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June 14, 1958


JAMA. 1958;167(7):864-865. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.02990240064011

THE APPROACH OF summer revives longing for physical activity in the great outdoors. In people who are old enough it may also revive memories, for example, of the Great Lakes as they were 50 years ago, with seemingly endless stretches of clean sandy beach lined with oaks, birches, and pines. The clean stretches are no longer endless. The rivers, too, have changed, and it is now many decades since one could swim without concern in the Illinois River, or the lower Mississippi, or the Ohio. In some rivers, in fact, even the thought of boating becomes repellent if one begins to picture the consequences of falling into the water.

The problem of polluted rivers and lakes is, of course, not confined to the United States. Its urgency in other countries is illustrated by a recent account of the "appalling" condition of the Tyne Estuary in England.1 The Northumbrian Angler's