SINGAPORE – A segment of the Siglap Canal may soon become more conducive to marine life, now that scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) are to install special biodiversity tiles on its walls.
It is the first time that the national water agency PUB will install these tiles in a canal as part of modernization works to improve the flood resistance of the canal to meet a 60% increase in intensity. precipitation, said Mr. Yeo Keng Soon, director of its Directorate of Catchment and Water.
He added that as the canal leads to the sea, which supports marine life, there was an opportunity for PUB to support the NUS Marine Ecology Experimental Laboratory by incorporating biodiversity tiles into the design of the project, while ensuring that the primary function of the channel is not compromised.
As part of the trial, the lab will assess the effectiveness of the tiles, which mimic characteristics of the natural habitat and can serve as homes for marine organisms, Yeo said.
The 420m stretch from Marine Parade to East Coast Park Service Road, which is subject to tidal influence, will also be deepened and widened, he added.
Associate Professor Peter Todd from the lab said his team is focusing on the intertidal part of the channel where estuarine species, such as seagrass, crustaceans and fish, can be found.
“Some of these species benefit from the addition of habitat complexity, such as pits and grooves that provide moist, cool spaces and protection from predators,” he added.
One of the design aspects of the tiles is that they are low-profile and rounded, so they don’t affect the water flow of the canal, Prof Todd said.
The Straits Times understands the project will begin next year and is expected to be completed by 2026. Around 50 tiles will be installed.
Mr Yeo noted that such tiles have been rolled out on some sections of Singapore’s coastline, including Sentosa and Changi Bay.
“Designing with nature is also a key consideration for PUB when developing coastal protection solutions that can help maintain or even enhance biodiversity,” he added.
Prof Todd previously told ST that the tiles can support between 20 and 25 species compared to a traditional granite seawall, which has around 10 species. These organisms include algae, bivalves, sea snails and some crustaceans.
Mr. Yeo said that apart from the drainage improvement works, PUB will also create multifunctional blue-green spaces around the Siglap Canal by constructing a wellness terrace, shelters and a fitness corner to enhance the experience of visitors. users along the network of Siglap Park connectors.