The Taiwan Environmental Information Association (TEIA) yesterday announced the nine most beautiful coastal areas in the nation it feels are worth protecting and said it has created a coastal ecology map for elementary and junior-high schools to use.
The nine areas, accounting to 148km of coastline, were selected from 338 locations after a year-long on-site survey of the coastline, based on six criteria: artificial impacts on the original ecological functions, unique or significant ecosystem, unique landscape or scenery, special humanistic or industrial scenery, pollution and development, and management.
“The nine coastal areas were not chosen on the basis of being undamaged. They all can still be protected if Taiwanese are willing to protect them,” TEIA Environmental Trust Center director Sun Hsiu-ju (孫秀如) said at a press conference.
“The total length of Taiwan’s coastline is about 1,200km and it consists of a variety of landscapes. Having so many types of landscapes on a small island is a very rare treasure,” she said.
However, the coastline is almost completely covered with fishing ports, tetrapods or sea dykes, and natural coastline amounts to less than 45 percent of the total.
Environmental Protection Administration Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏) told the press conference that he hoped the survey results would remind the public to care about the ocean and help reduce damage to the marine ecology.
The association said about 10 percent of all marine species can be found in the waters near Taiwan, showing that the nation has rare and abundant ocean resources, but everyone still needs to work together to protect the ocean. The group said its marine ecology map will be given to 3,397 schools nationwide.
The association’s nine picks are the Caota (草漯) sand dunes and algal reefs between Guanyin (觀音) and Sinwu (新屋) townships in Taoyuan County; the Yuanli (苑裡) sand dune in Miaoli County; the coast of Yilan County; the Dacheng Wetlands (大城濕地) in Changhua County; the coast between Shiti Harbor (石梯港) in Hualien County and Changbin (長濱) in Taitung County; the coast between Manfeng (滿豐) and Houwan (後灣) in Pingtung County; the Sihcao (四草) seashore in Greater Tainan; and the coast between Nanren Fishing Port (南仁漁港) in Pingtung and Nantian (南田) in Taitung counties.