The Caota Sand Dunes (草漯沙丘) in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音) is a site that “everyone must visit once in their lifetime,” Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) has said.
Cheng’s administration this year spent NT$37 million (US$1.25 million) on a footpath along the coast for visitors to the dunes, which have been listed as the city’s first geological park, and the third in the nation.
The Caota dunes are up to 15m tall and extend 8.1km along the coast in a northeast-southwest direction.
Photo: Cheng Shu-ting, Taipei Times
Environmental conservation group the Taiwan Environmental Information Association has listed the dunes as one of nine coastal sites nationwide that warrant preservation.
After a blogger read about the association’s listing of the dunes and wrote about it earlier this year, visitors flocked to the site to take photographs.
The first section of the footpath opened on June 16 near Chaoyin N Road, the city said, adding that it hopes to complete work on the second section — near Jhongsiao Road — by the end of the year.
Speaking at the opening ceremony for the footpath on Tuesday, Cheng said Taoyuan had applied for recognition of the site as a geological park in 2018, and that the application was approved this month.
The only other geological parks in the nation are in Matsu and Yunlin County’s Gukeng Township (古坑).
Recognition as a geological park would help conserve a 284 hectare section of Taoyuan’s coastline between Guanyin and Dayuan (大園) districts, Cheng said.
The area would be split into three sections from a conservation management perspective, comprising a core area with fully formed dunes, a restoration section and a regular section, he said.
The core section would be accessible only for research and environmental education, to preserve its form, while the regular section would be open to the public and be accessible for recreation purposes, he said.
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