WASHINGTON, July 23, 2015 / PRNewswire — On June 22, United States Senator and former Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) recognized Mr. Wenliang Wang, Chairman of the China Rilin Industrial Group, for his conservation efforts to restore the Dandong Yalu River Estuary Wetland in China. These wetlands that cover more than 200,000 acres are considered to be of “great importance as a feeding and resting area for hundreds of thousands of the world’s migrating and wading birds,” according to the Dandong Yalu River Estuary Wetland National Nature Reserve.
The Senator said, “Mr. President, I rise today to recognize entrepreneur and philanthropist Wenliang Wang for his commitment and dedication to restoring one of the world’s most impressive wetlands, the Dandong Yalu River Estuary Wetland in China.”
Reid went on to say that it was Mr. Wang’s, “private efforts and personal connection to the [Dandong] area that has influenced him to invest millions of dollars in the restoration of the Dandong Yalu River Estuary Wetland.”
According to the Dandong Yalu River Estuary Wetland National Nature Reserve, there are approximately 5 million wading birds of 55 kinds that fly across 20 countries and regions from Alaska to Siberia, down south through East Asia, Southeast Asia to Australia and New Zealand. The wetland is 1,860-3,100 miles from breeding grounds in Alaska and Siberia, and 3,100-3,728 miles from Australia and New Zealand where wading birds spend their winters. It is the closest place near the north-pole tundra for the wading birds to get sufficient foods before they go into breeding zones. Following its restoration, the wetlands have become one of the most inhabited wetlands on these migratory routes with over one million birds spending the winter, passing through, or making the wetlands home because of its unique location, friendly eco environs and abundant food supplies.
In March 2007, 12 bar-tailed godwits labeled “E7″ in New Zealand were tagged for the first time with satellite GPS tracking devices to monitor their activities. On March 17th, 2007, the E7 left Miranda, New Zealand, flew 7 days non-stop for 6,342 miles and reached the Dandong Yalu River Estuary Wetland. This was the longest non-stop flight recorded for migratory birds. There were several suitable places on the way where E7 could have landed, but they chose to bypass those and continue on to the wetlands as bar-tailed godwits have high loyalty to their resting places. For the next five weeks, the E7 resided in the wetlands to prepare for their flight to Alaska that was recorded on May 1, 2007. Currently, there are 250 kinds of birds and 76 kinds of fish, 103 various species of amphibians and mammals, and 365 different plants in the wetlands.
In terms of its role in conservation, the wetland has also become a popular feeding and resting hub for one of the world’s rarest birds, the Saunders’s Gull. There are only 7,000 of these birds left in the world, and over 2,600 have made the wetland their home. In 2014, the Wetlands International awarded the Dandong Yalu River Estuary Wetland the title “Best Station for Plover Snipes”.
Over the past decade, Mr. Wang has made the Dandong Port one of the most important gateways for northeast China, with an annual capacity of 138 million metric tons. His business is now the largest taxpayer in Dandong, a city with a population of nearly 2.5 million.
Additionally, Mr. Wang’s business interests have expanded into different sectors, including becoming one of the largest buyers of soybeans and corns from US and Brazil to produce high quality soybean oils for Chinese markets. Mr. Wang has given tens of millions to several universities including Harvard and NYU here in the US, as well as 30 schools and 1,000 households annually in impoverished areas of China. Recently, Mr. Wang made a commitment to invest millions of dollars to grow mangroves in the US, Brazil and China in an effort to save our shorelines and restore the wetlands.
“I applaud Mr. Wang for his commitment to protecting the internationally significant Dandong Yalu River Estuary Wetland and wish him the very best in his continued efforts to protect our environment and restore these important sites,” said Senator Reid.