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China Reports Alarming Rate of Coastline Retreat
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China has seen its coastline retreat at an alarming rate in recent years, with some sections moving back dozens of meters, according to the State Oceanic Administration.


Results from monitoring over the past three years showed that 15 kilometers of the sandy coast in northeast China's Liaoning Province was seriously eroded and was retreating at an annual speed of 0.7 meters.


The biggest retreat in this section was two meters, which had destroyed off-shore highways and threatened nearby farmland, forest belts and buildings, said the report.


Another 35.6 kilometers of coastline along east China's Shandong Province retreated at an annual width of 4.4 meters from August 2003 to August of last year, with the eroded coast 6.8 kilometers longer than the beginning of 2003 and speed of retreat three meters faster.


Jiangsu Province also witnessed 19.75 kilometers of its shore line move back 16.8 meters on average each year from April 2003 to May 2006, with hundreds of hectares of salt pans and many fish and shrimp ponds washed away.


The weak geological nature, rising sea levels and frequent storm tides have all quickened the process of coastal erosion, the report said.


But human activities, including sand mining along beaches and of sea beds, construction projects on the coast and upstream interception of mud and sand, were all major causes, it concluded.


(Xinhua News Agency January 16, 2007)

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