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Tidings of Tidal Changes

Udayana University Experts Warn Proposed Reclamation Projects to Create Islands in Baliís Benoa Bay will Have Far-Reaching Negative Effects on Surrounding Waters and Shorelines

(7/1/2013) The Bali Post quotes experts in hydrology from Bali’s Udayana University saying that plans to reclaim parts of Benoa Bay and the adjoining mangrove forests will bring disastrous results to Bali's natural environment. 

 
I Nyoman Sunarta, a hydrologist from Udayana University warns that if current plans to reclaim portions of Benoa Bay come to fruition, current and tidal patterns will be significantly altered in the Bay.
 
Moreover, Sunarta said a pattern of confusion already exists in tidal flows around Benoa Bay. This situation he feels will only be exacerbated if planned reclamation projects are undertaken.
 
Referring to plans to create new islands near the Island’s new toll road Sunarta explained: “Ocean currents have to enter Benoa Bay, but with of the creation of new islands, the water will not have the opportunity to enter the bay and be diverted to Sanur beach. There the waters will collide.”
 
The professor warns that serious abrasion will occur on the shores in areas surrounding Benoa harbor if the reclamation project is allowed to go ahead.
 
A geomorphology expert from Udayana University, R. Suryanto, has issued a similar warning. He predicts that changes in how water circulates in and around Benoa Bay will be affected by any changes to the Island’s southern mangrove forest. The flora, fauna and marine life in the mangrove, he adds, will also be impacted by the proposed reclamation project in the mangrove reserve.
 
Experts warn that the reclamation to create new islands in Benoa Bay will also alter water depths in the adjoining harbor, potentially making it problematic for commercial shipping to enter and navigate the harbor. 
 
Suryanto said plans to harvest sand from the beach at Sawangan does not represent a significant threat to that area, providing the sand is harvested from a minimum depth of 30 meters of water. Harvesting closer to shore or at shallower depths will threaten the shape and structure of adjoining shorelines in Sanur.