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ECOLOGY - Essay Example

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LOCAL ECOLOGY (Alexandria, VA, USA) Name of Student (author) Name of University (affiliation) LOCAL ECOLOGY The city of Alexandria is located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, which is along the west side of the Potomac River. It is a high-income city due to its proximity to Washington, D.C…
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Download file to see previous pages Alexandria was declared an Eco-City in 2008, which means its inhabitants have promised to use the bare minimum for its consumption of food, water, energy use, and land utilization (a reduced carbon footprint and in pollution) and at the same time preserve its historic heritage. In other words, it has endeavored to achieve planned development and progress but together with environmental sustainability. Alexandria has a fertile soil (ideal for crop cultivation, especially tobacco), an excellent fishing ground from its waterways, and good hunting in its forests, although admittedly, the city is a relatively small geographic area compared to other metropolitan areas of the country. This was its original condition back when it was still a colony, but today, modern developments in it had altered its ecology due to anthropogenic disturbance (human intrusions) such that only small areas or habitats are left in their original pristine conditions unchanged since the first European settlements in the sixteen century. This is why the citizens of Alexandria are very cognizant of its ecology, altered due to its early forest conversions, plantations, logging (Rice, 2009, p. ix) and in fairly recent period (in the last few decades), modern real estate developments. Alexandria is too aware of the fragility of its natural environment, which was why it declared itself an eco-city to raise public awareness of the need to manage its ecology better and preserve its biodiversity. The specific factors that characterize and describe the local ecology of Alexandria is its vast natural resources, rivers, waterways, rolling hills and mountains, broad valleys and large plains with a wide variety of flora and fauna. These various species exist in a number of inter-locking relationships, among which are predation, competition, symbiosis (mutualism, parasitism and neutralism); Virginia has established a Department of Conservation and Recreation under its Natural Heritage Program. Alexandria is included in this state program, which has on its own initiative declared itself an eco-city, as mentioned earlier. A significant milestone achieved by the city of Alexandria was the closure of its coal-fired power generating plant as of December 31, 2012 which significantly improved the air quality in its immediate environs. The closure and decommissioning of the GenOn Potomac River Generating Station or PRGS was part of its Environmental Action Plan, which had also included the establishment of several hike, walking and bike trails, a high solid-waste recycling rate, operation of hybrid buses, installation of more solar power panels, pursuit of a sustainable Green Building Policy, and the adoption of 20 environmental factors (criteria) that will measure its eco-sustainability progress. All these are designed to reduce carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming, and in turn, cause climate change (City of Alexandria, 2013, p. 1). Alexandria is serious with its environmental programs, and many areas previously used for human activities had been restored, rehabilitated, or allowed to return to its natural state in a long-run non-interference or non-intervention policy (that is, these areas are allowed to revert back to their natural state, eventually) and to ensure nature conservation, designated as protected areas off-limits to human exploitation; it has won ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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