Land Reclamation and Restoration


| 6/19/2019 10:45:00 AM


The sun may set on all of us

The technology currently exists to make it feasible to “reclaim” or “restore” everything from deserts to salt marshes to oceans. Generally, such efforts are utilized ostensibly at least, for the purpose of future growth and development, primarily of larger cities. Occasionally, these efforts are undertaken in the name of restoration where depleted forests and other natural resources have been depleted and humanity is at least putting forth some effort to restore that which has been lost. Whatever the reason may be however, just because something can be done, does not always mean that something should be done. There may be times and occasions when it is best to allow nature to take its natural course.

It should be noted that this article is not meant to cast any disparaging views on continuing efforts at reforestation and restoring the soil that are constantly ongoing around the world today. Rather, this article looks at the formations of islands such as the one where the Tokyo Airport is housed, or even Manhattan … just to give a couple of older examples.

For those that are familiar with the Philippines, it is interesting to note that the entirety of Metro Manila used to encompass nothing more than the area currently known as Intramuros. The rest of the land was “reclaimed” at the expense of swampy and marshy wetlands. In fact the name itself, “Manila” or “Maynila” is derived from the ancient Maynil tree or Mangroves. The vast majority of what is now Metro Manila was at one time, largely comprised of Mangrove Swamps, virtually all of which have been destroyed in an effort to create more land for cities and unsustainable growth and development. Despite this, further efforts are currently underway to “reclaim” even more of Manila Bay and to turn it into yet more flood prone and densely packed concrete jungles.

To some extent, virtually all of these reclamation projects can be justified from a strictly developmental standpoint, but there are two questions that the responsible parties seem unable to answer. One; Just because we can reclaim all of these lands, does that mean that we should? And two; Are there any other viable alternatives that would not be nearly as detrimental to the environment? In the case of the former, the argument of the author would be “No, not necessarily.” In the case of the latter, the answer would be a most emphatic “YES! There are a great many alternatives that have not been considered.”



Mangrove Swamps are unique and complete ecosystems



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