Pingtan nature reserve enters Fujian provincial wetland list
Pingtan's Thirty-Six Feet Lake nature reserve entered the list of Fujian Provincial Important Wetlands, Fujian provincial Department of Forestry announced at a government news release on April 12.
As the largest natural freshwater lake in the province, Thirty-Six Feet Lake used to be the only source of fresh water for the 300,000 residents of the island city of Pingtan.
The lake has a perimeter of 165 kilometers and occupies an area of 2.1 million square meters. It has a water retention capacity of 1,290 cubic meters with a maximum water depth of 16 meters.
The lake's distinctive name comes from a local folk legend, according to which the Black Dragon and Carp Princess from the East China Sea once went on a tour of the lake and were so amazed at its enchanting views that they conspired to turn the lake into their own private dwelling.
One day, the Black Dragon and Carp Princess created a huge storm, whose huge waves and strong gusts of wind drove away all the local fishing boats, drowning many fishermen in the process.
Later, Tieguaili, one of the Eight Immortals from Chinese folklore, heard about their devilry and killed the Black Dragon and other monsters with the help of a young fisherman named Bi Jia. All of the monsters sank down into the water and became part of the lake after death. Since they had 36 feet in total, the lake was named Thirty-Six Feet Lake.
In 1982, Thirty-Six Feet Lake was designated as a nature reserve and on account of its picturesque views, clean air, and beautiful water has long stood as a key tourist destination in Pingtan.
With the addition Thirty-Six Feet Lake, Fujian's officially protected wetland area now numbers 100,000 hectares, or 11.4 percent of the province.
As a precious natural resource, wetlands play a number of crucial roles in the maintaining a balanced ecosystem. The positive effects include water purification, flood control, acting as a carbon sink, and helping to provide shoreline stability. Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems and support a range plant and animal life.