#TIL that mangroves accounted for 13% of Singapore’s land area in the 1820s, but this proportion has come down to just 0.5% today.
Mangrove swamps often had to give way for various redevelopment purposes in the past. As it is typical for mangroves to occur naturally at coastal areas, some of the swamplands were lost during reclamation works, such as the industrial development of Jurong beginning in the 1960s. Other reasons why mangroves were redeveloped include the construction of housing estates, creation of reservoirs, and for the management of local rivers.
While Singapore previously sacrificed much of its mangrove swamps for various redevelopment purposes, we have a better appreciation for their ecological importance today. Not only are mangroves home to a great range of biodiversity, they also help to prevent soil erosion, protect coastlines from flooding, and serve as efficient carbon sinks.
The careful preservation of our remaining mangroves has allowed us to visit these remarkable ecosystems on any given day, and in a safe and respectful manner.