Aerial photo taken on June 5, 2021 shows Dongjiang coastal park in the Binhai New Area of north China's Tianjin. (Xinhua/Zhao Zishuo)
TIANJIN, June 8 (Xinhua) -- Dongjiang coastal park in north China's Tianjin Municipality has seen a big increase in the number of visitors.
Tourist Zhang Shu and her daughter collected some tiny crabs and clams in their small pink bucket.
"Here, we can not only enjoy the beautiful coastal view but also pick sea shells and crabs," said Zhang, who is from the city of Tangshan in the neighboring Hebei Province.
Things were not like that in the past.
Located in deep Bohai Bay, where the Haihe River flows into the sea, Tianjin has a natural coastline of some 100 km but no natural beach. The coastal ecosystem has been fragile due to the special enclosed locations and pollution.
In 2019, the city initiated an ecological restoration program called "Blue Bay."
Under the program, the urban management commission of the city undertook efforts to clean up coastal domestic waste and industrial solid waste, the municipal commission of agriculture and rural affairs moved to tackle pollution related to mariculture and fishing industries, while the water authority acted to improve the waterway environment of the rivers flowing into the sea.
Dongjiang coastal park is part of the restoration program.
With a 1.8-km coastline, the park has become a sightseeing hotspot covering an area of 200,000 square meters, said Lu Huibing, deputy chief of the land planning and construction bureau with the Dongjiang Free Trade Port Zone in Tianjin (DFTP).
Nowadays, visitors can play on the beach, enjoy the sunrise and watch birds in the park, which received 571,000 visitors during the May Day holiday, said Lu.
Zhang Xiaodan, an ecology and environment official with the DFTP, said DFTP has set up an intelligent monitoring system for marine garbage, which monitors the environmental conditions near the coastline by drones.
The intelligent photo transmission system and AI recognition system help figure out the types, density and cleaning methods of garbage near the coastline, she said.
By the end of 2022, the density of garbage on beaches and floating on the sea surface in DFTP has dropped by more than 86 percent.
On June 5, World Environment Day, Dongjiang coastal park held various activities, including a low-carbon life knowledge contest and an interaction with the theme of garbage sorting.
"We hope in this way, tourists can take away the awareness of protecting the ecological environment while having fun here," said Zhang. ■