For many years I've been calling this phenomenon, the ten year syndrome.
Specifically a diver's first dive in an environment becomes his baseline.
Ten years later, the environment seems "dived out," a term
used by divers to punish themselves for environmental degradation
they largely had nothing to do with, but being ignorant of other causes,
blame the degradation on the impact of divers.
I'm glad to have a proper definition of the syndrome. Congratulations
on a well told story. One last thought: the foundation of all environmental
problems is human overpopulation. Our planet simply cannot support
our numbers without continued environmental decline that can only
end in catastrophe.
Either we address the population issues or nature will.