26 November 2013

City in a Reef: my feedback on the Draft Master Plan 2013

Natural regeneration on Singapore's artificial shores and structures is already happening now. Unintentionally, with zero replanting.
A rich reef growing naturally at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Jun 2013
Can we plan coastal works to allow reefs, mangroves and seagrasses to naturally regenerate? Naturalise canals leading to the sea for a continuum of freshwater wetlands to mangroves? Imagine what's possible! Reefs and natural marine ecosystems at our doorstep, for all in the City to enjoy.

A coral reef has settled naturally on the seawalls at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. The reef has a good variety of species and survived the massive 2010 oil spill. More about this reef and other reef life that have settled on artificial structures in Singapore.
A rich reef growing naturally at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Jun 2013
Mangroves have settled naturally on the artificial seawalls at Pulau Hantu. Trees are from diverse species and are tall and healthy. More about this mangrove and other mangroves that have settled on artificial shores in Singapore.
Checking the mangroves on the Pulau Hantu seawall in Mar 2013
Seagrass meadows have settled naturally inside the Tanah Merah artificial lagoon including seagrass species so far found only at Chek Jawa and Cyrene Reef. Seagrass were also seen on artificial shores at East Coast Park. More about these seagrasses and other seagrasses that have settled on artificial shores in Singapore.
Lush seagrasses with Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal
on the horizon. May 2013.
Artificial shores such as East Coast Park are locations of some of the most spectacular marine sightings. David Tan shared his experience with a huge mother Hawksbill sea turtle who had come ashore at East Coast Park to lay eggs in Jul 2013! While baby sea turtles were seen hatching at East Coast Park in 2006!
Mother sea turtle came ashore at East Coast Park to lay, Jul 2013.
Photo by David Tan
These baby sea turtles hatched on East Coast Park in 2006.
Photo by N. Sivasothi
Otters have recently also been sighted at East Coast Park, as well as Tanah Merah's artificial shores.
Otters seen at Tanah Merah, Jun 2013.
Photo by Koh Kwan Siong on facebook.
Among the massive reclamation plans outlined in the Land Use Plan following the Population White Paper is extensive reclamation at East Coast Park. Although this was not reflected in the Draft Master Plan 2013, perhaps it is not too early to consider planning the East Coast reclamation to allow and encourage natural regeneration?
Allow reefs to settle on the outside of the seawall. Encourage mangroves and seagrasses to grow on the inside of the seawall and shallow lagoons. Naturalise canals leading to the sea for a continuum of freshwater wetlands to mangroves. Imagine what's possible! Kilometres of reefs and natural marine ecosystems at our doorstep. Singapore's 'Great Barrier Reef' on the mainland, for all in the City to enjoy.
Natural regeneration relies on existing natural 'mother' sites to provide a continual source of marine life 'babies'.  Let's study the natural regeneration already going on. Scale it up for a City in a Reef!

These thoughts are consolidated in this one-page pdf which is available for free download.
Download this pdf here

Come and see these naturally regenerating ecosystems for yourself!

I gladly give a fuller introduction of the natural regeneration that I've seen, to you and your colleagues. I could give a talk, and/or arrange a walk on any of these marvelous locations.

I look forward to sharing more of our living shores with you!

Ria Tan

Give YOUR feedback on the Draft Master Plan 2013, by 19 Dec here

Update 29 Nov 2013: I got a lovely reply from URA!
Customer Name : Ria Tan
ID Number :
Email Address : hello@wildsingapore.com
Feedback Received Date : 26/11/2013

Dear Ms Tan,

Thank you for sharing your ideas. Through our engagement with NParks, we are aware of some of the natural regeneration that is taking place on Singapore's artificial shores and structures. The feedback from interest groups and individuals like yourself has sensitised us on the need to balance between development and conserving Singapore's biodiversity in the land use plans for Singapore.

We appreciate your offer to give a talk or tour on the natural regeneration that is taking place on Singapore's artificial shores and structures. We will take a rain check on your offer for now as we consolidate the feedback from the draft Master Plan. We will be interested to learn from you as we embark on detailed plans for the area.

Once again thank you for your feedback and your willingness to partner us to make Singapore a great place to live, work and play.

Best Regards,
Lionel


Related links

MORE about marine life that settles naturally on Singapore's artificial shores and structures
Other posts about URA plans and our shores


    Highlights of Singapore's marine life

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