When the glaciers receded from what is now New England in the United States, they left behind a distinctive landscape of boulder-strewn hills, drumlins, and kettle ponds. The kettle ponds became perfect spots for wild cranberries to grow, and they became a regular part of the diets of the early humans that moved in as the ice retreated. When the English settlers reached what is now Massachusetts, they were largely familiar with cranberries from their native country. In the early 19th century, attempts to cultivate and manipulate the growth of cranberries led to a large industry with a dramatic effect on the coastal landscape. Cranberry growers began converting swamps, and other wetlands to cranberry bogs on a large scale. Today, Massachusetts has an active tourism industry that focuses on cranberry bogs. But in this example, a dormant cranberry bog is being re-engineered to its original function as a coastal wetland, which would help reduce the impacts of rising sea levels due to climate change. (Photo is in the public domain).
The ‘Rewilding’ of a century-old cranberry bog
By Jess Bigwood
The New York Times
July 3, 2017