During his 2016 election campaign, Donald Trump promised to build a wall between Mexico and the United States, stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific.
Today, despite setbacks, major progress has been made towards achieving this goal. And this objective has had major impacts on the environment.
These consequences will continue to ravage the natural world, until a more sustainable approach can be followed.
Here are some of the impacts Trump’s wall has had on the environment:
Increased Risk of Flash Flooding: After the construction of seven hundred miles of border fence under the Bush administration, the state of Arizona suffered severe flooding that clogged border barriers with debris. The effects of flooding worsen during the rainy season, which potentially means that even more lives will be at stake.
Wildlife Endangerment: By cutting over three hundred and fifty species from their range across the border, the chances of survival are greatly reduced; the animals’ ability to move around and access food sources, water and mates decreases. In addition, the presence of the border prevents wildlife from escaping predators, fires and heat waves.
Interfering with seasonal migration: The fence prevents various species, such as the peninsula bighorn sheep, from crossing between calving and watering sites. It also prevented creatures like jaguars from being able to repopulate where they once would have. Moreover, these limits to wildlife migration end up affecting plants as well. According to a Defenders of Wildlife report, many plant species depend on animals to excrete their seeds so they disperse and germinate as well as possible. Without these animals to do so, the plants suffer too.
In the end, it is clear that the border takes its toll on nature. Unless a more workable solution is found, it may be realized too late.