| || Drastically cleared to make way for farming, the tropical rainforest of Argentina is now in some areas a less effective defense against erosion than it was in the past. The heavy rains in the province of Misiones (79 inches, or 2,000 mm, per year) wash the soil and carry off significant quantities of iron-rich earth into the Río Uruguay, turning the waters a dark, reddish ocher. Carried by the river, this sediment is dumped in the estuary of the Río de la Plata—the largest on Earth—and accumulates in the access channels to the port of Buenos Aires. In 1997, to combat the sanding-up of the estuary and the pollution generated by the city, the Argentinean government and local authorities set up the EcoPlata project for the ecological and economic management of the estuary.
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