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Frog courtesy of Shutterstock

“I’m petrified of the little creatures,” said Marinaccio, 65.

Today’s headline story (online) of the Buffalo News caught my eye. It’s the strangest I’ve seen there for some time.

The basis of a landowner’s suit against a local developer and the town of Clarence, N.Y., where he lives, is that most of his 40-acre property has become a wetland inhabited mainly by frogs. The developer has diverted subdivision water run-off onto Paul Marinaccio’s property for over ten years.  A ditch originally meant for the run-off wasn’t nearly big enough, so the developer kept on diverting water, eventually creating a 30-acre swamp. Frogs are everywhere. Marinaccio says he can’t even get into his own garage unless they are shooed away by someone else, usually his daughter. A less bizarre feature of the case is that he’s also prevented from using the land to build other homes, as he had originally planned.

I know the sound of frogs are generally considered a welcome sign of spring, and that wetlands are supposed to be a good thing, but I can’t really blame this guy for freaking out. And, of course, I have to assume gardening or growing any kind of crop would be out of the question. This is why I don’t live in the country—or exurbs, as this part of Western New York would more accurately be called. Too many strange problems I’d never be able to deal with. The occasional loud/littering drunk I can handle. I’m not afraid of frogs but I don’t know how I’d feel about having them hopping all over the place on a continual basis.

Apparently, Marinaccio plans to install a herd of cows once the land is dry.

Posted by

Elizabeth Licata
on April 8, 2013 at 7:23 am, in the category Ministry of Controversy.


  1. Depends on how long it has been there. If it’s truly new over the last 10 years, they may be able to drain it…but they’d have been better off if they hadn’t waited. Here in Kansas I know that we have to maintain farm ponds that were established before the 1960’s.

  2. How depressing. We’re knee deep in frogs here this time of year, and it’s wonderful! Whenever I feel like I’m not making a difference, I look at the frogs and salamanders that breed in the tiny pond I dug (By hand. In clay. And it was uphill BOTH WAYS. And there were bears.) and think “Well, because of us, there’s at least a couple dozen more frogs in the world. That’s got to be worth something.”

  3. If I’m reading this right, over the last ten years, this developer and city have effectively used this family’s home as a stormwater run-off ditch.

  4. I think it is ridiculous that this poor man might have to maintain this new wetland because of the bad engineering of someone else. And I am amazed that nothing was done earlier in the whole process, especially since it seems nto enough care was taken to handle runoff in the early days.

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