Tuesday, October 12, 2004


I love a good swamp. Sorry, a good wetland. Apparently, swamps are unpleasant places, possibly bordered by the homes of slack-jawed yokels. A wetland is an ecologically-important area of water, thick mud and myriad plants and animals that is worth saving. Keep the Dutch away (In Ontario, they have the rep of swa...wetland-drainers)!

The Joongang Daily has an article about attempts to preserve wetlands in Incheon. The wetlands are located on two islands: Silmi, of movie fame, and Yeongjong, which also includes the International Airport. I am all for protecting wetlands and consider myself an environmentalist but I think the airport has an valid argument here.

Airport authorities said that the islands, if left undeveloped,
would attract migratory birds and present a hazard to
operations at the airport nearby."No foreign airliners will
use Incheon International Airport after they hear that the
airport is near a natural preserve that is densely packed
with birds," an official said.

Birds and airports are a very bad mix. I am more troubled by the official's statement, "No foreign airlines...". Would Korean Air and Asiana continue to use the airport? Hmmm, where can I get to from Kimhae?

Crying out for a canoe to explore Posted by Hello

(Probably, I am the one crying for a canoe. Hey, anyone in Korea have a used canoe or even an old windsurfer board and kayak paddle for sale?)

Above is a wetland maintained for education purposes. My mom is a volunteer here. This the Wye Marsh in Midland, Ontario, Canada. The photo is from their site.

Although I don't care for mosquitoes ( or blackflies, deerflies, horseflies,..), paddling in a wetland was always exciting to me. The narrow, winding routes are mazelike, mysterious. Who knows what is around the corner? Turtles, pike sunning themselves, birds aplenty, and such a variety of other animals that, after more than four years without a canoe trip, I can hardly imagine anymore.

Sure, hiking in Korea is fine, pleasant, good exercise even. And I have seen a deer while hiking, probably an escapee from an antler farm. Canoeing through a Canadian wetl..ah heck, swamp, just has more to be seen, more rewards for exploring.

I hope Korea finds a way to preserve some real wetlands ( not pesticide-filled irrigation ponds) but this really seems to be something they should have thought about before starting an ambitious airport project. Arguing about it only 2 or 3 years after completion could give the impression that Koreans don't plan ahead well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, for a canoe!!!
A couple of less-than philosphical quotes on canoeing:

"A Canadian is one who can make love in a canoe without tipping."

"Anyone can make love in a canoe--a Canadian is one who knows how to remove the centre thwart!"

Alas, my wife is Korean and somewhat tipsy in boats. But it would be fun to try, just once!