Grannie Green Revivial

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Chp 136, Lung Mei Beach – Forty years champion for the environment

Lung Mei Beach

Throughout 2006 and 2007 the Tai Po District Council was pushing the Administration to undertake a plan to turn a natural beach in Lung Mei near the Plover Cover Reservoir into a bathing beach. CA was opposed to the project.

The government did complete an environmental impact assessment for the project which found “no long term unacceptable impacts on the environment”. The beach and nearby riverbed habitats would be permanently lost but they were considered of “low ecological value”. But CA disagreed with the EIA report. CA’s Peter Li photographed a variety of marine species on Lung Mei overnight, such as sea stars, urchins and crabs and the rare northern dragonet which were of moderate to high ecological value. In any case, CA could not accept that whole habitats could be wiped out just for a dubious and unsustainable project, even if the species were not endangered.

The project is unsustainable because Lung Mei is not suitable as a bathing beach. In 2007 the water quality in Lung Mei Beach was unsuitable for swimming during the bathing season (March to September) – 81% of the time the water quality was poor or very poor. Although the project anticipated 60% of the private sewers to be re-connected to the public sewer, still the EIA report itself acknowledged that the water quality would be poor or very poor 38% of the time. This translated into 51days with poor beach water quality endangering the health of about 800 swimmers. With a construction cost of $130 million and the operation and maintenance cost still unknown, the project was clearly unsustainable from both the economic and environmental point of view.

Furthermore, Lung Mei Beach is adjacent to Ting Kok wetland, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The impact of human disturbance to Ting Kok would be considerable.

In January 2008 the Advisory Council on the Environment endorsed the Lung Mei project EIA report with the condition that further information should be provided to confirm the ecological status of Lung Mei Beach.

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August 26, 2015 - Posted by | Dr WK Chan book

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