world in the coming weeks.
Click for photo credit.
We all intuitively understand that islands are vulnerable to these types of problems because of their limited size and coastline.  During the recent oil spill in Trinidad and Tobago, miles of coastline were coated with crude oil.  There is only so much coastline in a place like this.  The severity of the problem and the concern of the public was high.

According to this article on the Huffington Post, there are conflicting possible causes for the oil spill.  The owner of the state run oil company stated that part of the cause was sabotage.  Others blame old infrastructure and a lack of oversight.  There is also controversy over the cleanup of the spill.  The government used a dispersant that is considered worse for the environment than oil when it is mixed with oil.

The massive size of this spill and the political implications of having a state owned oil company having these problems are making quite a bit of news in the region.  With Trinidad's famous Carnival approaching, it is many concerned about tourism.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Gold in Guyana

Gold mine in Guyana.  Click for photo credit.
Gold mining in Guyana is proving to be a blessing and a curse.

It's South America week here at On the Brink and I am writing posts this week on environmental and sustainability issues in this intriguing continent.  Yesterday, I wrote about sustainability planning in Venezuela's oil industry.  Today, we turn to a neighbor of Venezuela to discuss gold mining in Guyana.

I first became aware of environmental issues in Guyana through my fellow Ph.D. student at UW-Milwaukee, Robert Ramjaj, who was from Guyana.  Since we both graduated, he has written quite a bit about population and environmental issues in that country.  You can see his book on Guyana here.


Dr. Maya Trotz.  Engineering
Professor at USF and expert on
environmental issues in
Guyana.
However, more recently, I became good friends with Maya Trotz, a Guyanese I worked with at the University of South Florida.  I became familiar with her work with others on mercury pollution in the gold mining fields of Guyana.  You can read about her interest on environmental issues in Guyana here.  Her students sometimes read this blog.  Go Bulls!

Guyana is a small country rich in mineral resources and water.  It has a small population of about 740,000 people.  The largest city is Georgetown which has a population of about 235,000.  The next largest city, Linden, has a population of about 45,000.  The country's landscape is quite rural with tropical forests and grasslands dominating the ecosystem.

Gold and other minerals have been extracted from Guyana for centuries, leaving behind telltale signs of human impacts from landscape disruptions and chemical pollution.  Of particular concern in today's modern gold rush is mercury.  This liquid metal is used as an amalgam in gold mining.  In professional gold mining operations, the mercury is usually handled carefully to try to avoid environmental contamination.  However, in gold rush conditions when many informal gold mining operations are underway, the mercury use is largely uncontrolled.  Pollution issues occur.

Guyana is not alone with this problem.  For example, there are still heavily contaminated areas in California from its 19th century gold rush.  A recent study demonstrated that the mercury contamination from that era will last about 10,000 years.

Thus, many in Guyana are concerned over the expanded gold rush.  Gold prices are high.  Plus, the price has dropped on sugar and aluminum, Guyana's other major products.  This has driven even more into the formal and informal gold business.  Check out this recent article on the state of Guyana's gold industry here from today's Guyana's newspaper, Stabroek News.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sustainability Plan for Latin American Oil Producer

Carupano Venezuela with oil refinery in the background.
Click for photo credit.
I'm currently in South America so I thought I would post a bit about some of the sustainability initiatives I've found here for the rest of the week.  Today, I am sharing with you the sustainability plan for Respol, one of the largest oil companies in the world.  They are a Spanish company that works throughout much of Latin America.  Here is their sustainability plan for their Venezuelan operations.  Venezuela is one of the largest oil producers in the world, so this plan is an important one.

What is interesting about this plan is the strong focus on human rights and local economic development. This is not particularly surprising given the political situation in Venezuela.  However, while it has strengths in these areas, it must be noted that many large companies are also embracing social equity within their sustainability plan.  For example, take a look at Exxon's sustainability plan here.  It too speaks quite a bit about human rights and economic development.  Indeed, the content of the plans is somewhat similar, with obvious differences.  I think a comparative analysis would be a great student exercise or research project.

There is a tension that exists when thinking about big companies like Exxon or Respol.  Their actions have a tremendous impact on the environment.  There are some who think that their sustainability actions are a form of greenwashing.  However, at the same time, others are trying to make these companies more sustainable.  This tension is at the heart of sustainability.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Our Brave New Chemical World

Click for photo credit.
One of the challenges we face in our modern society is that we are using a vast number of manufactured chemicals without knowing their long-term impact.  Take for instance 4-methylcyclohexane methanol.  This is the chemical that spilled in the Elk River in West Virginia that caused the shutdown of the water system for hundreds of thousands of people.  

I did some research on 4-methylcyclohexane methanol and there is limited information on it.  Some related chemicals are described here.  They are clearly bad for animals, and it certainly poses a risk for humans.  It's hard to imagine that it entered the water systems of so many people. 

