In­ter­net celebrity Zhangdu Lake closes for wet­lands pro­tec­tion

Changjiang Weekly - - TOP NEWS - By Yao Chuan­long

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

Pho­tos by ne­ti­zen Ning Bo

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