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The Nicaragua Canal's Construction Gets Green Light
The long time proposed new channel between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean will run through Nicaragua.
Its capacity will surpass the existing (older Panama Canal) by far, but undoubtedly this will affect nature as well.
The proposed project has been waiting for approval for long years and has now received approval.
The Nicaragua Canal - rival of the Panama Canal will eventually be built.
Although it seems, a new major engineering marvel is about to arise, it will most likely cause an environmental catastrophe - more or less visible to the common person.
The Nicaragua Canal
The rival Panama Canal was built between 1904-1913 and it has a capacity of 150,000 tonnes.
The Nicaragua Canal will allow ships of 400,000 tonnes to pass through.
While the Panama Canal is directly linked to the USA's interests, the Nicaragua Canal's construction is being pushed by countries like Russia, China and Venezuela.
The green light has been given and the construction works will commence in December 2014 already.
The cost of the project?
In excess of 40 billion US dollars.
It is planned to become operational in 2019 already, but it will be fully finalized by 2029 only - this is will include 2 airports and oil refineries along the canal.
Map of Nicaragua:
Destructive Effects on the Environment
There are several routes proposed for the canal, but all of them will pass through the Lago de Nicaragua, which is a unique natural habitat - a fresh water lake that is also home to the Lake Nicaragua Shark (Carcharhinus nicaraguensis) and other species.
It is believed that the sharks entered the Lake Nicaragua through the San Juan River, which allows connection with the Caribbean Sea.
This is a freshwater lake, reason why Nicaraguans also call it "Mar Dulce" (literally: "Sweet Sea").
Lake Nicaragua is heavily polluted already by industrial facilities established in the area. Approximately 32 tonnes of raw sewage is being dumped into it on a daily basis.
Connecting the lake directly to the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, without any doubt, the natural habitat will suffer. The lake will forever become a salty lake and new species will migrate into this habitat. The equilibrium will be lost.
In addition, ships passing through and additional facilities that will be constructed along the canal will only increase the pollution.
Not only Lago de Nicaragua will be affected, but also Lake Managua, to which it is connected and the rivers that link to it will also be influenced.
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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