Marine nature reserves

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In a construction plan issued on October 6, 1990, the State Council included details on five national Marine Nature Reserves (MNR) that would be established in the first phase: Changli Gold Coast Nature Reserve in Hebei Province; Shankou Mangrove Nature Reserve in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; Dazhoudao Marine Ecosystem National Nature Reserve in Wanning County, Hainan Province; Sanya Coral Reef National Nature Reserve, also in Hainan; and Nanji Liedao Marine National Nature Reserve (or Nanji Isles) in Pingyang County, Zhejiang Province.

The Changli Gold Coast Nature Reserve, covering 300 square kilometers, features rare sand dunes measuring 40 meters high; spacious beaches with very fine sand and clean water; and small tidal range.

The Nanji Isles, covering 196 square kilometers, boast 344 kinds of shellfish and 174 types of benthic algae that will become a gene pool for offshore shellfish or algae species in China.

Sanya Coral Reef National Nature Reserve, at 40 square kilometers in area, boasts more than 80 kinds of reef-building corals and is a typical shore reef ecosystem.

With an area of 70 square kilometers, the Dazhoudao Marine Ecosystem National Nature Reserve is home to the only existing habitat of swiftlets in China.

A Marine Nature Reserve is defined as a specially designated area in the sea, on islands, and in coastal zones or estuaries to conserve marine life and the environment.