I was asked to review a new lake booklet for a nonprofit. It starts with a description of what a watershed is and provides images (see below). When I looked at the image it struck me that there is likely no lake watershed on this planet that doesn't have some human disturbance and that we may want to have the image be more representative of what a real watershed looks like (roads, homes, ag ..) and one that more closely represents their watershed - not real busy but just a few icons or something. When I made the suggestion to the NGO contact she too had thought the same thing. When she questioned the design graphics and writer she pushed back and said something to the effect " that she thought it would clutter the graphic/concept and that we should stick with the chapter headings and keep the graphic about ecology and processes." Not being an expert on such things, I am wondering what the experts think. I worry that the wrong 'image' or message will get stuck in the mind of the reader because the disturbance in the watershed is the POINT/problem to nonpoint source pollution and we want people to know that this is where the problem comes from.
To be effective should the watershed image in the beginning of the booklet focuses on lake ecology in a prehumen condition and leave images of disturbance to later? (note there is no proposed watershed graphic later in the document but there are graphics with a shoreline perspective I have included those incase they help the discussion). Or should the first images contain disturbances/development like today's lake watersheds?
Watershed Image from section titled Lake Ecology what makes lakes special
Later in the booklet under the section titled Human Element our impact