In this industrial age, everyone wants a share of aquifers, rivers, lakes, and wetlands. On the Freshwater Trail, I follow the changing fortunes of riverine communities and species. The following longform articles are part of an ongoing multi-year exploration of the Ganga-Brahmaputra basin 

The Sundarbans is the largest unbroken stand of mangroves in the world. This richly biodiverse delta protects Bangladesh against the devastation of a rising sea. Damaged by an oil spill, at risk from increasing salinity, and threatened by an impending coal plant, the ‘Beautiful Forest’ is engaged in a fight for survival


  1. THE OIL-SPILL: The murky matter of an oil spill in the largest unbroken stand of mangroves in the world and the murkier cover-up. A story from the Sundarbans in Bangladesh
  2. A TOXIC CLEAN-UP: Don’t Touch. Don’t Ingest. Don’t Inhale! No one told the fishermen of the three hazards of heavy fuel oil. Unknowing, they did all three
  3. TALE OF TWO STUDIES: A UN team surveyed the Sundarbans oil spill and spoke no evil. An independent study details the havoc that was, and warns of the doom to follow
  4. OIL TANKERS PLY THE SUNDARBANS AGAIN: Five months after a devastating oil spill, the Bangladeshi government removes a ban on oil tankers plying through the Sundarbans, endangering its main defender in the battle against climate change
  5. KILLING THE HERO: A dirty coal-fired plant, a ship-breaking yard, petroleum reservoirs, and toxic shipping traffic gravely threaten the Sundarbans, the frontline of Bangladesh's defense against climate change
  6. ON THE BRINK OF BRINE: The Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna empty into the Bay of Bengal, making the large Sundarbans active delta. The ecosystem survives on the delicate balance of freshwater and brine
  7. DISAPPEARING HILSA: All along the length of Bangladesh and especially in the ecologically rich delta, fishermen's nets had come up empty and the delta echoed with tales of woe. Where was the Hilsa?