Oceanographic surveys suggest that China's Three Gorges Dam is already influencing biological productivity in the East China Sea, even though the structure is still under construction.
The dam, on the Yangtze River, will be the world's largest when it begins full-scale operations later this decade (SN: 5/24/03, p. 323: Available to subscribers at A Dam Shame? Project may slam China's biodiversity). The first phase of filling the dam's reservoir was completed in June 2003. That impoundment of water and the material it carries is affecting the food chain in the East China Sea, one of the world's largest fisheries, says Louis A. Codispoti, a chemical oceanographer at the University of Maryland's Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge.