Construction of seaside hotel killing off Taitung coral reef

A 'shrine' set up on the beach of Meiliwan ('Beautiful Bay'), showing an underwater photo accompanied with examples of construction waste, which has nearly destroyed the nearby coral reef. Photo: Trista di Genova
Trista di Genova, The Wild East

Protesters camped out on the beach in southeast Taiwan last weekend, to call attention to the ecological destruction of Meili Wan (‘Beautiful Bay’) during the course of a hotel’s construction there.

Activist and famed Taiwan photographer, Eco Lin, described in an interview with The Wild East last weekend how developers failed to carry out an environmental impact assessment, and have wrought havoc on the area’s ecology, which United Nations monitors determined in 2008 (The Year of the Coral Reef) was Taiwan’s ecologically richest coral reef.

Protesters congregated on this site in Taitung County last weekend, to draw attention to the ecological destruction wrought by irresponsible construction of the Meiliwan Hotel. Photo: Trista di Genova
Without carrying out an environmental impact assessment, developers buried iron and other construction waste underneath the hotel itself, which is easily exposed after wind and sea erosion. Even worse, builders disposed of construction waste, in the form of mud, into the ocean. Eco took part in recent diving investigation of the waters there, and describes a tragic situation: the coral reef was buried in this mud, and is now nearly dead.

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