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Subaquatic vegetation in the Loire river near Digoin, Saône-et-Loire, France (46°27’ N, 3°59’ E). Training arena in the hippodrome of Maisons-Laffite, Yvelines, France (48°57’ N, 2°10’ E). Nature reserve, Arguin bank, Gironde, France (44°39’N, 1°15’W).
Agricultural landscape near Cognac, Charente, France (45°42’ N,  0°13’ W).Gardens at the Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte, Seine et Marne, France (48°34Oyster beds near Marennes, Charente-Maritime, France (45°49’N, 1°06’W).
House in Keremma, on the Kernic cove at low tide, Finistère France (48°39Gardens of the Château de Villandry, Indre-et-Loire Department, France (47°20’N, 0°30’E).The Puy de Dôme, Auvergne volcano range, Puy-de-Dôme, France (45°47’N, 2°57’E).
The largest plant maze in the world, at Reignac-sur-Indre, Indre-et-Loire Department, France (47°13Pyramid of the Louvre, Paris, France (48°52’N, 2°20’E).Detail of the Gallo-Roman ruins at Pontchartrain, Yvelines Department, France (48°48N, 1°54’E).
American cemetery north of Verdun, Meuse, France (49°09’N, 5°23’E).Palace of Versailles at sunset, Yvelines, France (48°48’N, 2°07’E).Saint-Laurent-Nouan electronuclear power station, Loir-et-Cher, France (47°42
Scrap yard, Saint-Brieuc, Côtes-dFishermen’s huts near Talmont-sur-Gironde, Charente-Maritime Department, France (45°35’N, 0°54’W).Palace of Versailles, Yvelines, France (48°48
Deoiling basin at a water purification centre, Marne, France (49°00’ N, 4°20’ E). Trees brought down by the storm in the Vosges forest, France (48°39Roped party of mountaineers climbing Mont Blanc, Haute-Savoie, France (45°50’ N, 6°53’ E).
Algae in the gulf of Morbihan, France (47°55’N, 2°50’W).Landscape of brightly colored fields near Sarraud, Vaucluse, France (44°01’N, 5°24’E).Naturists of the center of Arnaoutchot, Landes, France (43°55’N, 1°22’W).
Vallée Blanche glacier at the foot of the Aiguille du Midi, Mont-Blanc Massif, Haute-Savoie, France (45°55Buren’s Columns, the Palais-Royal, Paris, France (48°51’N, 2°21’E).National Military Cemetery of Notre Dame de Lorette, near Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, Pas-de-Calais, France (50°23’N, 02°42’E).




Subaquatic vegetation in the Loire river near Digoin, Saône-et-Loire, France (46°27’ N, 3°59’ E).

The Loire, 628 miles (1,012 km) long, has its source in the Ardèche in southeastern France and crosses a large portion of the country before reaching the Atlantic Ocean in the west. This waterway, considered the last wild river in France, is subject to an irregular system of floods and low waters of considerable scope. In the summer certain areas of the Loire become narrow trickles that ripple among sandbanks; the shallow waters sometimes reveal subaquatic plants, as seen here near Digoin. In winter its tides can cause major flooding of towns and villages along its banks. In all regions of the world, floods are growing more frequent and more violent than before. From 1980 to 1990, the number of people who were victims of natural catastrophes has raised by 50%. Deforestation, drying of wet zones, alteration of the natural course of earth’s rivers (half of which have at least one large dam), and increasing urbanization, are examples of human actions that contribute to aggravating the consequences of floods.

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