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  DHI website 23 Jul 08
Coral relocation at Sentosa Integrated Resort reclamation site

Straits Times 23 Jul 07
Lead by example on biodiversity

Government Gazette 20 Jul 07
First published in the Government Gazette, Electronic Edition,
on 20th July 2007 at 5.00 pm.
MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT FOR RESORTS WORLD ON THE RECLAMATION PROJECT FOR THE SENTOSA INTEGRATED RESORT

Straits Times 7 Jul 07
Sentosa corals to move to Southern Islands
IR developer hopes to save some by moving 200 pieces over three weeks
By Shobana Kesava

Straits Times 7 Jul 07
Coral Movers


Channel NewsAsia 6 Jul 07
Sentosa corals to get new home as work on integrated resort begins

Today Online 7 Jul 07
The big reef move
Corals off Sentosa to be relocated to make way for casino resort, but two-thirds will be sacrificed
Daphne Chuah

WHILE Sentosa Cove welcomes its new residents, some long-time inhabitants of the island will be saying goodbye to their underwater home.

Armed with hammers, chisels and crowbars, a team of six marine biologists have been gingerly digging up corals between 10 and 70 years old located some 1km off Sentosa's northern coastline.

This is where reclamation works on an area measuring 60,000sqm will start soon on the upcoming casino-resort operated by Genting International.

To preserve the island's marine heritage, the operator has hired consultancy DHI Water and Environment Singapore to move the hard and soft corals, as well as other marine creatures, to holding sites.

Their eventual home is the Southern Islands, but not all will make the final journey.

Despite trying to "save as much as possible," DHI estimates some two-thirds of the corals will be sacrificed.

The biggest issue for choosing the right corals to relocate is "they must be 'handle- able', said DHI's head of environmental management services, Ms Sonja Pans.

"Our divers must be able to carry them around and that limits each coral's size to a maximum of 50cm in diameter," she said.

The corals are also chosen based on their potential to survive in a new environment.

Over the next month or so, these corals will be stored in several 3-sqm-cages and hauled by a slow-moving boat to the holding sites. To minimise stress, the corals will be submerged at all times, limiting their exposure to air.

In the Southern Islands, the corals will be tagged, and their health and status will be monitored over 12 months. The survival rate of relocated corals in Singapore is about 80 to 90 per cent.

The unveiling of this new initiative comes barely a month after Genting's Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS) announced its massive conservation efforts to save some 200 trees by relocating them to a temporary nursery.

"Although none of these corals along the resort's shoreline are rare or endangered, RWS made a decision to move them. They are still precious marine creatures, and part of Sentosa and Singapore's natural marine heritage," said RWS' deputy director of projects, Mr Patrick Too.

Straits Times 7 Jul 07
Sentosa corals to move to Southern Islands
IR developer hopes to save some by moving 200 pieces over three weeks
By Shobana Kesava skesava@sph.com.sg

LAND reclamation for the integrated resort on Sentosa will not kill off all coral life on the island's northern shoreline, as feared by nature enthusiasts.

About 12 per cent of the kilometre-long shoreline has a coral fringe and Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS) is moving part of this ecosystem to the Southern Islands.

At least 200 corals - of some 20 varieties - measuring 30 to 50cm across will be moved in cages over three weeks by marine biologists from consultancy firm DHI Water & Environment. Work started last Thursday.

Head of environmental management services at DHI, Ms Sonya Pans, said they are moving a representative sample of the coral, to hopefully regenerate a complete eco-system, including marine creatures like nudibranches or sea slugs, clownfish and starfish that live amongst them.

'More of it will be hard coral because this takes at least twice as long to grow than soft coral,' she explained.

To protect the coral, all work will be carried out underwater. DHI will monitor the coral in its new site over the next one year, to ensure the marine life is thriving in its new home.

'This is part of Sentosa's natural marine heritage which we thought we could save,' RWS deputy director Patrick Too explained.

The developer is also relocating 200 trees and protecting a further 700 from the chainsaw as construction work starts on the $5.2 billion resort, sitting on 49 ha of Sentosa's north shore.

While the trees will be in full view when the resort is completed in 2010, the new home for the coral will be kept a secret. This is to prevent poaching, which has happened in the past, said DHI's Ms Pans.

About 65 per cent of Singapore's corals have been lost to land reclamation since the 1960s.

A nature enthusiast who runs the website wildsingapore.com, Ms Ria Tan, 46, hopes future developers will do more to protect the natural landscape: 'These corals might not be rare but some were a metre across...If some of the natural element could have been incorporated by the resort, it would have been uniquely Singapore.'

But National University of Singapore's coral reef specialist, Professor Chou Loke Ming, who is for the relocation, said: 'At least the moved corals will help jump-start a new reef community.'

BETTER TO SAVE SOME - THAN NONE AT ALL

'Moving a representative sample is better than not doing anything and leaving all corals to suffer the fate of obliteration.'
PROFESSOR CHOU LOKE MENG, Department of Biological Sciences, NUS

Straits Times 7 Jul 07
Coral Movers

MARINE biologist Karenne Tun, 37, holds up the soft coral Turbinaria, which took an hour to detach from the seabed, while senior marine biologist Eugene Goh, 37, holds up Galaxea, a hard coral.

While both are about 30cm in diameter, the slow-growing Galaxea is probably several decades old, while Turbinaria is about five years old. Even though both are brown in colour, they are alive and healthy. Dead corals are either white or grey in colour. Work to move the corals will be completed by the end of this month.

