ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove and the Tropical Marine Science Institute (“TMSI”) at the National University of Singapore (“NUS”) has entered a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a man- made Coral Garden for the purpose of advancing reef restoration research and enhancing marine biodiversity in Singapore waters.
This is the first such collaboration between TMSI and a commercial entity to create a man-made coral garden in a marina. The partnership seeks to boost the rehabilitation of coral reefs in Singapore and improve the local marine ecosystem that is critical for providing habitat and shelter for many marine organisms.
ONE°15 Marina has apportioned a stretch of 150 meters of sea bed within its marina for coral cultivation and this area currently encompasses specially designed nurseries to grow young corals and rock boulders with clusters of matured corals. The coral zone will be maintained by researchers and volunteers from TMSI under the supervision of Professor Chou Loke Ming, who is an Adjunct Research Professor at TMSI, and a veteran in coral ecology.
The Coral Garden was officially opened today by Mr Louis Ng, Member of Parliament, Nee Soon GRC (Nee Soon East) and Chairman of Nee Soon Town Council, who said, “Global warming and other human activities have had a devastating impact on the world’s coral reefs. It gives me great pleasure to be a part of today’s launch and I hope that there will be many exciting discoveries that will stem out of the research efforts carried out here.”
“The Coral Garden is envisioned to be a haven for marine biodiversity in a man- made environment and in the long run, it will evolve into an education and research site for students and the public to dive, snorkel and learn about the marine world in a safe and controlled environment,” said Professor Chou.
ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove, a certified Fish-friendly and Clean Marina, is a strong advocate of marine life and ocean conservation that has championed several environmental projects and activities including Project Perna (mussels cultivation), Earth Hour, and its bi-annual marina clean-up. The Coral Garden is its latest eco-initiative, which is sponsored by International SeaKeepers Society Asia, Audi Singapore and SC Global Developments.
“We are excited to work with TMSI on this project because corals being natural shelters and food for marine creatures are highly critical for creating marine biodiversity. This research work will contribute towards restoring the 60% of coral reefs believed to have been lost in Singapore waters from land reclamation over the years,” said Mr Teo Joo Leng, General Manager of ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove.
He added, “Our vision for the coral garden is to educate the next generation on marine life and the importance of conserving it. In supporting this project, ONE°15 Marina is affirming its goal to be a leader and role model in the marina industry where we can create and share best practices with other marinas to create a more holistic marine ecosystem in Asia.’’
A study conducted by the Reef Ecology Laboratory of NUS showed that at least 50 types of animals including worms, crustaceans, brittle stars, sea cucumbers, seahorses, algae and zoanthids inhabit the waters of ONE°15 Marina. The stable marina structures such as berthing pontoons and seawalls has allowed sea life to populate and thrive. The survey also uncovered 22 genera of hard corals, and with new ones forming. Furthermore, the survey found that these hard corals had attracted 29 species of fishes, many of which were reef fishes.
ONE°15 Marina is celebrating its 11th Anniversary on 6 October 2018 and supporting this meaningful cause as part of its celebrations. The marina is also putting up an exhibition together with several organizations in the marine community to educate the public on marine biodiversity and conservation efforts via educational displays and videos.
ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove is Asia’s most desired waterfront leisure destination.