We regularly produce a number of chemicals without really understanding what they will do to us or the environment.  Certainly many people were exposed to 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, but who knows what will happen to them with time.  I posted about similar problems that are emerging with small plastic pellets that are ending up in wastewater and thus surface water bodies.  

We are living in amazing times when we can create fantastic chemicals, but we just don't fully understand what the long term implications are for us in this brave new world.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Prehistoric Love

Click for photo credit.
Check out this interesting blog post from Bones Don't Lie about some recent archaeological discoveries in Siberia.  This analysis of the research conducted on thousands of years old mortuary remains provides a fascinating assessment of relationships during the Bronze Age.

How do we express love via our own decision making around death in our current era?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Eagles in Wisconsin




My cousin sent along these beautiful photos of eagles along the Wisconsin River near a dam at Prairie du Sac.  She took them while she and her husband were out birdwatching last week.  The birds take advantage of the easy fishing when the dam is open on the river.  Wisconsin has seen a significant increase in the eagle population in recent years.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tampa Preserves Old Courthouse

The old Federal Courthouse in Tampa.  Soon to be
a boutique hotel.  Click for photo credit.
Tampa has a mixed record of historic preservation.  Its historic downtown was largely destroyed to make way for glass 80's and 90's skyscrapers that beautifully reflect the blue sky and clouds of the subtropic paradise.  However, there are some key historic buildings that remain including the Tampa Bay Hotel (now the centerpiece of the University of Tampa) and the old 1920's Tampa Theater.  There are also a number of important preserved buildings in other parts of town, particularly Tampa's old Latin quarter, Ybor City.

Several years ago, the old Federal Courthouse in Tampa was abandoned as the feds took over a new modern glass building in the city.  What do do with the old one?  It stood in the midst of some of the best real estate in Tampa.  Its inefficient air conditioning system and expansive tall rooms made it very expensive for the city to maintain.  No one wanted it.  There were mold problems and the space was just not modern by Tampa standards.  Some advocated tearing it down to make way for new high rises and others wanted more parking.

At the end of the day, historic preservationists won and the building will soon be opening as a boutique hotel.  Read about it here.

The greenest building is the one you don't build.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Silly Huffington Post Blog Post About Top Baby Names for Environmentalists.

Someone wrote a silly blog entry on Huffington Post about the top baby names in 2014 for environmentalists.  That someone was me.  Check it out here.

Images from the Polar Vortex


The polar vortex phenomenon we are experiencing is relatively rare so I thought I would share some open access images I found of it on Flickr.  Enjoy!
Lake Erie.  Click for photo credit.
Composite satellite image from January 7th.  Click for photo credit.
Chicago in the Vortex.  Click for photo credit.

The morning drive.  Click for photo credit.


The view from Canada.  Click for photo credit.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Zora Neale Hurston and the Trifecta of 20th Century Florida Women Writers on the Environment

Click for photo credit.
Today is Zora Neale Hurston's 123rd birthday (thanks for the reminder Google).  If you are not familiar with her, she is the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God, a true classic from the 20th century.  Hurston was a Florida writer, often associated with the Harlem renaissance of art and literature.  She is part of my trifecta of important 20th century Florida women writers who wrote about the environment in important ways.  Hurston is important for the use of natural imagery in her writing and for the use of nature as a key element of plot.  Take a notice of this text from Their Eyes Were Watching God:

So Janie waited a bloom time, and a green time and an orange time. But when the pollen again gilded the sun and sifted down on the world she began to stand around the gate and expect things. What things? She didn't know exactly. Her breath was gusty and short. She knew things that nobody had ever told her. For instance, the words of the trees and the wind. She often spoke to falling seeds and said, 'Ah hope you fall on soft ground,' because she had heard seeds saying that to each other as they passed. She knew the world was a stallion rolling in the blue pasture of ether. She knew that God tore down the old world every evening and built a new one by sun-up. 

The aftermath of the 1928 hurricane as recounted by
Hurston.  Click for photo credit.
Hurston also recounts in some detail the horrifying 1928 hurricane that killed hundreds of people south of Lake Okeechobee.  She provides a fictional, but compelling, description of the storm and the impact it had in the lives of others.  If you haven't read the book, stop what you are doing and get it.  It's worth a read.

Just so you know who the other two 19th century women writers on the environment are in my trifecta, they are Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, who wrote the important River of Grass, and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who wrote the moving book, The Yearling.  The River of Grass was important because it was the first popular book about the significance of The Everglades to the broader Florida and U.S. environment.  It tied together the water, plants, animals, and the hand of man in maintaining and changing this spectacular environment.  The Yearling is important for other reasons.  It provides a nuanced look at the connections of man and nature.  It demonstrates that our actions have distinct impacts on nature in ways that we may not imagine or want.  The main character, Jody, represents the transition of our world from a pastoral agricultural one into a more difficult complicated future.

