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Pulau Ubin coast faces erosion risk

Source: The Straits Times

Published on 24th August, 2014 by Melody Zaccheus

Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee doing his part at the reforestation initiative on Pulau Ubin yesterday. He says that one solution to tackle the island’s fast-eroding northern coastline could be to install breakwaters. — PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Pulau Ubin’s northern coastline is fast being eroded by tides and currents.

If left unchecked, the island could lose parts of its coastal forest and mangroves.

To turn the tide, the Ministry of National Development plans to carry out a study to establish the extent of erosion, the types of vegetation affected and the impact it will have on hydrology.

Speaking at a reforestation initiative on the island yesterday, Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee said the study will help it “properly design restoration measures and erosion control measures”.

One solution could be to install breakwaters, he said.

The fast-eroding shoreline is one of several pressing needs facing the 10.2 sq km island, which is about the size of Changi Airport.

Another is to fix the dilapidated buildings on the island, some of which have fallen into disrepair due to neglect.

Capturing the stories of the island’s remaining 38 elderly dwellers is another urgent matter, Mr Lee said.

That is why the ministry has been gathering ideas from different Ubin interest groups and stakeholders on how to preserve and enhance the island’s rustic character and natural environment, while sensitively providing access to the public. This intention was first announced by Mr Lee in Parliament in March.

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