ODB begins work to set up silt protectors on Oura Bay

ODB begins work to set up silt protectors on Oura Bay

Pollution prevention membranes set up in the temporarily restricted area on Oura Bay, Nago, at 3:10 p.m. on March 10. (Photograph taken from drone)

March 11, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

On March 10, the Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) began work to set up silt protectors in the temporarily restricted area on Oura Bay, Henoko, Nago, to mitigate the impact of construction of a new airfield, which is part of a replacement facility for the U.S. Futenma base in Ginowan. This work will be carried out prior to the commencement of bank protection work. (Silt protector is a flexible membrane product that has been designed to physically prevent diffusion of pollution generated in dredging or reclamation works on the seas or rivers.)

The construction has entered a new phase. The ODB plans to set up the silt protectors at four locations by the end of April. The work including dredging towards the landfill will begin after the completion of bank protection work, which may start in May.

Citizens aboard four ships and 11 canoes protested against the base construction, holding placards reading: “Don’t kill the sea,” “Stop landfill.”

On March 10, a small ODB working ship towed about 460 meters of pollution prevention membranes to various points off Henokozaki.

The membranes were likely tied up to large concrete blocks at the bottom of the sea.

The submerging of blocks, which started in February, continues. It is estimated that more than 60 percent of the planned 228 concrete blocks might have been submerged.

At 8:45 a.m. in front of the Camp Schwab gate, about 50 riot police officers forcibly removed about 20 sit-in-protesters, and 44 construction-related vehicles, including dump trucks, entered the base.

(English translation by T&CT)

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