The following by Richard Conniff.
Every spring, tens of thousands of plump, russet-breasted shorebirds drop down onto the wetlands of China’s Bohai Bay, ravenous after traveling 3,000 miles from Australia.
This Yellow Sea stopover point is crucial for the birds, called red knots, to rest and refuel for the second leg of their journey, which will take them another 2,000 miles up to the Arctic tundra.
Unfortunately for the red knots, the intertidal flats of Bohai Bay are rapidly disappearing, cut off from the ocean by new sea walls and filled in with silt and rock, to create buildable land for development. In a society now relentlessly focused on short-term profit that seems like a wonderful bargain, and the collateral loss of vast areas of shorebird habitat merely an incidental detail. As a result, China’s seawall mileage has more than tripled…
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