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Gov't to conduct ecological survey of four major rivers

The environment ministry said Wednesday it will conduct an ecological survey of the nation's four major rivers by 2016 to address various problems revealed last year with the previous administration's controversial project to revitalize them.

A signature project of the former President Lee Myung-bak government, the 22 trillion won ($22 billion) project to refurbish the Han, Nakdong, Geum and Yeongsan rivers ended in 2013 with no apparent upsides on flood prevention, water quality and ecosystems of the rivers.

In late December, an investigative panel under the current Park Geun-hye government concluded that the project attained its goal of lessening flood risks to some extent but generated algal blooms and damaged ecosystems in some sections of the rivers.

The ministry said it will complete a survey into all ecological parks, streams and wetlands created around the rivers under the refurbishment project by next year as part of its follow-up measures to address the issues raised by the probe.

The government will also try to find a way to better manage the dams and reservoirs in the rivers within this year in order to prevent algal blooms, the ministry said. (Yonhap)