Clean the Housatonic without sterilizing it

To the editor:

Lately, there has been uncritical Eagle journalism about a sportsman who canoed from the Housatonic to the Charles as a crusade for clean rivers. Clean is a good idea, sterile is a bad idea, and sterilizing the Housatonic is what is inflicted by massive dredging.

Turning a river into a figurative strip mine is a death sentence to life forms now co-existing with PCBs — admirable beaver, endangered amphibians, and lowly brown bottom-feeders that later emerge as dragonflies controlling the mosquitoes. This is an endless web of life that humans would displace for more fish hooks, beer cans and lead bird shot, plus a surge of money.

Instead of thunderous dredging, assign GE's hundreds of millions of dollars in pollution penalties to silently peaceable research to get a PCB-neutralizing microbe to work its miracle. Why is this unwelcome? It takes away money from both GE and the dredgers alike, while enforcing slowness on speed-pressured environmentalists and EPA officials. Eagle journalism falls in line with that speed and money pressure.

Maybe speed and money route people into overkill, whether nuclear bombs or warlike machines demolishing a small river's bio-system. This Earth Day season, let's slow down and rethink.

Richard David Greene, North Adams