The natural world of Florida inspires many writers.
Click for photo credit.
It is interesting that my trifecta of writers all have three names.  They were all born within 6 years of each other in the 1890's.  Hurston and Rawlings published their books within one year of each other in the 1930's.  Douglas published hers a decade later.  Each women spent considerable time in Florida.  None of the women were born in Florida, but all of them died there.

What was it about that time that inspired these three women to write such classic books?  Was it the times?  Or, was it their relationship with nature and their understanding of it?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Green Bay Focuses on Green Energy

A lighthouse near the Port of Green Bay.
Click for photo credit.
One project I often give my students is to look at different government or large non-government organizations to see what is going on with sustainability.  Their results are always interesting in that there is a wide range of efforts underway around the country.  They are not coordinated, so it is difficult to assess the national impact.  However, locally they can be very important.  I've written about a number of these community efforts over the years.

Today, I thought I would take a quick look at what is going on in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  I did my undergraduate degree just south of Green Bay in balmy Oshkosh, Wisconsin. My family has some land north of Green Bay near Crivitz that is largley used for recreational activities and we would travel through Green Bay all the time to head up to the northwoods of the state.  We would often hold our noses while driving through portions of the Green Bay region because of all of the paper mills (if you've never been by one, they are stinky).  The town is a mid-sized industrial city with a port on Lake Michigan.  It is also of regional importance in northern Wisconsin since it is the largest community for quite some distance.  Thus schools, hospitals, and libraries are very good.

If you poke around the Website of Brown County, the home to Green Bay, you'll find that their sustainability efforts focus heavily on energy--especially solar, green building, energy star buildings, and fleet vehicles.  Click here for more information.  The county is also responsible for the large shipping port and they have provided a tremendous amount of information on sustainability and the Port of Green Bay here.  They also have a pretty good bike route map that is quite useful.

Even the Packers are in on the sustainability action in Green Bay.
Click for photo credit.
If you search the City of Green Bay's Website, it is hard to find too much information about sustainability efforts.  However, they refer site visitors to Brown County for information on some key sustainability themes.  Clearly, the county is taking the lead on sustainability initiatives.  This is quite common in areas with a large city within a larger county government.  Given the regional nature of sustainability, it makes sense for Brown County to take the driver's seat on these efforts.  I noticed that City has several committees that take on issues under the sustainability umbrella such as community redevelopment, water, and historic preservation.  However, it does not have a distinct sustainability committee or office as far as I can tell.  This is unusual for a city the size of Green Bay.  Brown County has a committee that is focused on energy.

Regardless, it is clear that the Green Bay region is doing all kinds of things related to sustainability, particularly with energy and its port.  Given the setting of Green Bay, it is likely that the region will have greater and greater focus on sustainability.  I hate to take too clerkly of a review of the region's efforts via a simple review of their Web content, but I think it provides a context for understanding the key themes of a region's efforts on sustainability.

I've written a bit about sports and sustainability (see here, here, here, and here), so it's worth noting that the Green Bay Packers have a number of sustainability programs.  Take a look at them here and here.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hawaii GMO Debate Highlighted in the New York Times

This Rainbow Papaya is a common GMO crop in Hawaii.
Photo by Forest and Kim Star.  Click for Credit.
Check out this interesting article from the New York Times on the Hawaii GMO debates.   The big island of Hawaii, home to a significant number of agricultural enterprises, voted to ban GMO crops recently, with exceptions made for the Rainbow Papaya.  The article is a fascinating look at the science and policy issues surrounding the GMO debate.

The challenge for us in the sustainability education biz is how to capture the truth in the midst of this debate.  GMO crops have saved important agricultural industries such as the papaya in Hawaii as noted in the article.  There is no doubt that there is limited science showing health impacts from eating GMO foods or environmental impacts from growing them.  However, much of the science on GMO crops is funded by organizations promoting them, which calls into question the types of studies that are conducted on their safety.  The science that is done on GMOs funded by agricultural industry is sound, but there just are not many research projects that test the types of hypotheses suggested by the anti-GMO activists and scientists.  There are also ethical issues associated with GMO's that are often not fully part of the discourse in this era of scientific wonders.

I think that the best thing we can do as educators is to present the arguments made on the pro and anti GMO side and allow our students to form their own opinions.  There are so many resources on the pro and con side that teaching GMO issues to students is really quite easy.

If you recall, I was part of the organizing team that put together an important GMO debate on the Hofstra Campus.  You can see the debate here.  It would be a good outside of class viewing assignment.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Isle Royale National Park

Today I continue my series highlighting interesting open access Flickr photos of all 59 U.S. National Parks. Today we go to Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. This park contains hundreds of islands in Lake Superior. 

For more information about the park, click here. I'll run through all 59 National Parks in alphabetical order. If you have any photos that you would like to share from any national park that I could post, please send them along. Following the photos, you'll find links to previous On the Brink posts on the National Parks. Check them out to see the beauty of the U.S. National Parks as captured by visitors.

Click for photo credit.

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