There are living reefs, seagrass meadows and mangroves next to Singapore's only landfill. We surveyed them on a warm evening.
We were joined by a small team from NParks who were here to look into replanting some of the rare coastal and mangrove trees found on Pulau Semakau. Among them, the Critically Endangered Pink-eyed pong pong. This is great, because some of these trees growing by the shoreline have started to fall over due to erosion.
Api-api jambu. We also didn't manage to find any Seashore bat lily.
Tengah putih is still there, glowing in the sunlight in this photo.
Tape seagrass I saw there were cropped. But I saw more lush patches of seagrasses towards the sea, including near the seawall with the landfill.
Oct 2018, the corals were also stressed.
Merulinid corals I saw were pale.
Branching montipora coral. I saw a few large Cauliflower coral that were mostly alright.
Anemone corals that were alright.
Horse mussel clams on the shore, in small groups of less than 10, spread apart. They did not take over the shore. Unlike what we saw at Changi on Feb 2019. I saw several Giant carpet anemones, they were not bleaching and one had an anemonefish. The rest of the team saw Knobbly sea stars, a file snake, a Giant clam and other interesting marine life.
There was some trash on the shore.
said to be the largest fish farm in Singapore. We have noticed many disturbing impacts of this fish farm on the natural shores of Pulau Semakau, see the post after our trip on Aug 2014.
More about Pulau Semakau
Just as Changi Airport and Changi Beach are not the same even though they are near one another and share a name, Pulau Semakau is NOT the same as the Semakau Landfill. The Landfill was created by destroying all of Pulau Saking, and about half of the original Pulau Semakau by building a very long seawall. Fortunately, the landfill was constructed and is managed in such a way that the original mangroves, seagrass meadows and reefs on Pulau Semakau were allowed to remain.
Phase 2 of the Landfill was launched. This involved closing the gap of the seawall on the Semakau Landfill, forming one big pool where incinerated ash will be dumped. NEA worked to limit the damage to natural shores during the construction work for this expansion of the landfill.
The 2030 Landuse Plan by the Ministry of National Developmentreleased in Jan 2013 shows plans for 'possible future reclamation' (in light blue surrounded by dotted lines) that may impact the eastern shore of Pulau Semakau. More about the possible impact of the 2030 Landuse Plan on our shores.
The Singapore Blue Plan 2018
Pulau Semakau and nearby islands and submerged reefs have been recommended by the Singapore Blue Plan 2018 for Immediate Conservation Priority.
The Blue Plan recommends the intertidal and subtidal marine areas of Pulau Semakau and adjacent Pulau Hantu, and Pulau Jong to be designated Marine Reserve.
The Blue Plan highlights that Pulau Semakau and its associated patch reefs comprise many ecosystems: coral reefs, mangrove areas, intertidal sandflats, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs. The subtidal area of Pulau Jong is larger than the terrestrial area. Pulau Hantu is a popular dive site has seen increasing interest in the past decade due to biodiversity awareness. If protection is accorded to these three islands, zonation plans for use can be implemented to manage tourism and human impacts.
DOWNLOAD the Plan, SUPPORT the Plan! More on the Singapore Blue Plan 2018 site.
Photos by others on this trip