Photo of the Day

a tailings pond near the Athabasca River, Alberta, Canada
October 2, 2014

Dangerous Beauty

Disguised by the beauty of a reflection, this toxic tailings pond in Alberta, Canada, is a considerable health risk. Such vast lakes—made up of oil sands development residue, or tailings—are completely unlined, and 19 of them lie on either side of the Athabasca River. Individual ponds can range in size up to 8,850 acres.

Garth Lenz’s aerial photographs of landscapes transformed by energy production were recently featured on our photography blog, Proof.

Photograph by Garth Lenz

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