Dr. Bernhard Seliger, Hanns Seidel Foundation (Korea), February 2, 2015
For a long time, the lagoons in Goseong County on the Korean East coast were famous wetlands for wintering Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus and even the much rarer Mute Swan Cygnus olor. Songji Ho (lagoon) and in particular Hwajin Po (lagoon) took a pride to host these beautiful animals. However, in particular in Hwajin Po, the last ten to fifteen years have seen massive development detrimental to the peace and quiet necessary for resting areas: starting with an aquarium-cum-ocean museum including a large parking lot; the development of the road; the improvement of access to the coast (at Hwajin Po Condominium); the establishment of the new eco-museum directly at the second, quieter part of the lagoon; and the road originally built for tourism to Geumgangsan at the other (Western) side of the lake. Human activity has increased, as have visitor numbers. At Songji Ho, equally road development and industrial development has taken place. Swans were always a matter of pride for the inhabitants of Goseong. But ironically, the more swan statues, plastic swans, and swan photos were put beside the lakes, the less real swans could be seen. Today, swans are rare visitors. However, they still can be found in the less frequented coastal areas of Goseong, like Songjeongcheon or Namcheon in Ganseong.
Aquarium car park, Hwajin Po @ Bernhard Seliger