9 February 2007
Thirty-seven hectares of wetlands enhanced successfully under the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Project
The Kowloon - Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) announced the successful creation of Hong Kong's largest Ecological Enhancement Area at Lok Ma Chau.
A total of 37 hectares of wetlands, comprising 27 hectares of fishponds, 5 hectares of freshwater marsh and 5 hectares of reedbed, were created right near the Lok Ma Chau terminus of KCR Lok Ma Chau Spur Line.
KCRC Senior Director, Capital Projects, Mr K K Lee said, "It is encouraging to see that the enhanced wetlands have succeeded in attracting a greater number and more species of birds. This shows that the wetlands under the Corporation's permanent management have been a success.
"This also demonstrates that with careful planning infrastructure projects and environmental protection can go hand-in-hand.
"As a responsible corporate citizen, KCRC is committed to conserving the natural environment in Hong Kong with the participation by green groups in the management of the enhanced wetlands."
The Lok Ma Chau Ecological Enhancement Area aims to provide a diversity of wetland habitats. It has increased the ecological value of the fishponds in the area making it more attractive to the birds and other wildlife.
The upgrading works include the construction of islands, bund re-profiling, fish stocking, construction of an underground piping system for water control, marsh planting and weeding. The reedbeds serve to filter the sewage discharged from a water treatment plant of the Spur Line project, in compliance with the stringent "Zero Discharge Policy" of Deep Bay.
The success of the wetlands is also reflected in the sighting of more migratory birds of rare species in the area. About 20% of the world's Black-faced spoonbill was sighted in the Spur Line wetlands in a day in 2005. In November 2006, two rare Lesser White-fronted Geese were sighted in the KCRC wetlands for the first time in Hong Kong, while the first sighting of the Greater White-fronted Goose was also made in the area.