Internet celebrity Zhangdu Lake closes for wetlands protection
Located in southeastern Xinzhou, Zhangdu Lake is the wetland area that is closest to the Yangtze River. The lake is named Forest in Water as it is home to 800 pond cypress trees.
This April, photos and short videos about the wetlands spread across the internet and attracted many visitors from Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan and other cities as a result.
However, three wood panels have prevented visitors from sailing on the lake since July 16. The wetland area is no longer open to the public.
Zhang Zhizhong, deputy director of the Research Institute of Forestry in Xinzhou District, said, "The whole name of Zhangdu Lake is the Zhangdu Lake Wetlands Natural Reserve, not Zhangdu Lake Wetlands Park." According to Zhang, the power of the internet has made the wetlands an instant "internet celebrity," and the incorrect use of the word "park" is misleading.
In fact, Zhangdu Lake Wetlands Natural Reserve has never been open to the public. In order to protect the water resources, the wetlands must not encourage tourism due to its close proximity to the Yangtze River. The situation suddenly turned around when the photos and short videos were released on the internet in April.
"The problems came with the broadcast of the videos." Zhang said that over 10,000 birds inhabit the area during this time of year which is their breeding season. Visitors not only made a lot of noise, but also caused water pollution. These factors have a detrimental effect on the birds' migration and breeding. Moreover, the undeveloped area is not suitable for tourists as there are no facilities present.
Zhang said that although there is no plan to give the public access to the reserve, the Wuhan Forestry Group is currently doing research on Zhangdu Lake to plan for a science center.
According to an official of the Wuhan Municipal Tourism Administration, although the Zhangdu Lake is not open to the public, there are still many wetlands worth visiting such as Houguan Lake National Wetlands Park, Canglongdao National Wetlands Park and Fuhe River wetlands.
Photos of Zhangdu Lake on the internet