19 July 2011

Seagrasses survived RWS reclamation at Sentosa?

There used to be seagrasses on Sentosa near the reclamation site. I wonder if they survived the massive works going on there.
At sunrise, I headed out to find out. Accompanied by Nicholas and Henry.

Towards the worksite, there remains a natural rocky shore below the seawall.
I start checking for seagrasses at the water line near the Resorts World Sentosa work site. There's still massive construction going on there and a huge barge full of what seems to be gravel was parked on the reclaimed site.
This is what the site looked like before it was reclaimed. We were there when they actually started to bury it in Jul 2007. There were corals as well as seagrasses here.
Sentosa: reclamation of reef
Today, not too far from the worksite, I spot some seagrasses! There was a nice patch of Sickle seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii) mixed with Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis) at the edge of the rocky shore. I couldn't see how far this patch extended into the water as it was murky.
A look at the seagrasses there. The blades looked pretty clear of growths and seemed healthy. A little further on, there was even a small clump of Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides).
A little further along, some patches (about 1m x 1m) of nice green Spoon seagrass.
Then a lovely patch of Sickle seagrass near the seawall, about 4m x 2m.
Here's a view of the patch towards mainland Singapore.
In May 2007 when reclamation was just beginning, this patch seemed a little more lush. But it's good to see that these seagrasses are still here.
Sickle seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii)
A closer look at the seagrasses there today.
Nearby, another small patch of thickly growing Spoon seagrasses.
There were also a patch (2m x 2m) of rather broad Needle seagrass (Halodule sp.) mixed with Spoon seagrass.
Here's a closer look at the patch.
A closer look at some of the Needle seagrasses on the shore today.
Past the rocky shore there is a broad expanse of sandy shore behind Underwater World Singapore. Here, there were four clumps of healthy looking Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides).
Another clump growing among the coral rubble fringing the sandy shore.
Yet another clump of nice long Tape seagrass.
I've marked the locations of these seagrass patches and uploaded them to Google Earth.
Besides the ongoing impact of work at Resorts World Sentosa, these natural shores of Sentosa are also not far from the massive reclamation for the new Pasir Panjang Container Terminal. Labrador (the green portion on the right of the photo) is even closer to this massive work site.
The reclamation work is more visible from the tip of Siloso portion of Sentosa, marked by the green Tanjung Rimau beacon.
A closer look at the reclamation site.
We were also looking for anemones today and made a nice discovery! We were so busy on the high shore at the Tanjung Rimau side that I didn't get a chance to look at the seagrasses here before the tide turned. On my last trip here in May, I saw some bleaching seagrasses. We'll need to come back here again soon.

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