China’s colossal rise has made the Yangtze, its longest river, also one of the world’s most polluted. Yet, as the country reaches for a greener future, there are signs the river could be saved.
To get to the story, the WWF team and I spent two weeks traveling upstream to downstream along parts of the 6,300-kilometer-river. We drank pungent Maotai liquor, fed grass-munching fish, and tracked down our hero, the finless porpoise, which recently took the uncomfortable distinction as the Yangtze’s last surviving mammal.
This is the first and biggest of five stories I wrote and photographed for WWF-US, published this week in print and online:
Thanks to WWF-US for bringing me into their world, to WWF-China for their great support, and to Danielle Preiss for her excellent text editing.