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Arizona: Lake Powell

99 Coastal Destinations Rated: Facing Trouble

Score: 53

"Unsightly commercial enterprises," prolonged drought, and unsustainable levels of recreational boating have taken a toll on the aesthetic appeal and ecological health of the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States.

Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:

"Could be threatened by the proliferation of recreational boating. Its dry ecology is very fragile. Water diversion and unsightly commercial enterprises are the largest threats."

"After years of drought, human impacts are apparent. Pollution and debris once covered by the reservoir are now exposed well above the shoreline."

"Declines in water levels are slowly making this lake in the desert look uglier and uglier."

“The lake has its own culture in the types of visitors it attracts, a large part of which is the party hearty crowd that values puttering around in their boats while intoxicated by their favorite sudsy beverage.”

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