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Community Involvemnet

Because of the special headland and cape landscape, bays are usually where the fishing ports are constructed. The fishing industry is an important economy and local seafood is a must when you visit the North Coast Geopark. Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival, Religious Purification Festival of Yehliu and Whale-watching around Turtle Island are experiences that combine geological, ecological and human cultures in the North Coast Geopark. 

Narrow alluvial plains scatter among hills and rocky shores. Settlements are separated in such a way that each has its own unique characteristics and economic activities. Surrounded by water and hills, the north shore settlements often have thriving terraced agriculture and fishing industries, which lately has evolved into a tourism industry. In the past, rice, sweet potatoes and tea leaves were major crops from the terraced agriculture. But as high summer temperature and seasonal monsoon rains are common, rice and tea leaves are often of poor quality. Water bamboo and Chinese yam have replaced them to be the main crops, and part of the land is now planted with flowers that produce a better income for some communities.

Shimen produces seafood of high economic value. Lobsters and brown croakers are expensive cash crops exported to Japan. Crab, grouper, snapper, and some other tiny bycatch are popular in the market. In recent years, under the auspices of the Council of Agriculture, the north coast area has developed some tourist agriculture and countryside cafes. These have in fact drawn the metropolitan population into the countryside as a leisure activity. The unique coastal landscapes, traditional fishing and newly developed activities have brought new life and economic opportunities for the locals. 

North Coast Geopark has a large spatial extent, of which Jing Shan, Wanhli and Shimen are the major communities. Jing Shan used to be called “Jing Bao Li” and because it was rich in sulfur, it was nicknamed “the Land of Sulfur.” The majority of the population settles mainly on the plain, and some are scattered between the plains and the hills creating a fascinating settlement landscape. Good practices of landscape and ecological conservation continue to help the local community to lead a sustainable and ecological lifestyle.

Shimen is located in the narrow strip between the sea and the hills. Limited by the extremely small hinterland and undesirable climate, economic activity is restricted. Luckily, some communities have become affluent through high value-added fishing. In addition, one famous activity is an ancient communal net fishing (Kan-gu, in Taiwanese language) that has transformed from a traditional fishing into a tourist attraction. These activities demonstrate a strong connection between the local economy and the ocean environment. Tourism activities have also been boosted by the Kite Festival in recent years.

Wanli, where the Yehliu geopark is located, has both terraced agriculture and fishery as the base economy. Yehliu Geopark is a significant tourist location and attracts more than 2,500,000 tourists per year. The annual Purification Festival during the Lantern Festival period attracts crowds of tourists, allowing people not only to enjoy the unique landscape of Yehliu, but also to experience the vibes of traditional festival and culture. The issue of "protection vs. conservation" for certain Yehliu landforms is under spotlight and manifests the society's understanding of the relationship of mankind and the environment.

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