ver the years, heavy industry, the relentless growth of dams and irrational land use have made the Yangtze River, China’s longest waterway with a length of over 6,000 kilometers, one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Deforestation and illegal mining are common in the regions in Western China where the river originates. In the middle portions, the amount of wetland is shrinking rapidly, endangering many rare aquatic species. And in its lower reaches, the river is badly polluted due to further mining and the discharge of domestic sewage. In order to tackle the problem, the central government has recently pledged to prioritize the ecological protection of the Yangtze by unveiling a number of environmental guidelines. Official statistics show that China is home to 53.6 million hectares of wetland, including 11.5 million hectares in the middle reaches of the Yangtze. Experts warned that the Yangtze valleys’ wetlands are urgently in need of protection, and that a wetland protection law should be introduced on the national level as soon as possible.