EASY DOES IT

A MARINE biologist harvests a hard coral using a hammer and chisel to detach the coral's base from the sea substrate, often natural rock. Each coral could take up to 20 minutes to detach. The base, a skeleton made of calcium, can be as wide as the live coral above it.

To move the corals, marine biologists are underwater for two-hour stretches from 10am to 4pm, when visibility underwater is still good. Two to six biologists will be working on the corals at Sentosa at any given time over the next fortnight.

CLOSE ENCOUNTER

A CLOSE-UP view of the hard coral Galaxea, which can be found along the northern coastline of Sentosa where reclamation work will begin soon.

Each flower-like entity is called a polyp which is an individual living coral organism. Many of these polyps together make up a large colony. The brown tentacles reach out to feed on plankton. The plant-like green parts of the coral use sunlight in the process of photosynthesis to make the polyp's own food.

This is why corals need good levels of sunlight and a clean marine environment to thrive, factors the biologists considered when finding a new home for the corals.

Channel NewsAsia 6 Jul 07
Sentosa corals to get new home as work on integrated resort begins

SINGAPORE: Corals from Sentosa's Northern coastline are being permanently moved to a new home, to make way for the construction of the integrated resort on the island.

To ensure a successful migration, marine biologists are assisting Resorts World at Sentosa in a major conservation project.

Galaxia and Turbinaria are two hard corals having to leave Sentosa which has been their home for some five years. The corals will first be chiselled off rocks, placed in an underwater holding site and then transported to the Southern Islands.

But not all corals will make the move. Sonja Pans, Head, Environmental Management Services, DHI Water & Environment, said: "Our divers must be able to carry them around, which limits the size of the corals, maybe to 30 cm, maximum 50 cm in diameter.

"We chose them as well in terms of the suitability of survival rate, meaning how likely it is that the coral will survive... if they are really healthy, you want to take them."

Organisers say preserving corals like these means preserving a part of Sentosa.

Said Patrick Too, Deputy Director, Projects, Resorts World at Sentosa, "This is another one of our efforts for Resorts World to conserve whatever we can. We try to protect whatever's available right now, because this marine life is part of the heritage in Sentosa."

The coral conservation project complements the resort's tree conservation programme, to ensure the island's natural habitat is protected. The coral project is expected to be completed by early August. - CNA/yy

Government Gazette 20 Jul 07
First published in the Government Gazette, Electronic Edition, on 20th July 2007 at 5.00 pm.
MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT FOR RESORTS WORLD ON THE RECLAMATION PROJECT FOR THE SENTOSA INTEGRATED RESORT

Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd plans to carry out reclamation works along the northwestern shoreline of Sentosa Island as part of its Integrated Resort development.

Studies have been carried out to determine the impact of this reclamation project on the marine environment.

The marine environmental report is available for public viewing by appointment, at Sentosa Office, 33 Allanbrooke Road, Palawan Meeting Room (1st Storey) for a period of 4 weeks with effect from 20th July 2007.

To view the said report, please contact Ms Nicole Tan for an appointment at 62799365 or via email at nicole_tan@sentosa.com.sg

Anyone who wishes to inspect the aforesaid report after 17th August 2007 should contact Ms Nicole Tan to make special arrangements to view it.

Straits Times 23 Jul 07
Lead by example on biodiversity

MY LIFE Mr Speaker, if I could address this House... YouthInk readers select a topic they desperately want to bring to the attention of the nation's policymakers

Lead by example on biodiversity
SINGAPORE has no laws making Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) on biodiversity compulsory.

The recent incident at Resorts World at Sentosa exemplifies how a proper EIA study could have avoided the need for a last-minute relocation of the corals in the area.

Singapore's commitment to the environment and conservation via the Kyoto Protocol and the Rio Convention has placed an immense responsibility on us to lead by example.

Even though a lack of economic means and political will is a perceived hindrance towards pro-environment legislation in developing countries, many of them, such as Ghana and Chile, have formal EIA laws.

Singapore may have lost much of its natural heritage, but as a country with means, we should take a firm stand towards preserving the biodiversity we have left.

We can start by formally including EIAs in legislation, and encouraging all stakeholders to take our biodiversity seriously.

LIANA TANG, 22, graduated with honours in biology from the National University of Singapore (NUS)

DHI website 23 Jul 08

Coral relocation at Sentosa Integrated Resort reclamation site

As part of compensation measures associated with the major new Sentosa Integrated Resort reclamation project, marine biologists have recently relocated corals along the northern shore of Sentosa to a new site to preserve the marine heritage and biodiversity.

The coral relocation involved careful removal, transportation and relocation of more than 600 corals of 33 genera, measuring 20cm to 100cm across.

Marine creatures such as nudibranches, seahorses and frogfishes were relocated as and when they were encountered during the relocation.

The receiving site was proposed by DHI as suitable for coral relocation based on experience from past coral relocation programs and other surveys conducted in the vicinity.

The corals were harvested and stored in several cages before being transferred by a slow-moving boat to the receiving site. In order to minimise stress, the corals remained submerged at all times, limiting their exposure to air.

The relocated corals will be tagged, and their health and status monitored for a year. DHI has been contracted by the Sentosa Integrated Resort operator, Resorts World at Sentosa, to manage and carry out the relocation program.

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