|Mangroves settling naturally on an artificial seawall at Pulau Hantu.|
The Building and Construction Authority also wants a list of adaptation options, new design-and-maintenance guidelines, an instrumentation and monitoring programme, and suggestions for a coastal flood insurance system. And it wants contractors - who must have technical and engineering know-how - to work with research institutions that have at least a decade of experience and research data in Singapore coastal and biodiversity work.
Singapore takes first steps on plan to protect its coasts, Study to include dealing with rising sea levels and saving low-lying areas by Grace Chua Straits Times 19 Jun 13
More about Singapore and rising seas
In Oct 2011, for the first time, it was mentioned that Singapore "will need to raise minimum levels for land reclamation by at least 1m to create an adequate buffer against a potential rise in sea level". This, according to the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR).
In Mar 2010, a Singapore study revealed that sea levels could rise by between 24 and 65cm by 2100. At that time, the Ministry said existing regulations were sufficient. These included a requirement since the early 1990's for reclaimed land to be built at a height of 125cm above the highest measured tidal level, as a buffer against rising sea levels.
Why are rising sea levels a concern for Singapore?
Rising sea levels could flood key economic areas which lie less than 2m above sea level. These include Changi airport, the Central Business District, Marina Bay, Jurong Island, the Western coastline where our container and shipping facilities are located and Semakau Landfill. High value areas like Sentosa Cove are also at risk.
Storm surge floods
With rising seas, key petrochemical, shipping and shipbuilding facilities on the West Coast could be vulnerable to wave attacks because of seasonal thunderstorms called 'the Sumatras'. These can uproot tall trees and cause a storm surge of high water.
|Sumatras building up over Jurong Island.|
Salt intrusion into drinking water supplies
Rising seas will also threaten Singapore's coastal reservoirs, such as Kranji, Sarimbun and Seletar. Salt water entering these reservoirs will make the water undrinkable. It can take up to two years for the sea water to be flushed out completely by rainwater.
Rising seas will worsen the already serious erosion problems seen on many parts of Singapore's coastline.
|Serious erosion along the East Coast Park shoreline.|
Besides rising seas, climate change may also force Singapore to cope with higher rainfall. This month, the expert panel examining Singapore's flood protection measures said that "rainfall patterns seem to have changed" with "evidence that the maximum intensities have increased over the past 30 years."
More about the possible impact of rising seas on Singapore in this old post.
Can artificial shores support natural marine life?
Yes! This stunning reefscape is growing on artificial pontoons at Marina Keppel Bay and can be easily seen even from above water!
a closer look a them. Among the hard corals seen here are large colonies of delicate branching and plate-forming corals. As well as less common species such as Lettuce coral (Pavona sp.), Horn coral (Hydnophora sp.) and even rarer species such as Cabbage coral (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi).
|Photo by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.|
|Mangrove trees growing on the artificial seawall|
Pulau Hantu have grown so tall! In Mar 2013
this old post.
Not only are these marine ecosystems beautiful, but they can also play a role in protecting the shores from coastal flooding and rising seas. Hopefully, BCA will include these aspects into their plans for coastal protection works
Need to protect the mothers!
For natural regeneration to take place, it is important to protect existing natural sites as a continual source of marine life ‘babies’ and plant seeds and seedlings.