I really like this book about the Meadowlands and I like the style that the writer uses to show all of the bad stuff that has happened to this region but also say that the area has survived in some way. Early on in the book he says that despite the fact that many of the creeks and rivers are the color of antifreeze, they are still home to many different species of ladybugs. I am a fan of gangster movies and a fan of mafia history so I was glad that he mentioned all the bodies that were dropped in the Meadowlands by mafia families from across the country. I also liked how he talked so extensively about people wanting to “tame” this wilderness area because the land could be so valuable if it were not a marshland but that most attempts have failed due to the extreme conditions faced in this area. Roads crack and crumble much quicker than other places, foundations lose their integrity, and other examples of how the swamp is reclaiming the land that has been developed. I was also very interested in all of the bad things that people have done to the meadowlands in the past two centuries that has turned the area from an untouched nature reserve to the world’s largest dump, as it was named some years back. I did like the second half of the book because he focused on more of these new problems that humans have caused and got away from the history of the area for a while. I agree with the author that the meadowlands are a problem that we created as a society and we are compelled as a society to correct those problems and try to lessen the strain that these activities have put on the environment of the meadowlands. The government needs to offer tax credit, subsidies, and other financial support to companies that are making a solid effort to improve the conditions of the Meadowlands and really face the problem head-on.
One question would be how we can limit development of the meadowlands as well as a concerted effort to clean up the effects of the past however many years of destruction?
Another question I would like to know is if the huge new stadium and mall being built in the meadowlands and scheduled to open next year is addressing any of the environmental problems associated with the development in this area?