Iraq's Marshland Still Not Safe
Iraq's Mesopotamian marshes once covered more than 15,000 square kilometers, but Saddam Hussein drained them in the 90's. Only 10% of the area remained intact by 2000. After the fall of Baghdad, US scientists found that the marshes were re-flooding, but just how much the area will recover is unknown. It's already clear that there will not be enough water to restore the entire region, and that not all of the native species will return to their former numbers.
The flooding was largely due to local farmers blowing up dikes and dams after Hussein's regime ended, and by early 2004, nearly 20% of the drained marshes had been restored. Unfortunately this rapid and uncoordinated flooding has been leeching chemicals into the marshes, causing further damage.
Unfortunately, Iraq is currently in a state where conservation is not a top priority, and the region is suffering because of it, the same was true of the oil fires started by retreating soldiers. War is bad news for eveyone, human or otherwise. ::RedOrbit