Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned: The Eulsukdo Wetland Restoration Program

  • Lineman, Maurice J.M. (Department of English Language and Literature, KyungSung University) ;
  • Do, Yuno (Department of Forest Protection and Ecology, Warsaw University of Life Sciences) ;
  • Kim, Ji-Yoon (Department of Biological Sciences, Pusan National University) ;
  • Joo, Gea-Jae (Department of Biological Sciences, Pusan National University)
  • Received : 2014.02.05
  • Accepted : 2014.07.28
  • Published : 2014.08.29


Restoration is the process of reducing or reversing damage to an ecosystem so that it can function in its original manner. However, many restoration programs do not achieve this. In the Nakdong Estuary, the largest migratory nesting site in the center of the East Asian-Australasian flyway, an estuarine barrage was constructed in the 1980s that required site restoration following its completion in 1987 and the expansion of several large industrial complexes(Noksan and Jangrim) and a residential development(Myeongji). The goal of the restoration was to restore the function of the wetland to its pre-disturbance state. To achieve this, a restoration program was designed consisting of three stages. The first stage(1993-1995), saw the construction of three artificial wetlands(Shinhori, Daemadeung, and Eulsuk), the second(2003-2005) involved the dredging and returning of farmed lands to their natural state, and the third(2008-2012) focused on the rehabilitation and vegetation development of the wetlands. However, the project has not achieved all of the desired goals, and it is an example of the lapses in ecological restoration following anthropogenic disturbance. Issues that resulted in an incomplete restoration included the timing of the stages, noncompliance with the restoration plan, not directly monitoring the restoration or continuing the monitoring following completion of the development project, and the political subversion of the restoration plan. For the success of the restoration plan, it is necessary to avoid mistakes such as inconsistent monitoring, unequal levels of stakeholder involvement, and political interference.


Supported by : National Institute of Ecology (MOE)


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