Jason's Journal: Reaching Beyond Emiquon's Waters

Exploring Emiquon

Chinese scientists tour Emiquon and take their hand at recreational fishing, a concept foreign to them.


Chinese scientists learn about recreational fishing during their visit to the Emiquon Preserve.

August 2011 – We’ve had a pretty exciting summer here at Emiquon. Our new visitor amenities opened in June, and in July and August we had Chinese environmental scientists visit the preserve to exchange new conservation practices and ideas.

During their visit, we shared ideas that promote cleaner, healthier habitats while developing money-saving efficiencies. While Emiquon staff demonstrated the latest advances in monitoring water quality and showed ways to enhance floodplain management, the Chinese revealed techniques for managing natural areas.

With these Chinese scientists’ visit, it’s even clearer to me how far-reaching our efforts here at Emiquon truly are. Our work is obvious at the local level, restoring Emiquon to the floodplain it is today. But, our work reaches a national and international scale too.

At the national level, Emiquon is part of the Great Rivers Partnership, an effort to create a model for sustainable management of the world’s great rivers, including the Mississippi River. These rivers are vital to the cultural heritage and economic prosperity of their regions. As part of the Mississippi River basin, the efforts at Emiquon have helped address some of the river’s most critical threats, including habitat loss and incompatible land use.

Having the Chinese scientists visit Emiquon to learn lessons in conservation demonstrates how our work crosses international borders. We were able to demonstrate techniques and practices that lead to a healthier environment at the global scale. The meeting also reached an international level in a cultural aspect, as we introduced the Chinese to recreational fishing, an idea that was foreign to them. In China, fishing serves only commercial purposes.

I firmly support the “think globally, act locally” mantra, and after spending time with experts from around the globe and taking a moment to step back from my day-to-day work, I’ve realized just how we are really accomplishing that here at Emiquon.