Coastal Waters Assessment in China

Seagrass in ChinaA recent assessment of China’s coast by the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) highlighted that fewer than half of China’s coastal water areas can be classified as being “clean”, and noted that this situation appears to be worsening. SOA reported further that the ecosystems in most bays, river mouths, and coastal wetlands were “unhealthy” due mainly to the fact that 81 percent of sewage effluent outfalls that drain into coastal waters carry pollution loads far in excess of national standards.

An increased prevalence of “salt tides”, or the influx of seawater into depleted groundwater reserves, is a disturbing trend in coastal areas bordering the South China Sea. According to the assessment, Guangdong Province experienced salt tides for seven months in 2004, severely impacting on local drinking water supplies. For more information regarding the work of the South China Sea Project in China, please visit:

Videos of project activities in China can be also be accessed by visiting the SCS Multi-Media Centre – please click here.

Source: State Oceanic Administration of China



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