Saemangeum is an estuarine tidal flat on the coast of the Yellow Sea in South Korea. It was dammed by the government of South Korea's Saemangeum Seawall Project, completed in April 27, 2010, after a long fight between the government and environmental activists, and is scheduled to be converted into either agricultural or industrial land. Prior to 2010, it had played an important role as a habitat for migratory birds. The completion of this seawall is likely to be a major contributor to the decline of many species. Around 400,000 shorebirds depended on the Saemangeum estuarine as an important feeding ground on the 24,000 km migration between Asia and Alaska and Russia, including the two endangered waders Nordmann's greenshank and spoon-billed sandpiper (each species with fewer than a thousand surviving birds). A conservation organisation has accused authorities of having failed to monitor the project's impact on local wildlife in a transparent way, and carried out an independent monitoring program in 2006.
The Saemangeum lay at the mouths of the Dongjin and Mangyeong Rivers, on the coast of Jeollabuk-do. It is just south of the estuary of the Geum River. Neighboring districts include Gunsan City, Buan County, and Gimje City.
The project of filling in the estuary began in 1991, but was slowed by a series of court actions by environmentalists. The completed seawall is some 33 kilometers long, and replaces a coastline that was once more than 100 kilometers long. After the estuary has been completely filled, an area of about 400 km2 (roughly two-thirds the size of Seoul) will have been added to the Korean peninsula, making it one of the biggest land reclamation projects in history.
- http://www.birdskorea.org/Habitats/Wetlands/Saemangeum/BK-HA-Saemangeum-Mainpage.shtml accessed 2008-01-28
- "Birds 'starve' at S Korea wetland". BBC News. 2007-05-12. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
- http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200604/200604210003.html accessed 2007-04-21
- "땅이름국토소례". Korea Landportal. June 2003. Retrieved 2006-05-06.
- http://www.seoul.co.kr/news/newsView.php?id=20100428002023&relation=hit accessed 2010-04-30
- http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2010/08/02/0200000000AEN20100802002300320.HTML accessed 2010-08-02
Moores, N.; Battley, P.; Rogers, D.; Park M-N; Sung H-C; Van de Kam, J.; & Gosbell, K. (2006). Birds Korea – AWSG Saemangeum Shorebird Monitoring Program Report, 2006. Birds Korea publication: Busan.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saemangeum Seawall.|
- Korea's government official website : Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency
- Chosun Ilbo report on the completion of the seawall, 2006-04-21
- Saemangeum reference page from Birds Korea
- Korea Rural Community Corporation Saemangeum Website
- Article in New York Review of Books Mentions Saemangeum Seawall as prime example of bird habitat loss