I’m sure there are a lot of places on our beautiful planet that you would love to visit. But, if you want to visit any of the places listed below, you better do it now because nobody knows for sure how much longer they’ll be around.
1. The Maldives
The Maldives is an island country made up of over 1,000 islands in the Indian Ocean. The reason this island nation is endangered is because most of the islands sit just over 4 feet above sea level. With ocean levels rising due to global warming, these beautiful islands may not be around for long.
2. Venice, Italy
Like the Maldives, Venice is a city that is built on over 100 different islands. There are no roads and the only way to get around is by foot, bicycle or gondola. The city began to sink in the early 20th century due to water being pumped out of the aquifer that runs beneath it. The pumping was banned in 1960 and some say the city has stopped sinking. Even so, Venice is often flooded by high tides. The city is currently working on a way to resolve the problem. Let’s all hope it succeeds.
3. Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland is the largest coral reef in the world. It extends over 1,600 miles and has been named a Natural World Historic Site. It’s so large, in fact, that it can be seen from outer space! Sadly, over the last 30 years, the reef has been dying at an alarming rate. The number of corals on the reef has shrunk by almost half due to climate change, pollution and the invasive crown-of-thorns starfish that feeds on coral.
4. Columbia Glacier, Alaska
Again, climate change is the thief stealing this natural treasure from us. The Columbia Glacier, located in Prince William Sound on the Southern coast of Alaska, has been retreating at a fairly rapid rate since the 1980’s. In 2001, the glacier retreated at a rate of almost 98 feet per day! As global warming increases, the retreat rate will grow as well. I am thankful to have had the chance to see this majestic glacier last year.
5. The Everglades, Florida
The Everglades in southern Florida is a vast wetland area. Dredging began on the Everglades in the early 20th century. Canals and dams were built so water could be drained and homes built, reducing the size of the Everglades by nearly half. It was thought to be a good thing at the time, but the construction has interrupted the flow of water, endangering the entire ecosystem. Further damaging the ecosystem was the introduction of non-native, invasive plants and runoff from fertilizers. People releasing their exotic pets, like Burmese Pythons, into the Everglades has also lead to an unbalanced ecosystem. Even though 20% of the Everglades has been made into a National Park, it’s hard to say how long it will survive.
6. Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands is an archipelago off the coast of Ecuador. The islands are so isolated that several species of animals can only be found on these islands. Charles Darwin’s visit here is what lead him to create his theory of evolution through natural selection. Unfortunately, the very fragile ecosystem of the Galapagos is threatened due to poaching, rising sea levels and temperatures due to global warming, and pollution.