The government of S. Korea has been destroying four largest rivers in the country by building more than 20 dams and dredging 570 million cubic meters of sediments from the bottom or the rivers since November, 2009. Though the government argues that it is to restore the rivers, but hundreds of important riverine wetlands including sand bars, gravel bars, riverine forests and vegetations are being destroyed due to extensive dredging and dams construction.
Such riverine wetlands are important habitats for many rare and endangered wildlife species such as many waterbirds including White-naped Cranes, Hooded Cranes and Long-billed Plovers; mammals including Eurasian River Otters and Korean Water Deers; reptiles including Korean Tiger Lizards; and plants such as Aster altaicus.
Here are some photos showing the impacts of ongoing Four Rivers Project on riverine wetlands along the Namhangang (South Han River) in Yeoju, South Korea. The river is one of the four rivers to be impacted by the projet and there are three dams being built in the area.
▲ Jeonbuk-ri WetlandThe natural riverine wetland is being damaged to make new park area with a swimming pool, walking path, bicycle trail, picnic area, parking lots and artificial wetland.
The natural riverine wetland is being damaged to make new park area with walking path, bicycle trail, picnic area, parking lots and artificial wetland.
Large sand and gravel bars downstream of the Ipo Bridge was gone due to the Ipo Dam construction. The shallow water down the bridge used to be an important habitat for two endemic and endangered freshwater fish species, KUGURI Gobiobotia macrocephala and DOLSANG-EO Gobiobotia brevibarba. The large sand bars between the dam and the bridge in the back will be turned into a football park, a in-line stake park and other sports and recreational area.
Almost all the natural riverine wetland area is being damaged to make a camping grounds with walking path and bicycle trail.
Almost all the natural riverine wetland area is being damaged to make recreational areas including a football park, an in-line stake park, walking path, bicycle trail and camping grounds.
It is a riverine wetland along the South Han River at the Dangsan-ri, Yeoju, South Korea has gone because of massive dredging.
The name of the beach means 'Silver Sand and Golden Sand Beach'. But almost all the sand and gravel from the beach have already been removed from it because of the massive dredging to deepen and widen the river's waterway.
The riverine wetland with willow forest, reed-bed and other wetland vegetations has completely destroyed because of the extensive dredging. The rest of the land by the riverbank will be changed into recreational area with sports park, walking path, and bicycle trail.
When they dredge and deepen the river, they built a dyke in the middle of the river and drain the water of the half of it. And then, excavators and dump trucks go into the drained riverbed to dig up and remove sediments and bedrocks from it.
The natural riverine wetland is being damaged to make a park area including artificial fishway for freshwater fishes to pass the Gangcheon Dam.
Gangcheon Dam is one of the three large dams being built on the South Han River in Yeoju, South Korea. Construction of the dam started in November, 2009.
Gangcheon Dam is one of the three large dams being built on the South Han River in Yeoju, South Korea. Construction of the dam started in November, 2009 and all the riverine wetland and sand and gravel bars are gone now.
Gangcheon Wetland, located at the lower part of the Bawi-neupgubi Wetland, is an important riverine wetland along the South Han River in Yeoju, South Korea. The wetland was full of willow forest and reed beds. It also used to be a habitat for an endangered and endemic plant species, DANYANGSSUKBUJAENGI Aster altaicus, but the wild population of the plant had been transplanted in early April and the wetland is being damaged because extensive dredging was started in mid April.
Bawineupgubi is a wetland area located in the mid/downstream area of the South Han River where sand and silt gets accumulated along tributary streams branching off. The current flows slowly along the streamlines due to the rivers very wide. There are large riparian wetland, floodplain, small islet, sand bars and gravel bars in the wetland area. Bawi-neupgubi wetland is an important habitat for an endangered and endemic plant species, DANYANGSSUKBUJAENGI Aster altaicus and Korean Tiger Lizard Eremias argus. Both are protected species designated as Endangered Species Category 2 by the Ministry of Environment.