Accordingly, the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, the former Sabal Palms Audubon Sanctuary, and the Nature Conservancy's Southmost Preserve would all be subjected to direct environmental auditing. Comparative figures measuring current findings against archived findings will provide a quantifiable understanding of the impact being levied by the wall in these specific areas. The sanctuaries have been selected for a number of reasons, specifically owing to the claim that these have been directly impacted by the construction of the Border Wall and based on the assumption that these sanctuaries will already possess a significant set of archived data on environmental features such air, soil and water quality, wildlife migration habits and the environmental safety of human habitation.
It is thus that the proposed study here seeks to support the claim that the border wall constructed in the LRGV is a both a poor response to the immigration crisis and a catalyst to an unacceptable array of ecological consequences which will be illustrated by the full environmental survey.
With respect to the materials, the resources necessary for survey may in some part be facilitated by the sanctuaries, whose personnel will be expected to take a direct interest in the outcome of the proposed research. Beyond such volunteer assistance, this process will require certain key expenditures, including a one-time payment to a small staff of environmental survey specialists. This will include a team of water quality specialists who will be charged with measuring water quality in the regions surrounding the border wall. Additionally, teams will be enlisted to conduct wildlife surveys of airborne, aquatic and land animals inhabiting the region. Paid compensation for these services will be based on industry rates in the respective fields of enlisted specialists.
Equipment would include any and all materials raised as necessary by the above-noted specialists. Particularly, testing materials, survey materials, transportation costs and other expenses incurred during the data gathering process will be considered as necessary costs for conducting the required survey. With respect to the final objective, it will also be necessary to investigate the stability of those regions where levies and water sources have been disrupted by the erection of the Border Wall. This may require work outside of the sanctuaries listed as the primary cite for investigation. Therefore, before proceeding with this part of the research, it is appropriate to conduct further literature investigation to determine those levy sites most appropriate for such a land survey.
The results to this research will be reported in a number of categories, which may be divided according to the objectives listed above. First, the objective of assessing wildlife patterns as they are impacted by the Border Wall will require several metrics for assessment. Among these will be the comparison between wildlife population both before and after the wall's construction. Selecting specific tracts of land previously used for population surveys, researchers would track and count land, airborne and freshwater wildlife over the course of a year. The population rates are expected to have declined as they will compare to such rates represented in surveys conducted before Border Wall construction.
Another metric for wildlife survey would be the comparison between the average age of different species today as this compares to the average age prior to the constuction of the Border Wall. Here, the population ages are expected to have grown higher as they will compare to such rates represented in surveys conducted before Border Wall construction, suggesting that mating habits and proliferation of species are compromised by the presence of the Border Wall.
The results of the thorough environmental survey would be reported in terms of the impact on key ecological features such as plantlife, soil quality, air quality and water quality. The first of these variables would also be subjected to a comparative population assessment, with the expectation being that the population will have declined in a statistically significant way in the time since the construction of the Border Wall. It is also projected that soil, air and water quality testing will demonstrate reduced nutrient quality and heightened toxicity when compared to such testing as conducted before the construction of the Border Wall.
The results for the final objective relating to human habitability will be reported according to soil quality as well, with a focus on both the damage to the arability of the land and the damage to its retention capacities where flood levy damage is concerned. In contrast to the findings discussed above, there is some qualitative assessment that will enter into this area of discussion, particularly in the evaluation of flood levy soil in a state of flux during Border Wall construction. It is projected that the results from this third area will demonstrate a damage to the soil that will produce the prolonged danger of catastrophic flooding for the region.
The discussion following the production of these results centers on the implications of the margins demonstrated between pre-Border Wall and post-Border Wall environmental statistics. That is to say that the discussion must validate the resolution that the decline in wildlife population; the rise in wildlife average age; the decline in variation and quantity of vegetation, the decline in soil, air and water quality; and the reduction in human habitability can all be attributed to the construction of the Border Wall. The focus on the wildlife sanctuaries in these regions is a particularly useful strategy because the compiled data regarding the biota of these areas prior to the construction of the Border Wall will reflect something of a normalized ecosystem relative to other parts of the region which have been urbanized or commercialized.
Thus, distinctions found in these otherwise protected lands before and after the Border Wall construction are likely to denote a direct impact of the wall on wildlife and landscape. Where the matter of human habitability is concerned, the discussion will consider ways to further improve the investigation of this specific objective. It is projected that this objective will ultimately prove a significant want deserving of its own distinct research investigation. Indeed, the discussion will suggest that a primary limitation to the research would be the lack of empirical focus available to address more thoroughly the questions relating to the arability of land and the reducing fortitude of flood levies. To this end, further research is suggested with methods focusing on lands distinguished by these particular human uses.
Where the issues of wildlife and landscape are concerned, the margins produced between pre and post environmental surveys are expected to provide a statistically significant demonstration that the Border Wall has been damaging, if not devastating, to the biota of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
From the resolution that the Border Wall is inherently destructive to the ecology will emerge several recommendations for future research. Indeed, it is the external goal of the research to produce findings that may serve as an imperative for policy action to alter a present course with potentially irreparable long-term consequences. Particularly, it is recommended that the Department of Homeland Security be improved with an agency to oversee the intercession of environmental and security concerns. An Environmental Security agency would be outfitted with the responsibilities of finding resolutions to security concerns such as America's south border issues that do not overlook ecological concerns. With respect to the impact of the Southwest Border Wall, a survey of the sanctuaries and conservancies in the Lower Rio Grande Valley region demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that no such considerations have been made to this juncture.
It is recommended here that the creation of such an agency be conducted with the input of qualified independent environmental groups and the personnel at such facilities as the sanctuaries noted in the LRGV.
Daily KOS. (2010). Walling off the Nature Conservancy. m.dailykos.com.
Mattei, E. (2009). Borderline: When it Comes to the Texas/Mexico Wall, No One's Sitting on the Fence. A Nation Divided. Online at http://blogs.swarthmore.edu/borderwall/?tag=rio-grande-valley
No Border Wall (NBW). (2010). Texas Politicians Ignoring the Danger That the Border Wall Poses to South Texas…