Reclamation, Remediation, Restoration

Can anyone distinguish, define, or refer me to a website that does, between
these terms, referring to work on the land?


Robt Smithson, and now Nancy Holt and other earthworks/land artists, are
increasingly being given credibility for ecological consciousness by having
performed land ‘reclamation.’ But, on the contrary, I recently wrote for a
forthcoming article,

“Smithson’s constructions Broken Circle/Spiral Hill on commercial gravel
yards in Emmen, The Netherlands, and his subsequent proposed designs for
abandoned strip mines and tailing ponds that have been promoted as acts of
‘reclamation’ do not repair local ecological systems but simply turn sites
of industry into platforms for works of art.”

I realized, in writing this article, the distinction between ‘reclamation,’
such as Maya Lin’s gorgeous Wavefield at Storm King, which was built on the
site of a former field of gravel left over from building a highway, and
reclamation for ecological restoration, which I call remediation. But what
difference is connoted between ‘remediation’ and ‘restoration’? Or is
‘reclamation’ now presumed to be synonymous with ecological/beneficial
restoration? I didn’t see that discussed on Sam Bower’s helpful discussion
of a “Profusion of Terms”

Thanks for your ideas on this.

And by the way, there was a terrific, intelligent, review of three books,
“Preparing for Climate Change” and “Future Ethics: Climate Change and
Apocalyptic Imagination” and McKibben’s “Eaarth:Making Life on a Tough New
Planet,” in the September Harper’s. I have a PDF of it that I would like to
post on the ecoartsnetwork, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to post PDFs.
Is that right? The article is titled “Apocalypse, Now What?” and is by Gary
Greenberg. It’s chilling. Not available at Harper’s magazine website.

Suzaan Boettger

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