One of SAVE’s affiliates who works at Songdo, Korea, emailed us with this report in August 2016:
“The group of students … (all seniors in high school [at Chadwick International School]) were accepted to attend the IUCN World Conservation Congress so we are heading off next week to present our poster about reclamation on Songdo Tidal Flats. They are using an electronic poster format and you can check it out HERE if you want. It’s all student led and organized and [the faculty] just advised them, helped out with the scientific analysis, editing and grammar. The results are as predicted, that Songdo is losing millions of dollars a year and with conservative economic projections will take 487 years to break even while at the same time destroying irreplaceable stopover areas for birds.
“The loss of the tidal flat is stunning but it’s good to get the kids to understand the complexities of the situation and as future leaders hopefully prevent these stupid ideas from even happening. One of [the] students interned with an Assemblyman this summer and helped push through some legislation to add more teeth to Korea’s Wetlands Protection Act. It’s a small step and still needs to be voted on to be put into law. We got a little TV time on two major news stations so we are trying to keep Korea’s reclamation fiasco and its effects in the news.
“Yes, Namdong Reservoir is looking very bad right now and is mostly dry. Predators can definitely get out to the spoonbill island and a human can almost walk out there. I haven’t heard about the waste treatment plant [a potential threat to the nesting island in Namdong Reservoir] but we have done some bacterial testing and found it was contaminated with fecal coliform. The tidal power plant on the highway side hasn’t been used for 3-4 years and the flow management in and out of the reservoir is irregular and illogical. We don’t see spoonbills or other shorebirds feeding in there and I don’t know if there will be enough water in the reservoir this winter for overwintering waterfowl. We will look into the wastewater treatment plant. Thanks for the heads up.
“Two years ago there was a botulism outbreak in the spring and they closed off Namdong to the public. I agree it’s an indicator of ecosystem health and how poorly things are being managed around here. Incheon is planning to add two more spoonbill islands on the remaining Songdo tidal flat with viewing platforms along the east side of Songdo for ‘tourists and education’. I don’t know what will be left to watch. I wonder if the new spoonbill islands are in response to the planned Namdong construction. We’ll look into it and will check out your website for more info and the letter you wrote to the mayor. We’d like to follow up with more action.”