holy mother of environmental crimes. marshes larger than the everglades drained and turned into salt flats. they were apparently big hideouts for anyone trying to escape the regime. someone referred to them as the "statue of liberty" for iraqis. now there is a chance for them again. but it will be an uphill struggle against oil interests, agriculture, and turkish control over a good portion of both the tigris and euphrates headwaters.
Look for the eden again project a project of the iraq foundation (link did not seem to be working for some reason. alas)