When I posted about a tapestry featuring woodticks last fall, my friend and former co-worker at the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, Jess Hopeman, commented, “Oh please tell me you are going to weave deformed frogs.” These are for you, Jess.
My point about the woodtick/deer tick tapestry was that there are so many environmental threats I had no idea about when I was growing up. During my whole adult life, and especially during my attention to environmental and agricultural issues when I worked for the Legislature, it felt like new issues, new ways to pollute, and new invasive species turned up each year.
Malformed frogs first came to attention in 1995 when middle school students found dozens of deformed frogs in a pond in Henderson, Minnesota, a news story that spread internationally. It was disturbing, apocalyptic. What would be malformed next? High-profile hearings were held at the Minnesota State Legislature, with passionate testimony by the students. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) began studies, lasting until budget issues led to funding cuts in 2001.