In an attempt to preserve Singapore's marine biodiversity, the Republic's largest man-made structure was installed yesterday in the waters of Small Sister & # 39; s Island.
It is part of an installation that includes eight barrier structures in total, all manufactured off-site. They will be fully installed by the end of the year.
When the corals grow, these reef structures should provide approximately 1,000 square meters of additional barrier substrate to the Sisters' Island Marine Park by 2030.
Installation is an important expansion of conservation efforts in the southern islands of Singapore, to which the sister islands belong and is part of the "Grow-a-Reef Garden" project, a collaboration between JTC and the National Parks Board (NParks).
Announced in May, the project was proposed as part of efforts to protect coral reefs around Singapore and improve marine biodiversity in the surrounding waters of the island.
Each of the 1
Facilities will sit in the 40ha Sisters & Islands Marine Park, which is south of Sentosa and about 45 minutes boat ride from Marina South Pier They are made of materials such as concrete, fiberglass tubes, steel and rocks recycled by JTC projects.Each structure has corners and niches in which fish species and other forms of marine life can find shelter and thrive.  11
Number of donor companies that have promised support to the "Garden of a coral reef" Initiative
Total amount provided by the companies
Eleven donor companies have promised the support for the initiative, contributing a total of $ 290,000, with sums ranging from $ 5000 to $ 100,000.
In addition to helping to finance the implementation of the barrier structure project, the funds will finance monitoring programs, research projects, education and public awareness raising activities.
"We are heartened by the generous support of our industrial partners on the Grow-a-Reef Garden initiative," said Ng Lang, JTC's managing director. "We hope that more industry and community come together with us to create a more sustainable environment."
The structures of the coral reef are meant to transform the seabed into a thriving marine ecosystem, allowing the corals to take root and, in turn, attract fish and other marine life.
"The project … will be significant in supporting the enhancement of marine habitat and coral reef restoration efforts," said Tan. "There is no silver bullet to overcome our environmental challenges: what we need is a range of multidisciplinary solutions involving different parts' competences".
Mr. Tan said that the long-term conservation and management of Singapore's coastal and marine environment is essential for the future of Singapore. "This is particularly appropriate as the International Coral Reef Initiative has designated this year as the International Year of the Coral Reef and this project will help our efforts in improving the ecosystems of Singapore's coral reefs," he added.
Restoring the coral reef substrate is essential to recover the damaged barriers that have become unsuitable for coral populations to settle.
After the installation of the barrier structures, will be monitored through research initiatives coordinated by NParks, which will also involve various groups of marine interest.
NParks Chief Executive, Kenneth Er, said the project will facilitate research initiatives that will help sustain conservation efforts in other marine areas of Singapore.
"Our marine biodiversity is our common natural heritage and we are pleased to see partners take a step forward to conserve it," he added.
Singapore has lost about 60% of its barriers to reclaim the ears territory. Local barriers are recovering from a whitening period in 2016, caused by a prolonged period of high sea surface temperatures.
It is estimated that about 15% -20% of the corals in the Singapore waters died due to bleaching.
In a statement, NParks said that the installation completes efforts to expand the reach and scope of other marine habitat restoration programs. For example, the NParks in situ coral nursery will also be established in the Reef Garden.
Rare corals that may be threatened by coral bleaching can also be moved to this controlled environment in an attempt to ensure survival.  "We are heartened by the efforts of the business community to share our goals to conserve marine biodiversity and encourage vitality in the Sisters Islands Marine Park," said Stephen Beng, president of the Friends of Marine Park community. "We are confident of the benefits this new coral reef habitat will bring to life in our waters."