Henoko seawall construction continues without transplanting Oura Bay coral

Henoko seawall construction continues without transplanting Oura Bay coral


January 23, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo


The Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) stated its perspective that as part of construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility in Henoko, even without transplanting coral, construction of the seawalls on the Oura Bay side of Cape Henoko will not affect the approximately 40,000 colonies of coral living in the area.

This information was reported at a meeting of the Environmental Oversight Committee (chaired by Yoshiyuki Nakamura, a graduate professor at Yokohama National University) that opened on January 22.

Construction is moving forward despite the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) rejecting the application for special harvesting for transplantation of the coral.

One scholar stated, “If the seawalls are built, there will be a negative effect on coral.”

There are several small colonies of coral at the site planned for construction of the K8 seawall.

According to the results of water pollution, water current, and water temperature simulations, it is possible to construct 250 meters of the 515 meter-long seawall without affecting the coral.

That 250-meter stretch ends 50 meters short of the closest coral.

The ODB applied to the OPG for special harvesting approval relating to coral transportation on the Oura Bay side of seawall construction, but the OPG rejected the application.

It was also reported at the Environmental Oversight Committee meeting that as of December 2018 there have been no observed signs of feeding by dugong.

At most, within one month there were once 120 signs of feeding by the dugong observed over the areas of Henoko, Kayo, and Abu.

However, these signs have been decreasing since September, and there have been none observed at all in December and January.

According to Environmental Oversight Committee Chairman Nakamura, in committee discussions the members expressed their viewpoint that when considering the details of and relating to construction, “It is difficult to imagine what the effects of construction will be.”


(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)


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