Located in southern Iraq, the marshes were once the third largest wetlands in the world, but were devastated during the Gulf War in the 1990's. Saddam Hussein, then president, drained the area to less than 10% of its original size.
|Satellite images of the marshes before and after being drained.|
Efforts have been made to restore the marshlands since 2003. The designation as national park is hoped to offer continued support and motivation for restoring the area. The restoration of the marsh is hindered by the complex political pressures it faces as an integral water source.