Even this spring, depending on where I went , the sound of the cicadas differed. By my school, it was a complete roar that I didn't even recognize the first time I'd heard it. From my backyard, a significantly quieter buzz. Reports from friends in both Eastern Shore Maryland and downtown Baltimore indicated that cicada sounds were actually nonexistent.The reasons were many and they all make sense:
- sandier soil on the Eastern Shore was not a good place to dig deep and call home for 17 years;
- construction dug up the earth, destroying cicada nesting spots;
- the concrete jungle doesn't make for good digging and hibernating.
"One of the lasting impacts of segregation is environmental injustice, and it impacts humans and cicadas alike. Most of our city’s toxic brownfields are located in Center Township south of 38th Street and along the northern Mass Ave corridor, another line of segregation. The lingering arsenic, mercury, and lead in water and soil impacts human health while also sickening or killing cicadas gestating underground. These lands are often paved over to become asphalt deserts, and the compacted, rubble-filled soil that drives flood water into people’s homes also makes it harder for cicadas to burrow, let alone emerge. Trees are scarce, and greenhouse gases are abundant, creating urban heat islands that confuse the bugs and leave little room for cicada breeding, all while contributing to disproportionately higher asthma rates in people. Redlined housing practices forced a higher population density into racially segregated areas, which means less available land for cicadas to hatch."
image from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/5/5/2029108/-Environmental-Justice-Social-Justice-Economic-Justice-Intersection-of-schools-environmental-racism