SINGAPORE - Over 700 coral colonies found in Semakau landfill's lagoon have been sucessfully relocated to the Sisters' Islands Marine Park, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) today.
The relocation project began in Sept last year, ahead of the closure of the existing gap at the southern tip of the lagoon to convert it into a new landfill cell.
The gap closure is part of Semakau Landfill's development works to help meet waste disposal needs of Singapore up to 2035 and beyond, said NEA.
Transplantation took about four months to complete, during which divers discovered the coral specimen Cliona patera, or more commonly known as Neptune's Cup Songe, in the lagoon. The sponge was thought to be extinct since 1908 and is the second to be found in Singapore's waters.
Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan visited the Sisters' Islands Marine Parks today to inspect the coral transplantation works.
He also handed over the last corals from Semakau Landfill's coral cover to the diver for transplantation, to mark the completion of the coral re-location.
In a bid to safeguard the coral reef community within the lagoon, NEA had called a tender to relocate the corals in March last year.
It was then recommended from a survey that 27 genera of corals found in the sub-tidal zone be earmarked for transplantation.
NEA also enlisted the help of National Parks (NParks) to harvest corals found in the inter-tidal zone of the lagoon to the coral nursery at the Marine Park.
Besides coral relocation, post-coral transplantation monitoring surveys at the recipient sites will also be carried out to monitor the survival and health of the transplanted corals, said NEA.
The surveys, which will be carried out over a nine-month period, will also monitor the water quality and sediment conditions at the recipient sites.