Stretching across from the southwestern region of Kazakhstan and into Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea is a lake named for the numerous islands which once populated it. Over many years, the Aral Sea has faced disasters and troubles including pollution and climate change, both the cause and victim of drastic shrinking since the 1960s when Soviet irrigation projects diverted the water from its two main feeder rivers. However, more recently, projects have been underway to save what remains of what was once one of the largest lakes in the world.
Now dams have been set up, most notably the mighty Kokaral Dam, the area known as the North Aral Sea has seen water levels replenished by nearly 40 feet and many species of fish have begun to flourish once again. Consequently, fishing has become increasingly popular once again. Visitors flock to the region to hike across the now arid steppe where many ships now stand aground and cities that once flourished with fishing and trade are rendered ghost towns.