June 10, 2017
Lincoln Memorial Pool Drained: 80 Ducklings Die, Leading To Cleanup Effort For Reflecting Pool

The Lincoln Memorial Pool is getting drained after 80 ducklings have died. Many movies have featured scenes at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, with a recent example being Captain America: The Winter Soldier. There was also an iconic scene in Forrest Gump that took advantage of the shallow waters in the pool. It's a place that tourists visit on a daily basis, but now steps are going to be taken to clean it up.

A report by the Huffington Post breaks down some of the details on how the Lincoln Memorial Pool gets drained and when the efforts will take place. As for why this is taking place, authorities believe that the ducks were killed by a parasite that survived in snails found in the water. The only way to ensure that all the snails and parasites are removed is to drain the Memorial Pool. It won't be the first time that the pool has been cleaned out and this will end up making it safer for tourists in the long run.

The National Park Service discovered the problem when necropsies were performed on batches of the dead ducklings. The U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center then stated that the birds had died from high levels of those microscopic parasites in their bodies. The ducks eat the snails, thus ingesting the parasites that come along with them. In order to save the ducks, the order was sent out to have the Lincoln Memorial Pool drained.

So how do they go about getting the Lincoln Memorial Pool drained? The process will begin on Sunday, June 11, with the water being drained and then authorities will undertake the cleanup stage. The plan is for the pool to be refilled by June 19. Getting it all done in a week seems like a tough task, but it is something that has to be done to help the ducks in the area survive. The small good news about the problem is that these parasites pose no problems to humans, so there is no fear that anyone has become sick as a result of dirty water in the reflecting pool.

A website set up for the National Mall covers the history of the Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool that it overlooks. The site states that the memorial was dedicated in 1922 and that it served as a backdrop for the "I Have A Dream" speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr. Improvements have been made to the pool over the years, including the installation of a tinted bottom that helps the Reflecting Pool be more reflective in the sunlight.

The Lincoln Memorial Pool was drained in 2012 as well, as it was time to make some much-needed improvements to the location. The pool had reportedly been leaking 500,000 gallons of water per week before the repairs took place, showing that something had to be done to fix it. As it is explained on the informational site, the Reflecting Pool was rebuilt with sustainable water conservation features that included a new water supply system, with water being drawn from the Tidal Basin instead of the city's potable water.

Folks visiting the Washington, D.C., area over the next week could be in for an interesting view should they take a stroll on the National Mall. Though it might be disappointing to miss out on seeing the reflective waters that have served as the backdrop in quite a few Hollywood movies, it isn't very often that tourists get to see what the Lincoln Memorial Reflective Pool looks like when it's drained.

[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]