Taoyuan algal reef, built mainly by crustose coralline algae (CCA), is an extraordinary massive reef found on tidal flats extending continuously along the coastline of Taoyuan City, Northwest Taiwan. It is approximately 27km in length and a maximum of 450m in width with a large tidal range of 4m.
Carbon-14 dating indicated the age of the reef to be around 7500 BP and consisted of some sediment-tolerant corals, such as Cyphastrea, and Dipsastraea. After 4400 BP to the present, the genera Phymatolithon and Harveylithon are the majority CCA contributed to the present algal reef through constant growth over time as stacked layers over the surface of the reef which is porous in its appearance. The Taoyuan CCA reef performs not only similar ecosystem functions to those of coral reefs, but living CCA also plays an important role on a protection of the algal reef from wave erosion.
However, long-term industrial pollution and continuous habitat destruction by land reclamation for the industrial park, windmill constructions, and particularly the recent development project of a liquid natural gas (LNG) receiving station and port by the Taiwan Chinese Petroleum Cooperation (CPC) threaten the future of Datan algal reef system.
Local communities, NGOs, and Academy have raised serious concerns that over 300 hectares of Datain algal reefs will be directly impacted and disappeared once the environmental impact assessment of this project is approved. The worse scenario of the hydraulic model test indicates that the neighbor Guanxin Algal Reef Wildlife Protected Area (GARWPA) will be continuously destroyed by littoral drift due to groin effect of CPC-LNG port jetty construction, highlighting the merit of prioritizing conservation of this unique ecosystem in Taiwan.
Thus, we request Taiwan government to:
1.Recognise the uniqueness and preciousness of Taoyuan algal reef and declare the Datan algal reef as a national-protected natural landscape under the legal protection in Taiwan.
2.Stop the Guan Tan industrial park developmental project and the construction of the 3rd liquid natural gas receiving station/port immediately.
3.Reconsider the alternative location, such as Taipei harbour, for the construction of the 3rd liquid natural gas receiving station/ port to fulfill the need of the national energy policy for non-nuclear homes, reduction of carbon dioxide emission”.
So, please sign up and support us to save the Taoyuan algal reefs.
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