Semakau eco-park

An amazing bit of multi-functional infrastructure is situated a few kilometers offshore from Singapore – their landfill. Pulua Semakau [pdf] as the island landfill is known, is officially an ‘eco-park’ that has been open to the public since 2005.

[marine buzz] Semakau landfill was opened for public in July 2005 with following sightseeing attractions:

  • Inter tidal Walk: during low tide visitors can walk around to see the vast mangroves, seagrass, coral reefs, crabs, starfishes, sponges, shrimps and many other interesting flora and fauna.
  • Bird Watching: as many as 66 species of migratory birds, shore birds and forest birds can be seen on Semakau landfill that live on abundance of fish in the surrounding waters.
  • Stargazing: Semakau landfill offers a clear view of the skies for stargazing in a refreshing sea breeze.
  • Educational/Recreational Outing: An educational visit to explain the design, operation and process of solid waste management in Singapore followed by a tour of the landfill. After the educational programme, visitors have the option to engage in recreational activities, including fishing, cycling, barbecuing and camping.
  • Sport Fishing: sport fishing enthusiasts can enjoy catch and release fishing activities and as many as 17 different fish species including barracuda and queen fish can be sighted.

Learn more about the intertidal tours offered by the Raffles Museum.

Continue reading

Louisiana Barrier Island Project

The oil protection artificial barrier islands should be more then engineered berms!

With the partial approval to create of new islands to block the onshore flow of oil, these islands must also be part of the mitigation and restoration effort and not just a wall of sand to be contaminated and disposed of. I’m not advocating for a Dubai-esque extravaganza where the ‘island’ is shaped like the continents or a palm tree.

But these islands and berms need to be designed such that it increases habitat area for shore birds, marine mammals, turtles, fish, and aquatic vegetation. Theses new barrier islands (which could be 45 miles long if all segments are built) should be integrated into the wetland restoration efforts once the leaking well is plugged. The US Fish and Wildlife Service and several other agencies have similar opinions in the permitting process [pdf], but the implementation documents don’t seem to be heeding this advice.

For the ACE and other agencies, this is an amazing fast approval of the permits to dredge the what ever part of the ’92 million cubic yards of material over a six to nine month period to build temporary barrier islands’ that was approved. I’ll have to spend more time parsing the permit to figure out what was actually permitted, and if it truly will be $350m to $950m.

Continue reading