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9 of the world's most majestic rivers in peril

By: Katherine Butler on March 13, 2012, 4:56 p.m.
aerial view of Mekong River

Photo: eutrophication&hypoxia/Flickr

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The Mekong

The Mekong River — pictured here in Thailand — is an integral part of Southeast Asia’s ecosystem. Called the Lancang River in China, it starts in China, moving 3,050 miles through Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It supports the world’s second most diverse fisheries and provides more than 60 million people with food, water and transportation. China’s construction of a series of dams along the mouth of the Mekong is negatively impacting the ecosystems below it. Organizations such as the Save the Mekong Coalition are contesting these dams while working to preserve the ecological integrity of the river.