Rafting The Yangtze One Last Time

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Another good post from the National Geographic Adventure Blog today. This time it’s about a group of rafters who just completed a trip down the Great Bend of the Yangtze River in China, possibly the last time a trip like this one will be made, as the whole region will be under water next year.

The rafting excursion was led by Travis Winn, who accompanied a group of 28 men and women from around the globe, as they spent three days riding some outstanding whitewater. The group was made up of scientists, environmentalists, and “river enthusiasts” who wanted to explore this amazing region of China before it’s gone.

In 2009 China will complete it’s Three Gorges Dam project, which will tame the river and provide hydro-electric power for millions, as the rapidly industrializing nation seeks to find new ways to keep it’s cities and factories going. Environmentalists around the world have criticized the plan however because of it’s impact on the environment. Historians lament the fact that many villages, temples, and other monuments will soon be under as much as 300 feet of water. These critics feel that the same effect could have been gained by a series of smaller dams that would have had less impact on the region.

One thing is for sure. The amazing whitewater that this team recently ran will be gone for good. No turning back. This was not only a once in a life time opportunity, it may have been the last opportunity of any lifetime.

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