Rizhao wetland protection efforts pay off

RIZHAO, China, Dec. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- A report from chinadaily.com.cn:

Bailu Bay, a wetland in Rizhao, Shandong province, has become a regular spot for migratory birds to spend the winter due to its continuously improved ecological conditions.

Recently, Bailu Bay wetland welcomed its first batch of white swans this year. White swans, a national second-class protected species, have high requirements when selecting living environments and water quality.

The wetland, which used to be a wasteland, now features clear water, lush grass and a tranquil environment, offering an ideal habitat for a dozen of wild bird varieties, thanks to the local government's efforts to improve the area.

Since the first white swan arrived in the area in 2013, the number has progressively climbed to over 40, which has also indicated that the city's ecological environment is continuing to develop.

The report to the recent 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China stressed the concept that "lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets" and emphasized the importance of ecological conservation and environmental protection. 

The most distinctive ecological resources in Rizhao are its wetlands. By constructing important reserves, enhancing the long-term system of wetland protection, and establishing ecological agriculture based on local characteristics, the city has placed significant attention to optimizing wetland resources.

In recent years, nine wetland parks above the provincial level have been built in Rizhao, with a combined area of 159,400 mu (10,626.66 hectares), which includes 127,600 mu of wetlands.

To further protect wild bird habitats, local authorities built key reserves for migratory birds in Bailu Bay and its surrounding areas, where activities that affect the overwintering of migratory birds are prohibited, such as bird hunting, fishing, or driving rubber boats. A safeguard team has been established in wetland areas to monitor the birds and also to help promote wild bird protection knowledge to the public.

In addition to natural wetlands, artificial wetlands also provide ecological functions such as climate regulation, water conservation and environmental improvement. Currently, 12 artificial wetland fields have been built in Rizhao, forming high-quality ecological landscape, which become popular spots for locals to spend their leisure time.

Furthermore, ecological agriculture has developed in the surrounding areas of Bailu Bay wetland, helping local farmers explore effective ways to promote rural vitalization.

Source: chinadaily.com.cn
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