The view from the observation deck over a meadow of brown marsh grasses would make a nice postcard. Eagles roost on tall pines, muskrats burrow in mounds of mud and straw, and black ducks splash in a pond.
But on a cold and drizzly day, Matt Whitbeck surveys the landscape with concern.
Beyond the marsh is what the Fish and Wildlife Service biologist calls "Lake Blackwater."
"It's this beautiful body of open water," he says. "When you really start to think about why this is here, it's disturbing."
The area was once an uninterrupted prairie of aquatic grasses. But waters have risen more than a foot over the past century, drowning the...