In order to preserve the marine biodiversity in Singapore, yesterday the largest man-made reef structure of the Republic was installed in the waters off the island of Small Sister.

It is part of an installation with a total of eight reef structures, all made off-site. They will be fully installed by the end of the year.

As the corals grow, it is expected that by 2030, these reef structures will add about 1,000 square meters of additional reef substrate to the Marine Park of the Sister Islands.

The installation is an important extension of conservation efforts in the South Islands of Singapore, of which the Sister Islands are part of the Grow-a-Reef Garden project, a collaboration between JTC and the National Parks Board (NParks).

The project, announced in May, was proposed as part of efforts to protect the coral reefs around Singapore and improve marine biodiversity in the surrounding waters of the island.

Each of the 10-meter-tall buildings will form a three-story "terraced house" where corals can settle and grow and become a new home for other forms of marine life where they can thrive and thrive, said President Tan Chuan-Jin. who yesterday witnessed the installation of the first structure.

Representatives of JTC and NParks, Friends of Marine Park Community members, donor companies, industrial guests, and local marine research and interest groups attended the event.

The buildings are located in the 40-hectare Marine Park of the Sister Islands, south of Sentosa and about 45 minutes by boat from Marina South Pier. They consist of materials such as concrete, fiberglass pipes, steel and rocks that are recycled from JTC projects. Each structure has angles and angles in which fish and other forms of marine life can find shelter and thrive.

  • 11

    Number of donor companies that supported the Grow-a-Reef Garden initiative.

    T $ 290

    Total amount of companies.

Eleven donor companies have provided support to the initiative, providing a total of $ 290,000, with $ 5,000 to $ 100,000 each.

The money will not only help finance the implementation of the Reef Structure Project, but will also finance surveillance programs, research projects, education and public relations.

"We are delighted with the generous support of our industry partners in the Grow-a-Reef Garden initiative," said Ng Lang, Chief Executive of JTC. "We hope that more of the industry and the community will join forces with us to create a more sustainable environment."

President Tan Chuan-Jin (center) witnessed the construction of the first structure on 8 November. Mr. Tan said Singapore's long-term conservation and management of the coastal and marine environment is essential to the future of Singapore. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

The reef structures are designed to transform bare seabed into a thriving marine ecosystem, allowing corals to take root and attract fish and other marine creatures.

"The project will be important in supporting the improvement of marine habitats and reef rebuilding," Tan said. "There is no silver bullet to tackle our environmental challenges – what we need is a set of multidisciplinary solutions that bring together the expertise of different parties."

Mr. Tan said Singapore's long-term conservation and management of the coastal and marine environment is essential to the future of Singapore. "This is particularly timely as the International Coral Reef Initiative declared this year's International Year of the Reef, this project will support our efforts to improve coral reef ecosystems in Singapore," he added.

Restoration of the reef substrate is an essential step in recovering damaged reefs that have become unsuitable for colonization of coral populations.

After the reef structures are installed, they are monitored by NParks-coordinated research initiatives involving various maritime interest groups.

NParks General Manager Kenneth Er said the project will facilitate research initiatives that make a significant contribution to supporting conservation efforts in other marine areas in Singapore.

"Our maritime biodiversity is our common natural heritage, and we are pleased that partners are moving forward to preserve it," he added.

Singapore has lost around 60 percent of its reefs through land reclamation over the years. Local reefs are also recovering from a bleaching in 2016 caused by a prolonged period of high sea surface temperatures.

It has been estimated that about 15% to 20% of coral in Singapore's waters died from bleaching.

In a statement, NParks said that the installation complements the efforts to expand the scope and scope of other marine life restoration programs. For example, the in-situ coral gardening of NParks is also being built in the Reef Garden.

Rare corals, which could be threatened by coral bleaching, can also be brought into this controlled environment to ensure their survival.

"We are thrilled with the efforts of the business community to share our goals of protecting the marine biodiversity and promoting the vibrancy of the sister island Marine Park," said Stephen Beng, chairman of the Friends of Marine Park Community. "We hope the new reef habitat in our waters will come to life."

correction Notice: In a previous version of the article, a mention of the Marine Park of the Sister Islands was misspelled. We apologize for the mistake.


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