I abandoned the team who bravely walked on the long slippery seawall. Check out their photos to see how the corals are doing there.
Here's some awesome drone shots of this 2.5km seawall taken by Nathaniel Soon in May 2021.
I headed out to the seagrass meadows, mangroves and coastal forest that have natural settled here too. Seagrasses have done very well since our last survey in May 2016. With lush dense growths (no epiphytes) on large parts of the lagoon created between the long seawall and the reclaimed sandy shore. The most common seagrasses remains Spoon seagrasses (both small and large leaf blades) and Needle seagrass (both skinny and broad leaf blades).
May 2016, we only saw a small patch of Noodle seagrass. Today, there were large areas of this seagrass that we seldom see on our shores.May 2016, we only saw one small clump of Tape seagrass. Today, I saw at least 20 clumps, both on the low water mark and in deeper water in the middle of the lagoon. There was even one growing inside the canal (Kok Sheng took a photo of it as I was too fat and tired to negotiate the soft silt). All the clumps had nice long leaves, I didn't see any with cropped leaves. One had female flowers. May 2016.
It was good to see the Bonduc is still there, although it was getting overgrown by other coastal plants. This rather bad-tempered plant with very poky branches is listed as 'Critically Endangered' in Singapore, with records of only three plants: in Pulau Semakau, Lazarus Island and Pulau Senang. The one in the East Coast is thus the fourth plant I know about.May 2015. We returned again in May 2016. But shortly after, the area became off limits and cameras installed to deter unauthorised entry. Today's survey is made possible by kind support of NParks who obtained permission from the relevant authorities. We are grateful.
What is the future of these shores?
These living East Coast shores are precious because they may be reclaimed in the 2013 landuse plan by the Ministry of National Development released in response to 2013 Population White Paper.
Draft Master Plan 2013.
Photos by others on this survey
Loh Kok Sheng