This centre is managed by Suncheon City and is funded from the city and visitor-fee (entrance and guide fee). This centre has recorded 150,000 visitors in 2007 and has increased its visitors to 270,000 in 2008.
On January 2002, the city started to invest for a centre and the design and construction began by the financial support of the central- and the local- government. The centre was opened to the public on November 5. 2004. Suncheon Bay Eco-museum (2,409m2) consists of several rooms and compartments for regular and special exhibitions, seminars, ecological classes, motion picture.
Invitation of Hooded Crane: information booth of ecology and real-time motion pictures from observation CCTV
Beach Exploration of Hooded Crane: species of Suncheon Bay and culture of nearby residents
Friends of Hooded Crane: birds exhibition and ecology of avian species of Suncheon Bay
World of Hooded Crane: introduction of cranes over the world
Dream of Hooded Crane: four seasons of the beauty at the Bay
Type of Habitats of Suncheon Bay: coastal wetlands of mudflats, ponds, rice field, reed beds and estuaries.
Outdoor facilities are run with beach experience course and observation spots, Jang-san tidal flat.
Visitors can enjoy the overview and sunset of Suncheon Bay from the boat.
The centre has 49 staff; regular staff (17), tour guide (14), irregular staff (10), public service employees (4), ticket agent (4).
The Staff of the centre work for the management of Suncheon Bay Eco Museum, planning and operation of CEPA programs as well as managing facilities.
Suncheon Bay, consists of tidal flats at the estuary of Dong- and Esa- rivers, is relatively large and clean coast with 2,221ha large mudflats and 230ha reed beds along 3.5km downstream from the confluence. These areas are well-protected as Wetland Protected Area, Ramsar site(#1594) and National Scenic Monument(#41).
Around 220 bird species inhabit in the Bay and nine of them are listed on the IUCN Red List. Every year it provides well-preserved wintering habitats for about 10,000 waders; Hooded Crane Grus monacha, Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Saunders’ Gulls Larus saundersi, Dunlin Calidris alpina, Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, etc.
Suncheon Bay is the only coastal wetland where Hooded Cranes migrate regularly. It also serves as a stopover habitat for various migratory birds including Blackfaced Spoonbill Platalea minor, Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrines, Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, Oriental Stork Ciconia boyciana as well as diverse waders.
CEPA (Communications, education, participation and public awareness) activities
Suncheon wetland center spotlights CEPA programs to enhance public awareness about wetlands and their values at local, national and international level. It aims to publicize the importance of coastal wetlands, and Suncheon Bay, which is one of the largest intertidal mudflats in the world. Its activities include observation of nature (birds, mudflats, benthos, etc.), field research and education at the foreshore.
Interpretation and major exhibits
Basically the centre provides facilities and guide for ecotourism; classes, reed tour train, boat, tour bus and guides. At the center and open area, visitors can have interpretation service with explanation of Suncheon Bay and tour programs. Visitors may enjoy displays at the center; replica of Suncheon Bay, real-time CCTV, diorama of foreshore and avian ecology, etc.
Formal (school and university) learning
The centre has made an MOU with Suncheon Office of Education following up joint project of 1-day educational program which targets elementary students in the city. Through the program, children will be acquainted with coastal wetlands and astrology. During vacation(or interschool period), theoretical learning and field experiment are available, especially on foreshore species and reed-beds in Summer and on migratory birds in Winter.
Informal (general public) learning
All visitors to the centre have educational chance to visit astronomical observatory and to learn the ecology of the Bay as well. And interpreters are available at the center with reed tour train, boat and tour bus. In addition, media-clip set “Land of Life-Suncheon Bay”, observation note, leaflet, guidebook and print-outs are also available. To improve the efficiency of conservation and sustainable use, Suncheon Wetland Center has also made an MOU with KFEM (Korea Federation for Environmental Movements) on October 2007 and with WLI on October 2008.
Professional colleagues visit Suncheon Bay and the centre for educating interpreters. Every month, they give classes on history, culture, natural resources, and ecology.
More than one workshop is opened every year on migratory birds, especially on cranes, and on the coastal wetlands. And conferences, scholarly presentations and research programs are also run at the centre.
Chief Manager of the Suncheon Bay: CHOI, Duk Rim (Director of Tourism Promotion, Suncheon City)
Manager of the Suncheon Bay Eco Museum: OU, Sung Won (Dept. of Suncheon Bay Conservation)
CEPA co-ordinator: SEO, Won Kyu (Dept. of Suncheon Bay Conservation)
WLI focal point: HWANG, Tae Joo (Dept. of Suncheon Bay Conservation)
Communication in charge: KIM, In Cheol (Dept. of Suncheon Bay Conservation)