| ||The River Plate forms the natural frontier between Argentina and Uruguay, and at its mouth it forms the broadest estuary in the world. In 1832, Charles Darwin arrived there aboard the HMS Beagle and recorded that the ship was surrounded by crowds of seals and penguins, swimming in a phophorescent ocean. Today the scene is very different, as human activity has caused pollution, erosion, and sedimentation of the estuary. Fishermen are alarmed by the constant shrinkage of fish stocks. The fragile ecosystem of the Palte estuary is threatened by a population of 15 million along its shores (1.5 million in Montevideo, the Uruguayan capital, and 13 milllion in Buenos Aires). In a effort to save the estuary, EcoPlata, a project launched by the International Development Research Center, has occupied Canadian and Uruguyan scientists for the last sixteen years in working out sustainable management proposals for this international zone. As a result of these efforts, in 2001, the Uruguayan government created a special commission dedicated to the Rio de la Plata shoreline.
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