Okoboji Wetlands: A Lesson in Natural History (Bur Oak Book) by Michael J. Lannoo

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By Michael J. Lannoo

Lake Okoboji in northwest Iowa is the jewel of the Iowa nice Lakes. A quarter of wetlands shaped through prairie potholes, the world is wealthy with lakes, sloughs, fens, creeks, prairies, and kettleholes. during this readable and wonderfully illustrated quantity, Michael Lannoo offers an broad common historical past of Okoboji and its loved wetlands that examines that global of our grandparents, compares it to present day global, and extrapolates to the realm of our grandchildren.

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Running water once more had to carve a system of drainage to replace the one obliterated by the glacier's occupancy. A genial climate lasting thousands of years passed by when again the northern lands became the abode of an ice field and again a large part of North America was covered with a glacier; this in turn Page 23 retreated and was likewise followed by an interglacial interval. Five times in all did this recur; no two of the glaciers covered exactly the same territory; the first and second crossed Iowa, the third barely entered the state from the northeast across the Mississippi river .

Wetlands that never dry or go hypoxic may rightfully be called lakes. Examples of wetlands in the Okoboji region include Garlock, Christopherson, Hale, and Jemmerson Sloughs, and the Gull Point and Spring Run marsh complexes. Welch, Sunken, Grover, Marble, Hottes, Prairie, Little Swan, and Diamond Lakes, while termed lakes, may more properly be termed wetlands because they experience hypoxia during periods of drought. In general, wetlands dry because their basins are small and/or shallow. Large surface areas and shallow depths promote evaporation, and therefore rapid drying.

In the pages that follow, I hold this snapshot up against our current world for comparison. The OPA remains active today and in fact has enthusiastically and generously supported this book. My colleagues and I look forward to continuing to work with the members of this group in what must be an ongoing effort to monitor and improve Okoboji's environmental quality. In publications such as this there is usually a disclaimer to the effect that the views of the author do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's institution.

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