Night train from Wuhan and a full day in Shanghai – August 11
Post by Team Pickerel Frog
Today we woke up after a night of riding the train and boarded a bus to Shanghai. On the way to Shanghai we stopped at Dianshan Lake , Fish Village, a World Wildlife Federation (WWF) wetland conservation project, Cenbu Village, and Xitang (water town).
The first stop was Dianshan lake where we looked at a research project to control the cyanobacteria in the lake. Within the lake there are two species of cyanobacteria one is endemic and the other is foreign coming in from a tributary. The lake had a floating dam to enclose as 20 hectare area on the lake with a man made dike on the outside. The project was on the northern side of the lake so that the winds which come from the south west push the cyanobacteria into the enclosed area. The silver carp that are enclosed in the area eat the cyanobacteria effectively reducing the overall effect of the cyanobacteria.
Our next stop was at fish village to talk to local fishermen and the problems with the current fishing regulations. We quickly found out that the regulations that were implemented to create a sustainable fishery are not enforced. This was realized when locals could not recall when they began and argued about it as we walked away from them. The best kept secret by the locals is that they still fish by mass electrocution of the waters and do not discriminate between species or ages of fish. This is mainly due in part to the fact that each year the government spends thousands of dollars each year to restock the lake. The second problem is that the lake is under two different jurisdictions which do not have the same policies which creates a grey area for what practices are truly illegal.
After perusing the wetlands we went off to Cenbu village to have lunch followed by a talk given by Dr. Wenwei Ren. The village is a demo village to see how farmers can make a living by offering their land to city dwellers to grow their own crops. The farmers then tend to their crops and the families can see how their crops are doing over the weekends. These areas do not use pesticides and allow the farmers to make a lot more money. These sustainable jobs show in the overall wealth of the village with beautifully maintained architecture and courtyards. The wealth of the town really shows especially when compared to the quality of fish village.
The talk given by Dr. Wenwei Ren was a very informative talk which was a broad overview of the future of shanghai and its current problems. With his many power point presentations he informed us of how Shanghai is going to set the bar for sustainability in China by reducing its pollution and become a green city. This included the planning of a satellite city that based off the green city concept and the restoration of surrounding ecosystems. The start of this movement begins with the restoration of the wetland ecosystems that originally covered the Yangtze basin.
After the talk we went to Xitang which shows how the Chinese traditionally lived in ancient times. The town has beautiful architecture accompanied by a breathtaking set of canals. This place was the filming set for Mission Impossible 3. After the long day the students were awarded with an overdue break from the arduous schedule.