Coast protection study begins


Soaking in the data: Researchers studying a coral micro atoll in waters surrounding Singapore’s Southern Islands. — The Straits Times/ANN

THE first of four studies looking at how specific parts of Singapore’s coastline can be better protected from sea-level rise will start this week.

The study, focusing on the south-eastern part of the island, will cover 57.8km of the coastline across three key areas – Changi, between the East Coast area and Marina Bay, and the Greater Southern Waterfront district – said national water agency PUB yesterday.

This city-east coast stretch of the coastline is one of four areas that PUB had identified for site-specific coastal protection studies. The other three are Lim Chu Kang, Sungei Kadut and around Jurong Island.

Studies to protect Jurong Island and the northwestern coast, comprising Sungei Kadut and Lim Chu Kang, will commence later this year and in 2022 respectively, PUB said.

The first study on the city-east coast stretch will be done by consultancy CPG Consultants and take around four years to complete, PUB added in a statement.

Areas that will be covered include a literature review to see how other nations are working to protect their coastlines, data collection and the formulation of adaptation measures and pathways, as well as the development of solutions to mitigate flood risks.

PUB did not elaborate on what these solutions could be.

But Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had in his National Day Rally speech in 2019 cited possible examples, including empoldering – a land reclamation technique – along Singapore’s eastern coast, as well as the possibility of reclaiming a series of offshore islands there.

As an island nation, Singapore is vulnerable to the impacts of sea-level rise.

The city-east coast stretch of Singapore is particularly vulnerable. For one thing, it is an area of much critical infrastructure. An airport, a water reclamation plant and a naval base are all located in Changi.

Community nodes can also be found on the south-eastern coast of Singapore.

East Coast Park, for instance, is located on a stretch of coastline along the eastern coast of the island and the Marina Bay area.

The Greater Southern Waterfront district will be transformed into an area for urban living, and is also where the Labrador Nature Reserve is located. — The Straits Times/ANN

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