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Mexico City's Floating Gardens are in Ecological Despair
The once great floating gardens of Mexico City, which filled the bellies of the Aztecs, are dying of serious neglect.  The gardens have been sick for a long time, ever since the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes arrived in 1519 and began draining the lakes.

The problem is that they are now dying quickly, and there are worrying signs that the ecosystem is crashing.

The ancient plots and their life-giving canals are weedy and abandoned, overrun by cattle, invaded by exotic fish, sucked dry by urban sprawl — and a dozen agencies of government have failed to save one of the wonders of the world.

The canals that once fed 50 square miles of gardens are overwhelmed by foreign fish, African tilapia or Asian carp, thriving in the dirty waters. The fish are loaded with heavy metals, fed by wastewater treatment facilities — the lake’s only water source, now that the 2,500 artesian springs have dried up, trying to slake the thirst of the megacity. Maybe half the original wetlands used by the Aztec vassals here remain, much of them degraded. But the land could bounce back.

 
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