Monday, June 9, 2008

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Isahaya Bay

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Land reclamation began in Japan's Isahaya Bay in 1989. It separated approximately 3000 hectares of tidal flats from the Ariake Sea, and turned what was Japan's largest area of tidal lands into farmland. These satellite images show the progression of the project. In the 2001 image, the straight line of a 7-km (4 mile) sea wall is visibly separating areas of light- and dark-colored water. Behind the sea wall, the dessication of tidal flats can be seen as water is slowly drained away. In the 2003 image, that area has been fully reclaimed from the sea. The Isahaya Bay Reclamation project has been fraught with controversy. Environmental groups have criticized the project for its destruction of wetland habitat. The Isahaya Bay area is known for its production of nori (seaweed), and local farmers have complained that the reclamation project has negatively impacted the quality and abundance of nori cultivation in the bay. The Isahaya project prompted the formation of the Japan Wetlands Action Network, a group of grassroots and national conservation organizations who are protesting the project and recommending that the sea wall gates be opened in order to restore ecological balance. View detailed information

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