Pulau Hantu - A celebration of marine life

Secret lives and secret worlds hidden in Singapore's most popular coral reef.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Letter from JTC

8 Feb 2006

Dear Debby and The Hantu Bloggers

1 We thank you for your interest in the Pulau Ular reclamation project. We share your interest and concern for the environment.

2 Since our last correspondence, we have been working on the final details of the reclamation project and studying reclamation best practices that we can adopt to ensure minimal environmental impact. We would like to assure you that JTC is committed to minimising any adverse impact on the environment and to ensuring the safety of the diving community here.

Minimising Impact on the Marine Environment

3 We have engaged a world-renowned hydraulic institute, DHI Water & Environment (S) Pte Ltd, as our consultant to carry out studies on the marine environmental impact for the Pulau Ular project and to advise on how to minimise any adverse impact to the environment. DHI has recommended on the measures to adopt. We are implementing their recommendations on silt control, and carrying out regular monitoring of the silt, current and water quality during the reclamation to ensure compliance.

Environmental Monitoring & Management Plan (EMMP)

4 To ensure minimal disturbance to the marine habitat around Pulau Hantu during the course of the reclamation works, we are also putting in place a rigorous Environmental Monitoring & Management Plan (EMMP), based on international best practice. The EMMP is a monitoring, feedback and forecast modelling system to manage the reclamation process. It will forecast and provide early warnings when certain environmental threshold is exceeded. This will allow the project team to take measures at an early stage to minimise any adverse impact on the environment.

Relocation of corals at Terumbu Bayan

5 Before we begin the reclamation, our consultant DHI will relocate the corals, which are directly impacted by the reclamation works at Terumbu Bayan. DHI is the same specialist consultant who carried out the Marine Environmental Impact Assessment study, and whose marine biologists have good experience with other major coral relocation programmes in the region.

6 The coral relocation exercise will start very soon. You can contact my colleague, Ms Tham Lai Pui (Manager, Marketing Communications) at Tel: 68833053 or laipui@jtc.gov.sg who will provide you with more up-to-date information with respect to this exercise.

Safety Measures for Divers

7 We are aware that Pulau Hantu is a favourite diving spot for many local dive groups. However, as reclamation works at the Pulau Ular site is expected to start in mid-February 2006, these reclamation activities may pose a danger to diving operators and recreational divers at the nearby Pulau Hantu. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that we put in place some safety measures during the reclamation period.

8 JTC will be working with the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) to temporarily close off access to the northern shore of Pulau Hantu for safety reasons from mid-Feb 2006 to 1st quarter 2007. The northern jetty at Pulau Hantu will also be temporarily closed during the same period. However, divers can continue to use the south jetty at Pulau Hantu to access the island and diving can continue at the western part of Pulau Hantu. We seek your kind understanding on this matter.

9 There will be warning signs and marker buoys to mark the limits of the closed area. The notification about the temporary closures will also be circulated by MPA via their Port Marine Notices. Such temporary closures will be regularly reviewed based on the progress of the reclamation and the access corridor that is needed for the reclamation vessels.

10 In conclusion, we would like to reiterate our common concern for the marine environment around Singapore. I hope the above information is useful and helps to provide you with a clearer picture of the reclamation project and the steps we have put in place to reduce any environmental impact.

Yours sincerely
David Tan
Director, Specialised Parks Development Group
JTC Corporation