The Freshwater Trail

Before The Spill

see The Sundarbans is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These mangrove forests form a large part of the estuarine active delta of three mighty South Asian rivers: the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, & the Meghna

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Arati Kumar-Rao
Photographer & Journalist
A pair of courting Irrawaddy Dolphins in the Dhangmari Dolphin Sanctuary, Sundarbans, Bangladesh. This sanctuary is severely threatened by its proximity to the Mongla port and the planned Rampal coal-fired thermal power plant.
A forest of sundri (Heritiera fomes) pneumatophores. These are aerial roots that the trees in this estuarine delta put out to survive when enundated by the saline high tides. This forest is on the cusp of the delta and the Bay of Bengal.
"The beating heart of monsoon Asia" -- the Bay of Bengal and the Sundarbans.
Winters dawn foggy in the Sundarbans with visibility near zero. Heavy commercial traffic is allowed through these forests, carrying cargo that ranges from pesticides to oil, endangering a fragile ecosystem.
Pneumatophores of the Pashur tree on mangrove mudflats which are frequented by bright pink fiddler crabs.
The water monitor lizard, Varanus salvatore.
A cat snake at twilight at Mrigamari -- the site of the oil spill, three months after this photo was shot.
Thousands of channels, called khals, criss-cross the Sundarbans.
Shrimp fishermen docked near a khal (channel) in driving sheets of monsoon rain, Sundarbans, Bangladesh. These fishermen had been looted by pirates the previous night -- their trawler was taken away and was being held against a ransom demand of 5000 Takas.
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